ADAC GT Masters: First season-victory for Porsche 911 in second race at Zandvoort.

Written for and published by Prescott Motorsport.
It took a little while before Renauer and Jaminet got their #99 Herberth Motorsport Porsche 911 up to speed after an intense meeting with the guardrail on Friday, but when they did they were unstoppable. They managed to convert their pole in a race win. Keilwitz and Kirchhöfer, leaders in the championship before the weekend, again couldn’t match the speed of the top of the field in their Corvette C7.R, adding to an already disastrous weekend in which they scored zero points
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Jaminet took Pole right before Maxi Buhk in the first of two “yellow Mamba’s” Mercedes AMG, while Klaus Bachler in another 911 was really close behind. The top-3 was within 0.013 (!!!) seconds, the top-7 within 0.117s, just to emphasize how close it gets in this 35 full-blown GT3 cars series. Brit Jamie Green qualified in 6th, while fresh championship leaders Götz and Pommer started from 7th position. Former championship leaders Kirchhöfer and Keilwitz in the Corvette yesterday’s winners Perez-Companc and Mapelli in their Húracan had to come from the back of the field, starting from 19th and 22nd position respectively.
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When the race started, a lap later than planned as the cars didn’t line up to the liking of race control on the first try, Klaus Bachler in the #18 Porsche 911 of Team 75 Bernhard was most awake, immediately getting up on the inside of Maxi Buhk to take 2nd place. Some pushing and pulling a bit further down the field led to the first retirement: Rolf Ineichen suffered a puncture that forced him to park the car in the garage a little later. So, it was Jaminet in the lead in the #99 Porsche 911, followed by Bachler, Maxi Buhk in 3rd and Maximilian Götz in the second yellow and green Mann Filter AMG in 4th. In 5th was Raffaele Marciello in yet another AMG and then no less than eight Audi R8s were behind: the charge from Ingolstadt was led by Frank Stippler in the #33. Daniel Keilwitz in his C7.R won 3 places in the first lap and was up to 16th.
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Numerous fights broke out throughout the field, but it didn’t matter to Mathieu Jaminet in the lead. Comfortably stretching his legs around the track through the dunes, he managed to build a considerable gap of 3,5 seconds over Klaus Bachler in the second 911 in the first 20 minutes.
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After 25 minutes the pit-window opened and Maxi Buhk was the first of the leaders to stop. Local hero Indy Dontje (yes, he was named after the Indy 500) took over the wheel. Jamie Green also brought in his R8 from 8th position. HTP motorsport brought out the #48 Mann Filter AMG only 0.7s over the minimum of 70 seconds. One lap later, the #47 of Maxi Götz was also in to switch seats with Markus Pommer. Pommer managed to stay out in front of his teammate Dontje, virtually now in 3rd. A fierce fight that lasted well over 2 laps followed, but Pommer managed to defend his position from his hard charging teammate. The fight might have cost the two cars though as Patrick Assenheimer, who took over the wheel of yet another AMG GT3 from Raffaele Marciello, managed to get out the pits well before his two bright yellow sister cars.
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2 minutes before the pit window close race-leader Jaminet came in as well. The gap he built over the first part of the race was big enough to make a carefree pitstop and maintain the (virtual) lead with a around a 4 to 5 second gap. Last of the lead group to stop was Klaus Bachler handing the car over to Adrien de Leener, rejoining the track in 2nd position. Order after the stops was now Renauer in the #99 Herberth Porsche 911 in 1st , the #18 Team 75 Bernhard Porsche 911 with de Leener at the wheel in 2nd, followed by the #84 (Assenheimer), #47 (Pommer) and #48 (Dontje) AMG’s in 3rd, 4th and 5th with a whole bunch of R8s on their tails, led now by Ricardo Feller in the #25 BWT Mücke Audi.
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After the pitstop race control brought out the safety car to remove the #19 Lamborghini Húracan of yesterday’s winners Perez-Companc and Mapelli. They had to retire the car on track with a broken left rear suspension. Renauer was hurt most by the safety car, as his lead was now gone and the field was back together again.
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From the restart however he, seemingly without a care in the world, immediately continued building a steady gap: already 1.7s ahead of the field after one lap. Probably helped by the fact that de Leener in the #18 Porsche behind had to look in his mirrors quite often to keep an eye on Assenheimer, who was now practically on his rear wing. The battle was won by the maneuver of the race, made by Patrick Assenheimer in the AutoArena AMG: in the second to last corner he first forced de Leener to defend the inside while keeping the ideal line himself. This gave him the opportunity to cross behind him and take the inside line on the next corner an get to main straight in 2nd position. Renauer in the meantime already managed to built a 4,5 second gap over now Assenheimer in 2nd.
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Different than yesterday, and despite a couple of cars being within a couple of tenths of second from each other, not many positions changed in the last minutes of the race. Only notable fact in the final stages of the race was Sven Barth making exactly the same mistake as yesterday: he torpedoed another car in Tarzan Corner, this time Christopher Zöchling fell victim to Barth’s overtaking trials.
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Robert Renauer managed to cruise to victory quite comfortably, followed at a discreet distance by Patrick Assenheimer in the AMG GT3. De Leener took the last podium spot in his 911. Championship leaders Götz and Pommer came in in 4th, followed by teammates Dontje and Buhk. Ricardo Feller in the #25 BWT Audi was right on their tail. Kirchhöfer and Keilwitz were the first non-German car in 13th.
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After the weekend in the Dunes, the championship looks considerably different: Pommer and Götz are now the new leaders with 105 points, defending an 8 point gap to Jaminet and Renauer. Keilwitz and Kirchhöfer with their disastrous weekend dropped to third, now no less than 19 points behind the leaders. Calderelli and Bortolotti in the Lamborghini Húracan do no better, also scoring a double 0, but maintain their 4th position with 62 points. They are now closely followed by Buhk, Dontje, Salaquarda and Stippler, all with 57 points.
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ADAC GT Masters: Mapelli takes victory on debut.

