The second round of the ADAC GT Masters is about to get under way. After a strong start to the season at Oschersleben, the second showdown of the season is set to take place from May 17th to 19th in the Czech Republic at the Autodrom Most, about 100 kilometres south of Dresden. At the demanding circuit, the opposing crews will endeavour to hunt down last year's champion, Robert Renauer (34, GER) and his new team-mate Thomas Preining (20, A, both Precote Herberth Motorsport), who travel to the Czech Republic as championship leaders. The two races start later than usual at the weekend. SPORT1 will broadcast the races live and in full at 2.45 pm on Saturday and Sunday. Racing can also be watched online as livestream at sport1.de, adac.de/motorsport and youtube.com/adac.
Robert Renauer got his mission to defend the title off to the best of starts during the Oschersleben season opener with a win and sixth place. As a result, he and team-mate, series newcomer Thomas Preining, are at the top of the overall standings in the Porsche after the first race weekend. Now comes Most where Renauer secured more points in his championship season of 2018 with two third places than in any other race that year. "After a terrific season opener, we intend to fight for podiums again in the second round," said the defending champion. "Thomas turned in a really great performance for his first time in the ADAC GT Masters. He was fast and produced some good overtaking manoeuvres in the races. Well done, Thomas! I definitely feel quite optimistic about Most. The circuit should suit the new Porsche 911 GT3 R even more. The track is fun and has a bit of everything." Fellow Porsche drivers, Klaus Bachler (27, A) and Timo Bernhard (38, GER, both Küs Team75 Bernhard), on the other hand, are hoping to have better luck in the races. Despite being title contenders, they only managed to finish 14th at Oschersleben after an unlucky first qualifying and a collision on Sunday. "In no way did Oschersleben reflect our speed," said Bachler. "We know what we need to change, even if it's not all down to us. We don't want to make any mistakes. We will focus on ourselves, and then, let's see what we can do." The Austrian also holds the 4.21-km circuit to the north-west of Prague in high regard: "I really like it. I think the layout is excellent."
Corvette drivers Markus Pommer (28, GER) and Marvin Kirchhöfer (25, GER, both Callaway Competition), who won Saturday's season-opening race at Oschersleben, have good memories of last year's inaugural round at Most. Pommer won at the Czech circuit last year on Sunday, racing alongside Maximilian Götz in the Mercedes-AMG. His partner this year, Kirchhöfer, twice finished runner-up in the Corvette C7 GT3-R. "The basis for finishes up front is there," said Pommer confidently. "The car should do well at the track. I've not yet raced the Corvette there, but it was one of the front-runners last year. And I know the track really well, too. The second sector especially is a lot of fun, because it's fast and flows well." Pommer thinks that the Mercedes-AMG GT3 in particular will be a top contender: "I know from last year just how strong the car is there. The track characteristics should really suit the Mercedes-AMG."
Team ISR, the only Czech team in the ADAC GT Masters, hope to have a home advantage. Their headquarters are located to the southeast of Prague in Cestlice which is only about 100 kilometres from the racetrack. "I'm looking forward to our home race," said Filip Salaquarda (35, CZ), who shares the Audi R8 LMS with German driver, Frank Stippler (44, GER). They took a win together in 2018 at the Nürburgring. "This race is very important for our team and partners. You're obviously under more pressure in a home race, but on the other hand, it's also the track where I've probably put in the most kilometres racing. The Most circuit should suit the Audi, because it has many fast corners, but decent brakes and plenty of traction are also needed. We now want to secure a good haul of points after we were fast at Oschersleben in testing and in practice but came away empty handed, as the qualifying sessions did not go too well for us."
Team ISR have also prepared for the upcoming race weekend with testing at Most like many other outfits. Their focus has been primarily on the new tarmac which is much smoother and was laid on practically all of the track in March. New lap records should be set now as a result. "About 70 percent of the track has been resurfaced. It's only the main straight that remains unchanged," said Salaquarda. "The track was pretty dirty when we tested, but that shouldn't be a problem on race weekend. I expect lap times to improve by at least half a second."
Most will feature more exciting race action with the ADAC TCR Germany, the Porsche Carrera Cup Deutschland and the Spezial Tourenwagen Trophy (STT). Fans can experience motor racing at close quarters during the Pit Walk on Saturday from 12.25 to 1.25 pm and on Sunday from 10.40 to 11.40 am. Autograph hunters also have something to look forward to with the Meet the Drivers session at the Open Team Hospitality in the paddock (Saturday, 5:15 pm).
Note for Media representatives: A press conference will be held in the Autodrom Most Media Centre at 2 pm on Friday, 17th May with last year's winners at Most, Maximilian Götz (33, GER, Mann-Filter Team HTP) and Stefan Mücke (37, GER, BWT Mücke Motorsport), plus local driver Filip Salaquarda.