Podium in the season opener: Christopher Haase and Max Hofer Photo: ADAC GT Masters
Podium in the season opener: Christopher Haase and Max Hofer Photo: ADAC GT Masters

Comments after Race 1 at the Lausitzring

Observations from the paddock on Saturday's race on the opening weekend

Winners and losers talk about the first race of the 2020 ADAC GT Masters.

Luca Stolz (Toksport WRT, Mercedes-AMG GT3 Evo, race winner): "The start was really chaotic. I lost a place to the Porsche, and I've no idea where he suddenly came from. Later on, I had a minor contact with the car. Actually, he must have seen me. After I took the lead, I pulled out a bit of a gap before the safety car came out. The car worked really well with nothing ahead. But while I was following the safety car, I was getting a lot of pickup. That's why the Porsche was able to get past me at the restart."

Maro Engel (Toksport WRT, Mercedes-AMG GT3 Evo, race winner): "After I took over in the cockpit, I went flat out, because it was a very tight situation with Simona De Silvestro. Once I had taken the lead, I tried to steer the car to the finish line without making any unforced errors. But just before the end, I had another fright when the engine cut out. Fortunately, the fault corrected itself and I was able to bring home the victory."

Michael Ammermüller (SSR Performance, Porsche 911 GT3 R, overall P2): "It was a bit chaotic at first, but we were doing pretty well for ourselves. We gained one position. I was a bit faster than Alfred Renauer, but couldn't get past, which meant that the Corvette was closing in from behind. The driver then tried to pass, but he was over-optimistic with his braking point. He briefly made contact, and I was initially worried that something might have been damaged on the car. But fortunately the car was okay. We made a late stop, which helped us move up to second place."

Christian Engelhart (SSR Performance, Porsche 911 GT3 R, overall P2): "This was far better than just a standard debut for our new team. Our pit stop played a key role, because it secured us second place. I was involved in an interesting battle for position with Maro Engel towards the end. But without him making any mistakes, it was always going to be difficult to get past. Ultimately, we just missed out. But we are very, very happy with the result anyway, because we always intended to fight for the win."

Max Hofer (Montaplast by Land Motorsport, Audi R8 LMS, overall P3): "It was quite hectic at the start, with three cars side by side at times. But we survived it well. I gained four places and was seventh at the end of the first lap. That put us in a good position to mount a challenge. I hadn't been expecting that we would ultimately finish third, so I'm all the more delighted with the result. We'll gratefully take any points we can, because consistency is so important in the ADAC GT Masters."

Christopher Haase (Montaplast by Land Motorsport, Audi R8 LMS, overall P3): "Third place in the season opener is good for the team and for us drivers. It's highly motivating. Max had done good preparatory work. We'll have to work a bit on the setup for tomorrow, because the track will have changed even more by then."

Jannes Fittje (Küs Team75 Bernhard, Porsche 911 GT3 R, overall P4, winner in the Pirelli-Junior classification): "That was a mega race. I never expected a result this good. In quali, I was just four tenths off the top, but I was still only 20th on the grid. The field is that tight. The start was chaotic. I managed to stay out of trouble and then did a good stint. When I handed over to David, I was already up to eleventh. He then drove superbly to the finish. Fourth place and the win in the Pirelli Junior classification - unbelievable!"

Simona De Silvestro (Küs Team75 Bernhard, Porsche 911 GT3 R, overall P20): "That was so frustrating. Klaus had done a mega job taking us forward. When I emerged in third place, I knew that I was capable of holding on to the position. But to be wiped out like that is just so unnecessary. The pace itself was good. There are a few things I need to do better, but everything is slotting nicely into place. Now we just need to have a bit more luck. Tomorrow is another day, and I'm sure we'll do better then."

Klaus Bachler (Küs Team75 Bernhard, Porsche 911 GT3 R, overall P20): "We started from P10, had a really good car and were steadily working our way forward. Just before the pit stop there were a few incidents, and the safety car came out. At the restart, we were able to take the lead, and everything was looking rosy. Simona took over and was doing a really great job in her first ADAC GT Masters race. We were in third place until about 15 minutes before the end, but unfortunately we got spun round and could ultimately finish no higher than 20th. It's a pity about the result. It could have been a podium or at the very least some decent points. But anyway, I'd like to say a big thank you to the team - everyone did a great job. We're looking forward now and relishing the prospects for tomorrow."

2020 Season