Written for and published by Prescott Motorsport.
It will be a mix of happiness and sadness in the Grasser Racing Team post-race briefing. The #19 pole sitter managed to maximize result from his grid position, while the second placed #63’s race didn’t last longer than two turns after contact with that very same #19 Lambo. Championship leaders Kirchhöfer and Keilwitz couldn’t get their Corvette C7.R to work on the Dutch track of Zandvoort: an inglorious 17th position was their share.
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It was an all Lamborghini front row at the first race of ADAC GT Masters at Zandvoort, where the #19 GRT Húracan with Perez-Companc and works driver Marco Mapelli secured Pole Position. It was the first time Perez-Companc placed the Lambo in front, and the first Argentinian in the series to do so. The sister-car of Bortolotti and Caldarelli was 2nd on the grid. The 2nd row was locked out by one team as well, as the #29 Montaplast Audi of Jake Dennis and Chris Mies was joined by the #28 of the van der Linde brothers. Championship leaders Keilwitz and Kirchhöfer were only 18th on the grid as they couldn’t get their Corvette C7.R to work on the circuit, simply missing a bit of speed. 2nd in the standing Maxi Bühk and Indy Dontje did a little better in their Mann Filter Mercedes AMG GT3, qualifying in 11th.
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The turmoil right after the rolling start claimed one victim at the first turn, Tarzan Corner: the AMG with Nicolai Sylvest at the wheel lost control after a slight contact at the rear and went straight into the gravel. But drama really struck one corner later, where Perez-Companc in 1st and Bortolotti in 2nd went into the tight corner side-by-side, but only Perez-Companc made it out. The latter, who had a slight advantage going into the corner, was tapped on the right rear by his teammate as he left too little room for both cars; a typical race incident. He consequently spun out and went straight into the tire barrier, race ended. As the tire barrier was close to the track, and there was now an orange-green Lamborghini between the two, the Safety Car was called on track.
Three laps later, the Safety Car came in and the field was loose again. The #19 Lambo was in front, followed by no less than 4 Audi R8’s: two of the Land Motorsport team a Mücke Motorsport car and a Phoenix Racing R8. In sixt was the first and only Ferrari 488 shadowed by the #17 Team 75 Bernard Porsches with Timo Bernhard himself at the wheel. The Schnitzer M6 GT3 was in 8th, both Mann Filter AMG’s in 9th and 10th. Maxi Buhk and Indy Dontje were set to overtake the lead in the championship, as the Callaway Corvette of Kirchhöfer and Keilwitz were still outside the points.
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It only lasted one corner before disaster struck again as the #42 M6 with Mikkel Jensen at the wheel managed to make contact with two cars in one corner: first he drove into the rear of the Ferrari 488 and next he forced the #17 911 to take an off road excursion through the gravel. The Ferrari could rejoin, though in last position, the 911 made it back to the pits but had to retire the car there.
After 25 minutes the pit-window opened and the top-3, the GRT Lamborhini of Perez-Companc and the Land Audi’s of Dennis and Sheldon van der Linde had a 5 second gap to the other two Audi’s, the M6 of Jensen and local hero Indy Dontje in his #48 AMG who caught up to the rear of Jensen.
First of the leaders to come into the pits were Perez-Companc, handing the wheel over to Marco Mapelli, and Sheldon van der Linde giving his seat to his brother Kelvin. The is a minimum pit stop duration in ADAC GT of 70 seconds, and it’s all about timing it to perfection to loose as little time as possible. Best job was done by the Grasser Racing Team, getting the Lambo back on track after 70.3 seconds, while it took the Land Motorsport Team half a second more.
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Jake Dennis, now in the lead, chose to drive on an extra lap trying to profit from the fact he had no traffic in front of him. His tactic didn’t meet it’s goal as he came out in 3rd again, not helped by the fact it took the team 71.9 seconds to get the car back on track.
