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.

21:9 Wallpapers

I find it pretty hard to find some good wallpapers for my 21:9 screen… So, I decided to share mine with you! Feel free to download!

First pics: 24 hours of Le Mans!

I’m currently very busy editing the shots from last weekends 24 Heures du Mans. Here’s a small preview already!

Note that this time, unfortunately, everything was shot from public areas!

2018 FIA WEC – 6 hours of Spa: Race Report

The inaugural event of the 2018/2019 WEC Superseason in the Belgian Ardennes didn’t go unnoticed on many levels… Huge shunts, huge names and great fights characterized the race, although the fight for the win never really put you on the edge of your seat.

Start of the 2018 FIA WEC 6h of Spa and thereby the 2018/2019 SuperSeason!
Start of the 2018 FIA WEC 6h of Spa and thereby the 2018/2019 SuperSeason!

LMP1

The LMP1 category was at least as exciting besides the track than on it. It all started with the first laps of F1 superstar Fernando Alonso in the Toyota LMP1. Next, the first shocker of the weekend was that the CEFC TRSM Ginetta team (the former Manor Racing squad) pulled his two brand new Ginetta G60s from the race after sponsor TRSs funds didn’t arrive on time.

In Friday’s qualifying there was the terrible crash of Pietro Fittipaldi in Raidillon, from which he suffered two broken legs and other injuries. Luckily, specialists expect he will fully recover. The no. 7 Toyota with Mike Conway behind the wheel, took pole before the no. 8 sistercar. However, after the session the no. 7 was penalised due to an incorrect declaration of the fuel flow meter (rumours where that Toyota listed all their fuel flow meters on the same serial number). So, the no. 8 Alonso, Buémi and Nakajima at the wheel could start the race from pole, the no. 7 had to start from pit lane.

Although it could be more or less predicted, the race was slightly disappointing. The Toyota no. 8 took off right after the start, as the no. 7 had to start a lap down only followed by the privateer entries from Rebellion, SMP and ByKolles (in that order). There was no way however they could keep up with the Hybrids. Mid-race an interesting fight between the two Rebellions and the no. 17 SMP racing car developed that lasted several laps. The skirmish was then brutally ended by an incredible crash of the SMP car with by then Isaakyan at the wheel (check the movie here). At the end of the race the no. 7 Toyota had caught up with Alonso in the no. 8 car, but he controlled the race until the end to take the victory.

Post-race, the 3rd placed Rebellion no. 1 car of André Lotterer, Bruno Senna and Neel Jani got disqualified because of the skid-block under the car being to worn down (18.8mm instead of the allowed 20mm). The no. 3 Rebellion inherited the 3rd place.

#8 Toyota Gazoo Racing TS050 - Hybrid - Sébastien BUEMI \ Fernando ALONSO \ Kazuki NAKAJIMA
#8 Toyota Gazoo Racing TS050 – Hybrid – Sébastien BUEMI Fernando ALONSO Kazuki NAKAJIMA

LMP2

In the first stages of the race, Giedo van der Garde in the no. 29 Racing Team Nederland quickly ploughed through the field from his 7th starting position to take the lead in LMP2. Unfortunately, electrical issues led to an early and lengthy pitstop that costed the car too much time to score a good result. The race was then controlled by the no. 26 G-Drive racing Oreca 07, driven by Roman Rusinov, Andrea Pizzitola and Jean Eric Vergne. Their victory never really was in danger, in the end they had a 20 second gap to the no. 38 Jackie Chan DC Racing Oreca. The 3rd placed no. 36 Alpine entry was over 55 seconds behind the winner.

#26 G-Drive Racing Oreca 07 - Roman RUSINOV \ Andrea PIZZITOLA \ Jean Eric VERGNE
#26 G-Drive Racing Oreca 07 – Roman RUSINOV Andrea PIZZITOLA Jean Eric VERGNE

GT Pro

Most interesting fight of the race was between the Porsches and by then lone Ford GT after a huge crash of Harry Tincknell at Raidillon. The no. 66 with Pla at the wheel managed to undo the advantage taken by Lietz in the no. 92 Porsche at the last round of pit stops. He was able to get a better run out of La Source heading for Eau Rouge and use the acceleration of the Ford to pass Lietz. He was then also passed by the sister car driven by Christensen at that moment, and in the second-to-last lap even fell of the podium, being past by the no. 71 Ferrari of Sam Bird and Davide Rigon.

New cars Aston Martin and BMW couldn’t fight for the podium spots yet, BMW having the upper hand over the Brits finishing 5th, the Astons coming in on place 6 and 7.

