Maximilian Paul: Pleased with first season Photo: ADAC GT Masters
Maximilian Paul: Pleased with first season Photo: ADAC GT Masters

Maximilian Paul: We intend to attack in 2020

Audi driver pleased with first season in ADAC GT Masters

ADAC GT Masters series newcomer Maximilian Paul reviews first season in Super Sports Car League.

Joining the ADAC GT Masters was a big step for 19-year-old Paul and T3 Motorsport, as the team was only formed towards the end of 2018 and was embarking on its very first season in motorsport. While Paul himself was very experienced in karting, coming from that background, and even continued in the sport for youngsters during 2019, he had had practically no experience of racing cars except for a handful of races in an Audi GT4. Team mate William Tregurtha, with whom Paul shared the drive in the Audi R8 LMS at the Red Bull Ring and subsequently, was also a GT3 rookie. T3 Motorsport had the youngest driver pairing in the field.

Nevertheless, Paul managed to have a good first showing in the season opener at Oschersleben. "I was eleventh in Q1, which wasn't too bad for starters," said Paul, who left 20 vehicles trailing behind him. In the race, he was on course to finish in the points until the driver handover when previous team-mate Simon Reicher dropped back down to P23 with tyre problems.

The Red Bull Ring weekend also looked promising. "We were quick there," said Paul. "But unfortunately, we finished out of the points again." Newcomer Tregurtha had qualified thirteenth on the grid, but a drive-through penalty for a pit stop that was too short cost them the finish in the Top 15 that they had been hoping for.

At Zandvoort and at the Nürburgring, the team was involved in accidents that were not their fault, and the team's mechanics had to put in a lot of overtime to repair the vehicle. Still, the just reward for all the outfit's hard work finally came at Hockenheim. In Saturday's race, Paul and Tregurtha fought their way up to eighth place from 17th on the grid, thus achieving the young crew's first finish in the Top Ten. Paul and Tregurtha even achieved their maiden podium for third place in the Pirelli Junior classification. "Of course, we were very pleased with that particular race," said Paul, looking back. "We finished in the Top Ten through our own efforts and produced plenty of good overtaking manoeuvres, which was also terrific as far as our sponsors are concerned."

While T3 Motorsport based in Radebeul just an hour or so from the Sachsenring came away empty-handed from the season finale, the weekend was still a season highlight for Paul: "More than 200 guests came along to see us during the weekend - that was really something. And the track too is just terrific with quite a few white-knuckle sections where you need courage."

Overall, the ADAC Sports Foundation protégé feels very positive about the team's record for the season: "We are pleased. We started the season without any expectations whatsoever, as the outfit was completely new. None of us had ever competed in the ADAC GT Masters before. We learned a lot during the year and tried out many different things." However, they have set their sights even higher for 2020: "We intend to attack and with a second car if possible. The ADAC GT Masters will still be our main focus, but we want to contest more races in order to gain even more experience."

2020 Season