After the pit-window-close, the field was still lead by the #19 Lambo of Mapelli, followed by the two Land Motorsport Audi’s who switched position (the ‘van der Linde’-car now in 2nd), the other Audi’s of the Phoenix and Mücke teams, but now the two Mann Filter AMG’s who both managed to overtake the M6 of with now Timo Scheider at the wheel in the pits. The top-3 had a 15 second lead over the second group.
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Some twenty minutes before the end of the race, things really started to heat up in the second group. Winkelhock put the pressure on Ellis, while Götz also started to crawl into the gearbox of his teammate Buhk. In the meantime, Rolf Ineichen in his Húracan and Mathieu Jaminet in the 911 also joined the party.
The first move was made by Markus Winkelhock, who, with some pulling and pushing managed to get by Ellis at Tarzan Corner. Winkelhock immediately pulled a gap to his brand colleague, and Maxi Buhk was planning on letting the Audi get away. He made a move a little early and it ended in tears. As there was only a very small gap, which Ellis rightfully closed, he lost control of his AMG and made a one-eighty spin, facing the wrong way after the car came to a halt. He finally rejoined in 28th position.
The train behind Ellis, who was missing a little speed in this phase of the race, slowly started to grow. Behind him was now Marcus Pommer in the only remaining Mann Filter AMG in 6th, followed by Timo Scheider in the M6, the Lambo of Ineichen, Dries Vanthoor who caught up in his R8 in 9th, with Christopher Haase in another R8 and the #99 Porsche 911 of Jaminet right behind. Pommer, 2nd in the championship standings together with Maxi Götz, had a good chance of overtaking the lead in the championship, as Kirchhöfer/Keilwitz were only in 17th.
With 12 minutes to go, Vanthoor was the first to make another move in Tarzan Corner. Ineichen managed to counter which ended in some lawn mowing activity for Vanthoor. He rejoined the track right after the green Lamborghini. One lap later his move in the Hans Ernst-corner, the only chicane on track, did end in success; he was now in 8th. Next up was the M6 of veteran Timo Scheider. Vanthoor didn’t waste any time; one and a half lap later he maneuvered his R8 to the rear of the M6 in the first corner and with a little kiss on its rear bumper took 7th. Ineichen managed to follow half a lap later, setting Scheider back to 9th. At the same time, in the same corner, Jaminet managed to pass Haase for 10th.
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The excitement in the second group almost made us forget about the fact that in the meantime Kelvin van der Linde closed the gap to Mapelli in front to only 6 tenths of a second, with under three minutes to go. Also, Dries Vanthoor who was already well away of the Lambo of Ineichen and caught up to the Mercedes of Götz, was penalized for pushing the M6 of Scheider a couple of laps before. He had to give the position back, basically a 5 second time penalty.
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The last two laps Kelvin van der Linde tried, but did not succeed in passing the #19 Lambo with Mapelli at the wheel. This gave the debutant a victory in his first race, just like his co-driver Perez-Companc. Chris Mies came in third, Winkelhock 4th, Ellis managed to keep Götz behind and finished 5th. Vanthoor waited to the very last moment, last corner, to give position back to Timo Scheider while trying to not loose any more to the cars right behind. He succeeded, finishing in 8th, Ineichen and Jaminet completed
the top 10.
The sixth place of Pommer and Götz gave them the lead in the standings, as Kirchhöfer/Keilwitz finished only 17th. They now have a 7 points lead. Renauer and Jaminet who scored one point with their 10th position, follow 12 points behind Kirchhöfer and Keilwitz.
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For full results click here.
For championship standings click here.

