The 2017 ADAC GT Masters is about to enter its most intense phase. With four races to be contested within one week- two at the Sachsenring (15th - 17th September) and two at Hockenheim (22nd - 24th September) - Corvette driver Jules Gounon (22, FRA, Callaway Competition) leads the championship table on 38 points. There are another 100 points still to be awarded. Who do the experts think will secure the title in the end? SPORT1 will be showing the Saturday and Sunday races at the Sachsenring live and in full length. Coverage starts at 1pm CEST. Fans can also watch them online as a live stream at www.sport1.de, www.adac.de/motorsport and via www.youtube.com/adac.
René Rast (Audi DTM driver and 2014 ADAC GT Masters champion): "I'm keeping my fingers crossed for Kelvin van der Linde and Markus Pommer. Kelvin has become a close friend during the course of the many races that we have contested together. It's going to be difficult, but they still have a good mathematical chance. A lot can still happen. For example, if Jules Gounon were to finish outside the points twice in succession, that would really shake things up."
Peter Mücke (Team Principal at BWT Mücke Motorsport): "My money is on the Corvette. It's a car that is fast on any track, and that is the key to success. Providing nothing unforeseen happens, the title is heading Jules Gounon's way."
Timo Bernhard (two-time Le Mans winner and team boss at KÜS Team75 Bernhard): "I'm obviously hopeful that our KÜS Team75 Bernhard with Michael Ammermüller and Mathieu Jaminet can still have a word to say in the final destination of the title, and we are working hard to ensure that. Recently, however, the Corvette has been totally dominant and has built up a massive points lead."
Maximilian Götz (2012 ADAC GT Masters champion): "Jules Gounon is in a very favourable position. He doesn't have to go all out at the Sachsenring and at Hockenheim to get himself in a leading position. Instead, he can afford to hang back and steadily accumulate points. It's not going to be easy for the other drivers to catch him."
Maxime Martin (BMW DTM driver and winner of five previous ADAC GT Masters races): "Despite the fact that Jules Gounon has a big lead, Philipp Eng, who is just below him in the table, is also well placed. He is capable of anything. I feel sure he'll give it everything he's got, and I hope he wins the title. In BMW Schnitzer, he has a great team behind him, and in Nicky Catsburg, he has a very experienced co-driver. He definitely has a package that is good for race wins."
Sarah Winkhaus (SPORT1 presenter): "Sure, Gounon may currently be the favourite, but the ADAC GT Masters is never short on surprises. With the points standing at 127 for Gounon and 89 for his closest pursuer, Eng, nothing has yet been decided. Collisions on track or breakdowns could still bring about a change in fortunes. With four races still to go, I wouldn't write Eng off yet."
Klaus Ludwig (two-time DRM and three-time DTM champion): "Nothing has been decided yet, but I would put my money on Gounon right now. Why? Because he does a good job, and because the Corvette goes like a bomb. It's fast on the straights and can still tolerate being loaded up with extra ballast. It has shown that it's capable of competing at the front on every track so far. And the team is also doing a great job."
Christopher Haase (2007 ADAC GT Masters Champion): "When you look at the points gap he has opened up, you have to go for Jules Gounon. What's more, his team - Callaway Competition - consistently does a good job."
Christian Abt (2009 ADAC GT Masters champion): "Even though he's behind by a massive 46 points, I'm still hoping Kelvin van der Linde can do it. I know him well, and as we've all seen before, everything is possible in motor racing until the last chequered flag has been waved. Kelvin has already won the ADAC GT Masters once. He was only 18 years old at the time and driving for my team. It would be great if he did it again this year. I wish him and his team-mate Markus Pommer the best of luck."