Luca Stolz and team-mate Maro Engel have made a perfect start to the current ADAC GT Masters season and after four races, lead the drivers' standings, having taken one win and two podiums. In the team standings as well, they now head the table with their outfit, Toksport WRT, which may seem a little surprising, because this is Toksport WRT's first season in the Super Sports Car League. "We didn't really expect the start to go like this," said Luca Stolz. "We knew we were quite well-placed but never thought we would be so successful right away."
The team have already shown in rallying that they know how to achieve victories and success. "Your approach, the philosophy you follow as a team still remain the same," said Stolz with some conviction. "If you can be successful when rallying, you can definitely build on that in circuit racing."
Nevertheless, the ADAC GT Masters is renowned for the highly competitive nature of its field, which poses a big challenge, especially for newcomers. Toksport WRT had two guest starts at the Nürburgring and in Zandvoort last season to help them make thorough preparations. "We had practically the same crew back then, which has obviously helped us find our feet and get a general idea of when to go out in qualifying, and what is the best strategy to deploy in the race," said the Mercedes-AMG driver. The team have done their homework and have applied lessons learned this season.
But what is the secret of their success in a season that is still relatively new? Stolz thinks he knows the answer. Apart from making sound preparations during the winter and posting innumerable test kilometres with the new Evo version of the Mercedes-AMG GT3, qualifying is primarily responsible for the team's success in his opinion: "So far, we have pursued a strategy of going out on track at an early stage and completing our laps early without traffic. If you start out up front, then the chances of a win or a podium are greater."
Teamwork is another key to success, so having a good driver pairing is particularly important. Stolz shares the #22 Mercedes-AMG GT3 with old friend, Maro Engel. "We have a very similar driving style and like to have the same set-up on the car," said Stolz about working with his co driver. "And that's crucial, because then you don't have to change very much on the car so that you can both manage." Another factor is that they have known each other for a long time and have already contested many races together.
Stolz is not keen to discuss the final championship outcome despite his successful start to the season: "Of course, winning the title is our primary objective, but we always take each race as it comes and try to get the best possible result." What is more, he does not see himself as the favourite to win the title: "There are so many strong driver pairings in the ADAC GT Masters. Practically any of them could win."
Thinking about the remaining races, the Mercedes-AMG driver is especially looking forward to Hockenheim and Zandvoort: "The Hockenheimring really suits me while the Zandvoort circuit has been modified slightly and now provides far more opportunities to overtake. I can hardly wait!"