Reigning champ René Rast secures first season win at Zandvoort.

This article was written for and published by Prescott Motorsport

Where a safety car stood in the way of a good result in the DTM race on Saturday, nothing could stop the reigning DTM-champion René Rast in his Audi RS5 from taking the chequered flag in the second DTM race on Sunday. He grabbed not only his first victory of the season, but also Audi’s first win of the year.

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Sunday qualifying led us to believe that the second race of the weekend could play out the same way as the first. Gary Paffett managed to score his second Pole of the weekend and with an even greater gap: he was 0.4 seconds clear of the rest of the field. However, behind him he was now not backed by a couple of his Mercedes-teammates; Philipp Eng had put his BMW M4 on first row, before René Rast in his Audi RS5.

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Paffett managed to bank on his Pole Position, taking the lead after the start. Philipp Eng in his BMW M4 didn’t manage to pass Paffett in Tarzan Corner and followed closely in P2 with Rast on his tail.

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Rast, possibly strengthened by the believe that his race pace could certainly match that off Paffett and knowing overtaking is difficult at the Zandvoort track, went for a very aggressive strategy. Opposite to race 1, he now tried the ‘undercut’ and made his pitstop as early as lap 5. Being able to run with a clear track ahead of him and on new tires, he managed to come out just in front of Paffett when he made his stop in lap 13.

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A safety car period followed after a spin of Canadian Bruno Spengler in Tarzan Corner, who got pushed off by Jamie Green. The field was again close together. Where it was thought that Gary Paffett and brand-colleague Paul DiResta, now in 3rd, might be able to take the fight to the Audi RS5 in front with their newer tires, Rast proved he was in total control of the race and drove to victory.

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Championship leader Paffett added another 21 points to his total again, now leading the championship with 148 points, 27 more Paul Di Resta who came in third with 121 points. Winner Rast more than doubled his points balance to 49 and is now 9th in the championship.

After a great performance on Saturday, the race on Sunday was one to quickly forget for local hero Robin Frijns. Already in free practice his Audi suffered from electrical issues, which also kept him from doing more than one run in qualifying. As a result he didn’t managed to leave the last row on the grid: an 18th position was his share. In the race the electrical issue forced him to retire in lap 10.

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A slightly better performance than yesterday for BMW. After Philipp Eng put his car on the first row in qualifying, he was long in a place where he could challenge for a podium finish. In the end he was just beaten by Di Resta. Augusto Farfus followed closely in 5th to secure a second top 10 finish for the Bavarian brand.

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Gary Paffett wins Mercedes-dominated first race in Zandvoort.

This article was written for and published by Prescott Motorsport.

Where the English football team couldn’t bring sportive success, it had to come from somewhere else for the English. And it did: Gary Paffett won the first race through the Dutch Dunes in Zandvoort in a race that was dominated by Mercedes. The first non-Mercedes was found on 5th place, which ‘lokalmatador’ Robin Frijns secured in his Audi RS5.

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Paffett lay the foundation for his 23rd career win (in 174 races) already in quali where he snatched Pole Position before Pascal Wehrlein by 6 hundreds of a second. Wehrlein however was not amused, saying Paffett blocked him in his fast lap.

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In the opening stages of the race, where Paffett took the lead from the start before Wehrlein, DiResta and Auer, pressure mostly came from his teammates. However, the hardest fight this race remarkably was put up by Audi driver, and reigning champion, René Rast, who was only ninth on the grid. Trying to make his pitstop as late as possible, the Audi-driver showed incredible pace with no traffic ahead as all the others made their pitstop quite early.

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Building a considerable gap, Rast was working towards a lead that could’ve granted him at least a very good finish, maybe even his first win of the season. But all was lost when team-colleague Nico Müller buried the nose of his RS5 deep in the tire barrier of the quick second turn, causing a safety car period. Rast still had to make his pitstop while the Mercedes quartet behind him, and the rest of the field, already did. After his pitstop, Rast rejoined in last position.

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This left Paffett on top of the field again with only a short distance to go. He took the well-deserved win with a 1.4 second lead over Scotsman Paul DiResta. Austrian Lucas Auer took the final podium spot.

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Paffett, already the leader in the championship, extended his lead by scoring 28 points today (in DTM, 3 points are awarded for Pole Position) to a total of 127. DiResta comes second with 106.

Local hero Robin Frijns drove a strong race starting from 7th and finishing 5th . After a difficult start of the season, the rookie Frijns, having considerable mileage under his belt on the Dutch track, was the best Audi and best non-Mercedes in the race.

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BMW had a bad day at Zandvoort: best placed Bavarian car was the bright yellow M4 of Timo Glock in 6th place. He was followed by three of his team-colleagues: Wittmann, Farfus and Eriksson completing the top 10. The BMWs did not play a role in the fight for the top spots.

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