#66 Ford Chip Ganassi Team UK Ford GT - Stefan MÜCKE \ Olivier PLA \ Billy JOHNSON
#66 Ford Chip Ganassi Team UK Ford GT – Stefan MÜCKE Olivier PLA Billy JOHNSON
#67 Ford Chip Ganassi Team UK Ford GT - Andy PRIAULX \ Harry TINCKNELL \ Tony KANAAN
Harry Tincknell got out of his wreck himself, mostly unharmed.

GT Am

In GT Am the year-old Aston Martin Vantage showed great race-pace. Both the factory entry and the TF Sport car battled for victory until the last lap, with an advantage of more than a lap on the 3rd placed Clearwater Ferrari 488 which ran clear of technical issues all race long. It was AMR’s Pedro Lamy who managed to stay in front of TF Sport’s Euan Hankey in the last lap, only 0.221s between them at race-end.

Where during the Prologue at Le Castellet it was feared that the Porsches had somewhat of an advantage, being able to even do battle with the GT Pro cars, this was not the case in Spa. Running into several problems, none of the entries from Stuttgart could challenge the win after the first stages of the race.

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#98 Aston Martin Racing Vantage – Pedro LAMY  Mathias LAUDA  Paul DALLA LANA

2018 FIA WEC – 6 hours of Spa gallery online!

Took me a while, but the photo’s of the 6 hours of Spa are now online! Find them here or in the “Events”-section.

High quality images are now available on my Flickr-page here!

Wanna stay up-to-date? Follow me on Instagram or Facebook

Part II of the 2018 FIA WEC Prologue @ Circuit Paul Ricard now online!

I’ve added pt. II of the 2018 FIA WEC – Prologue @ Circuit Paul Ricard. Find them here or in the “Events” section!

High quality images will (very) soon be uploaded to my Flickr-page here!

Wanna stay up-to-date? Follow me on Instagram or Facebook.

Coming soon… FIA WEC – Prologue 2018 gallery

I’m currently working hard to get te first gallery of the FIA WEC Prologue 2018 at Circuit Paul Ricard up on the site. Here’s already a small sneak peek…

Starting Friday: FIA WEC Prologue action from Paul Ricard!

Not long now until the new FIA WEC Superseason kicks off with the Prologue at Paul Ricard: Friday the 6th, at 10 o’clock the light goes green. It will be the first time contenders of the 2018/2019 Superseason, which reaches its climax during the 2019 24hrs of Le Mans, cross swords with each other in their new cars!

LMP1

In LMP1 Toyota is the only remaining factory-team fielding two LMP1-hybrids. Their updated TS050 hybrid is challenged by no less than four other chassis from different privateer teams: Rebellion with their R13, SMP racing and Dragonspeed with their BR1-chassis, CEFC with the Ginetta P1 and of course ByKolles with their CLM P1/01 chassis. Can the privateer teams challenge the Toyota?

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The new Toyota TS050. Photo copyright: Toyota Motorsport GmbH

LMP2

Two new contestants in the LMP2 category where Larbre steps up from GT Am (with their amazing Chevrolet C7) to the LMP2 with a Ligier JSP217, and Racing Team Nederland makes the jump from ELMS to the World Championship with their Dallara  P217. It will be interesting to see how the newcomers compare to the more experienced teams of TDS, Dragonspeed, Jackie Chan DC and Signatech Alpine and their Oreca chassis.

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TDS Racing livery for the 2018 / 2019 superseason. Copyright: TDS Racing / Gaazmaster

GT Pro

Many new cars in the GT Pro category with of course eyecatcher BMW with their brandnew M8 GTE. The car already made an appearance in the IMSA races at Daytona and Sebring, with encouraging results (Pole at the 12hrs of Sebring…), but how will it perform against the also brandnew Aston Martin Vantage, the new Ferrari 488 GTE, the Porsche 911 and the Ford GT in the WEC-field?

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The BMW M8 GTE. Copyright: BMW Motorsport GmbH

GT Am

In GT Am three new teams make their debut this superseason: Project 1 Racing, which earned his laurels in the Porsche Supercup, fields a Porsche 911 RSR, MR Racing with their Ferrari 488 GTE and TF Sport, well known in the British GT scene with their Aston Martin Vantage GTE.

#90 TF Sport Aston Martin Vantage GTE | Salih Yoluc / Euan Hankley / Rob Bell
#90 TF Sport Aston Martin Vantage GTE | Salih Yoluc / Euan Hankley / Rob Bell