First-time winner: Denmark’s Nicolai Sylvest, who shares the cockpit of the BMW M6 GT3 fielded by MRS GT-Racing with partner Jens Klingmann, registered a maiden victory in the Super Sports Car League on Saturday.
Happy hunting ground: MRS GT-Racing seem to have an affinity with the Red Bull Ring. In 2011, Carsten Molitor’s Lonsee-based outfit came away from their ADAC GT Masters debut on the Alpine circuit with a win. It also happened to be the first time that the Spielberg track had hosted the Super Sports Car League. In 2012, Philipp Eng secured them their first pole position at the venue. Since then, however, they have experienced a long lean spell. This came to an end on Saturday morning when Nicolai Sylvest booked the team’s second ever pole position – unsurprisingly at the Red Bull Ring again. In the afternoon, the Dane and co-driver Klingmann converted P1 on the grid into a first ADAC GT Masters victory for MRS GT-Racing in eight years.
Impressive consistency: Patric Niederhauser and Kelvin van der Linde lead the drivers’ championship as the ADAC GT Masters goes into its two-month summer break. The HCB-Rutronik Racing duo have so far impressed by virtue of their consistent podium and near-podium finishes. In the six races so far contested, Niederhauser and van der Linde have always finished in the Top Four, including one victory and two other podiums. “The results have completely exceeded our expectations,” says Niederhauser. “I knew from the beginning that it might be a good year, but I couldn’t have conceived that things would go quite so well. We’ve had no bad luck so far, and everything has consistently worked out for us.”
Hot in pursuit: Callaway Corvette drivers Markus Pommer and Marvin Kirchhöfer trail the current championship leaders by ten points. Although they already have three wins to their account this season (i.e. half the races contested), there was also one occasion when they scored zero points. Kirchhöfer thinks they will have to dig deep in the next few races: “There are some tracks coming up that are not so good for us. We will be using this lengthy break to prepare for the challenges ahead.”
Racking up the points: After finishing third and eighth in Austria, the RWT Racing duo of Sven Barth and David Jahn are the only driver pairing apart from the current championship leaders to have scored points in all six races. The reward for their consistency is third place in the table. Barth also leads the Pirelli Trophy classification.
Visit from an old friend: Former ADAC GT Masters driver Daniel Dobitsch called in at the Red Bull Ring. Dobitsch, who now runs a hotel in South Tyrol, competed in the ADAC GT Masters from 2011 to 2016, winning a race at the Nürburgring in 2015.
Promising start: The British 19-year-old, William Tregurtha, made his debut at Spielberg as the new team-mate of Maximilian Paul at T3 Motorsport and surprised everyone by qualifying a creditable 13th. For much of his race stint, he was on course for a points finish but ultimately had to settle for 19th. “It was really fun,” said the GT4 newcomer. “There are so many big names in this field, and we were in reach of the Top Ten. Unfortunately, our pit stop was a bit too short and we got a drive-through penalty, which cost us some positions.” Stefan Jugel, managing director of T3 Motorsport, was satisfied with the youngster’s debut: “First of all, let me say how very happy we are with Will. He showed class on his very first outing. The mistake at the stop in Race 1 was a pity, but it doesn’t alter the fact that we have put in our best performance to date here.”
Podium at last: Mercedes-AMG drivers Maximilian Götz and Indy Dontje had to wait six races this season before achieving their first podium finish. The Mann-Filter Team HTP pairing, considered by many to be title contenders, took second place on Sunday. “This second place is the reward for a very good overall performance by the whole team,” said Team Principal Norbert Brückner. “We were fully competitive here in terms of straight-line speed. The championship is still wide open – we haven’t even reached the halfway point yet.”
Long night: The HB Racing mechanics had to work overtime ahead of their home race. After the Ferrari 488 GT3 of the Austrian racing team sustained major damaged in a race at the Circuit Paul Ricard, they were obliged to put in several night shifts to complete the repairs. “The team worked on the car until five in the morning on Thursday,” said Sebastian Asch. “Among other things, the entire front of the car had to be replaced.”