Sebastian Asch: Intends to attack again in 2019 Photo: ADAC GT Masters
Sebastian Asch: Intends to attack again in 2019 Photo: ADAC GT Masters

Sebastian Asch: Intends to fight for title in 2019

Two-time title winner aiming to get back on track

Sebastian Asch reviews his season in the ADAC GT Masters and looks ahead to 2019.

After a year with BWT Mücke Motorsport, Asch returned to Zakspeed BKK Mobil Oil Racing for the start of the season, to the team, with whom he had raced for the two previous seasons, winning his second ADAC GT Masters title with them in 2015. He started the season with high expectations - but the year did not go as planned. He and team-mate Luca Stolz took P4 in the season opener at Oschersleben and in the fourth round at the Nürburgring, missing the podium by a whisker. Those were their two best results of the season. "We don't actually belong where we finished. I aim to win. Nothing else really matters," said Asch, summing up his feelings.

Results in qualifying were the main reason for their poor season. "That was our undoing this year," said Asch. While in practice, Asch and Stolz often finished in the Top Five, they usually never managed to progress beyond the middle of the field in qualifying, which then impacted negatively on the race. "If you're not in the Top Ten on the grid, you don't really have much chance of scoring big on points, unless other drivers make mistakes, as there's such a huge concentration of power in the field with some 20 cars capable of winning. We often found that we couldn't get fresh tyres to work properly straightaway. The team tried a lot of things, but we never did find a real solution, which then served to put us way down the starting grid countless times."

With his nine years of racing in the ADAC GT Masters, Asch has considerably more experience than the other drivers at Zakspeed and so, acted as mentor to Kim-Luis Schramm and Nicolai Sylvest, the juniors in the second Mercedes-AMG GT3. He was only too pleased to help them even though they had their own coach: "We drivers all had a good relationship with one another. There was no rivalry. I liked helping them. They both had moments where they were very strong - especially at the Sachsenring. "

32-year-old Asch is already making plans for 2019 when he intends to fight for the title again: "There's only any sense in trying if I think I can win the championship with my team, as I aim to finish on the top rung of the podium again at long last."

He has lined up a record number of times in the Super Sports Car League and will reach a special milestone in next year's season opener at Oschersleben when he contests his 150th race in the series. "That's quite a big number," says Asch. "The series has progressed extremely well over the years and has become much more interesting. The line-up has gradually become stronger. There's also a huge variety of brands that have very different designs - from front to rear engine models with flat six engines, turbo engines and non turbo V10s. The standard is now so high that you could be a top title contender one year and not even be in the Top Ten the following season. You can't be a front-runner year in year out. You have to work hard to improve and come back stronger from the difficult years. For me, the ADAC GT Masters is probably the strongest GT3 series ever, so it's really great to have been part of it for so long!"

2019 Season