Maiden win: Lamborghini works driver Franck Perera claimed a first ever ADAC GT Masters victory on Sunday at the 18th attempt.
Strong team performance: Two pole positions, two fastest race laps and two wins - Orange 1 by GRT Grasser really set the benchmark at the Nürburgring. Furthermore, the Austrian outfit topped the podium in both the Pirelli Junior and Pirelli Trophy classes on Sunday. “That was one of our best weekends in the ADAC GT Masters,” said a delighted Team Principal Gottfried Grasser. “You cannot expect to get more.”
Crisis of form: After three victories in the first six races, Callaway Competition have now gone through a lean patch at both Zandvoort and the Nürburgring. Marvin Kirchhöfer and Markus Pommer came away from the Netherlands empty-handed, but in the Eifel, they at least managed two charges through the field into the Top 15, finishing twelfth and eighth after starting from way back on the grid in P30 and P19. The 14 championship points they scored were just enough for them to hang onto second place in the overall standings, although the gap to the top of the table has now increased from 18 to 40 points. “We’re having a tough time, but we’re going flat out,” said Kirchhöfer. “We have to believe in our abilities, in our strengths. At this stage, it’s important to keep up our morale.”
Points at last: Iron Force Racing chalked up their first points of the season on Sunday. The Porsche 911 GT3 pairing of Lucas Luhr and Marco Holzer, who stepped in again for team boss Jan-Erik Slooten after deputising for him at Zandvoort, finished 14th. “The decision to put Marco in the car was right,” said Slooten. “He has helped us with his experience and his speed.” A decision on who will share the cockpit of the ‘UFO 2.0’ with Luhr at Hockenheim and in the grand finale at the Sachsenring is yet to be made.
Sporting gesture: When Montaplast by Land-Motorsport discovered major damage to the engine of the Audi R8 LMS of Max Hofer and Christopher Mies after Saturday’s race, they decided to perform the engine change overnight at team headquarters in Niederdreisbach. “We had another Audi there and used its engine as the replacement,” said Team Manager Christian Land. “Our thanks go to Timo Bernhard and his crew, who were sporting enough to lend us a trailer for the transport of our number 29. Without this, we would not have been able to move the car.” The repaired Audi was back at the Nürburgring after a night shift, on time for the qualifying session on Sunday morning.
A narrow miss: Audi driver Dennis Marschall put in his strongest performance yet in Saturday’s quali. Not only did the 23-year-old qualify in the Top Ten for the third time in a row, he also beat team-mate and championship leader Patric Niederhauser. But despite finishing the session in P2, the HCB-Rutronik Racing driver was not satisfied: he missed out on a maiden ADAC GT Masters pole position by just 0.002 seconds. “I had not been expecting second place in qualifying,” said Marschall afterwards. “When the crew told me over the radio that I had missed pole by two-thousandths of a second, I thought they were kidding me. I couldn’t believe it was so close. I almost went crazy about it. Because, despite the satisfaction of second place, I had mixed feelings. There is no such thing as a lap you couldn’t have gone a bit faster on. That’s why I found it all the more frustrating. I would have loved to book this pole position.”
Ace from the Alps: Audi driver Max Hofer extended his points lead in the Pirelli Junior classification in the Eifel. The 20-year-old Austrian was the best young driver on Saturday and finished runner-up on Sunday. In the points classification for drivers under the age of 25, Hofer now has a lead of 33 points over his closest pursuer, Montaplast by Land Motorsport team-mate Ricardo Feller.
Trophy ace: In the Pirelli Trophy too, one of the challengers significantly padded out his points cushion at the Nürburgring. In this classification for non-pro drivers, Corvette man Sven Barth (RWT Racing) is now 72.5 points ahead of Remo Lips (Aust Motorsport), the Audi driver who has won the Pirelli Trophy for the past three years in succession. However, because only the twelve best of the 14 Trophy results are totted up at the end of the season, Barth is set to shed points while Lips already has two non-scoring races to discount.
Moonlighting: Marvin Dienst is the first driver to compete in both the ADAC GT Masters and the ADAC GT4 Germany at the Nürburgring, in each case at the wheel of a Mercedes-AMG fielded by Schütz Motorsport. In the Super Sports Car League, he and partner Aidan Read finished in the points on both days. The result in his GT4 guest appearance was even better: after booking pole position on Sunday, he and co-driver Marcus Suabo finished fourth, just shy of a podium.
Busy man: ADAC GT Masters newcomer Maximilian Paul continues to compete in karting in parallel with his Audi R8 LMS duties at T3 Motorsport. “Constantly switching between the two is not a problem for me,” says the 19-year-old ADAC Sports Foundation protégé. “The kart track provides good training for auto racing. Here too, you have to deal with tyre management, and you also sharpen up your speed of reaction. I would say that every kilometre of racing is a big help.” And there is one other aspect that the teenager from Dresden regards as a positive: “In a karting factory team, there is technical development taking place, which I am fully involved in. In this way, I get to appreciate a lot of the technical details.”