Montaplast by Land-Motorsport are celebrating an amazing debut season in the ADAC GT Masters after winning the team title at their first attempt. The Audi team from Niederdreisbach in Rheinland-Pfalz claimed two other trophies along the way, with victories in the drivers’ championship for Connor De Phillippi (23, USA) and Christopher Mies (27, DEU) as well as in the newly instituted Junior class, also won by De Phillippi. “What a magnificent season!” said team boss Wolfgang Land. “Thanks to our sponsors, to Audi, to the ADAC and to every member of our team.”
Over the past twenty years, the Land Motorsport team founded by Wolfgang Land, established its reputation mainly as a Porsche specialist. The team recorded its greatest successes in the Porsche Carrera Cup with Wolfgang Land as lead driver. He won the title in the 1993 and 1997 seasons and still ranks as the contestant with the most race wins. They have also had success in the VLN Endurance Championship and in other long-distance races at the Nürburgring, at Spa and in Dubai. From 2012 onwards, Land not only raced Porsche models but also the Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG GT3. The year 2016 marked a major break in tradition, with a switchover to the second generation of the Audi R8.
The team registered for the ADAC GT Masters under the nom de guerre of Montaplast by Land-Motorsport. They were one of five newcomer outfits preparing to contest their first full season in the Super Sports Car League. “This is a challenge that we find highly motivating,” said Wolfgang Land ahead of the season opener. “We were convinced that we had driver pairings that would be competitive in both the ADAC GT Masters championship itself and in the Junior classification.” Sharing the cockpit of the R8 with the number 28 on its bonnet were series newcomer Connor De Phillippi and sports car veteran Christopher Mies. The sister vehicle – car number 29 – was initially driven by Marc Basseng (37, DEU) and Peter Hoevenaars (21, NL), but various substitutes were brought in at later stages of the season, including Frédéric Vervisch (30, B), Christopher Haase (28, DEU) and Stéphane Ortelli (46, MC).
As early as the first race weekend, it became apparent that De Phillippi and Mies might well vindicate Wolfgang Land’s convictions. With three P2 finishes in a row, the American-German duo took over at the top of the championship table. On the third weekend of the campaign at the Lausitzring, Land also moved up to number one in the team standings, thanks in no small measure to a strong performance by the second of the two Audi R8s. Montaplast by Land-Motorsport then went through a lean spell at the start of the second half of the season from which they emerged all the stronger. Indeed, De Phillippi and Mies claimed their first outright win of the season at the Nürburgring. Going into the grand finale at Hockenheim, Land not only led the driver and team championships but also – thanks to De Phillippi – the Junior standings for drivers under 25 years of age. With second place on Saturday and a P8 finish on Sunday, Land converted all three match points.
“We are obviously very pleased with our first season in the ADAC GT Maters,” said Wolfgang Land. “My thanks go to our sponsors, to Audi who have always given us such great support, to our fantastic drivers, to our engineers and mechanics who have worked around the clock to improve the car, and to the organisers of the ADAC GT Masters. This is simply a superb race series. Consequently, we have already made the decision to enter for next year’s championship and to do the best we can to defend our title.”
Source. ADAC GT Masters