In the course of the official pre-season tests at the Motorsport Arena in Oschersleben near Magdeburg, the ADAC GT Masters revealed the field of contestants for the 2017 season. There will be no fewer than 32 super sports cars sporting seven different brand emblems on their grilles, eight former champions and a mix of high-calibre newcomers and established teams. The opening fixture of the 2017 campaign will be hosted by Motorsport Arena Oschersleben on the weekend of 28th to 30th April.
Eighteen teams, super sports cars from seven different manufacturers and eight former or reigning champions – these are the key statistics for the eleventh season of the series which gets underway at the end of this month with its 150th race fixture. “The ADAC GT Masters is continuing to develop from an already very high base,” says ADAC Sport President Hermann Tomczyk. “We welcome various high-calibre new teams and drivers this year. As a result, we are once again underscoring our reputation as one of the most important GT racing series in Europe.”
“I am confident that we are once again going to see exciting motorsport in the ADAC GT Masters,” says Thomas Voss, ADAC Director Motorsport and Classic. “The field is finely balanced. We are very pleased that, in kfzteile24, CAMP DAVID, Eibach and TWIN BUSCH Germany, we have acquired four prestigious companies as new partners to the ADAC GT Masters.”
Eight former champions on the grid
Eight ADAC GT Masters champions are aiming to either defend or regain the title in 2017. Reigning champions Christopher Mies (27, GER) and Connor De Phillippi (24, USA), Christopher Haase (29, GER, all Montaplast by Land Motorsport) and Kelvin van der Linde (20, ZA, Aust Motorsport) will be driving Audi R8s. Former champions Sebastian Asch (30, GER, BWT Mücke Motorsport), Luca Ludwig (28, GER, Mercedes-AMG Team Zakspeed) and DTM returnee Maximilian Götz (33, GER, Mercedes-AMG Team HTP) will be competing in Mercedes AMGs. Daniel Keilwitz (27, GER, Callaway Competition) will, as usual, be driving a Corvette.
And there are yet other well-known names on the ADAC GT Masters starters’ sheet. Ex Formula 1 driver Markus Winkelhock (36, GER) lines up for Mücke Motorsport alongside sports car expert Stefan Mücke (36, GER) and – on certain weekends – DTM regular Lucas Auer (22, AUT). As in 2016, there will be two female drivers on the grid – Mikaela Åhlin-Kottulinsky (24, S) and Rahel Frey (31, CH)
Super sports cars from seven manufacturers vying for honours
The grid is led off by last-year’s championship winners Montaplast by Land-Motorsport, who are once again entering two Audi R8s. There are no fewer than six teams who have tied their fortunes to the R8, including Aust Motorsport and YACO Racing plus newcomers Audi Sport racing academy, Twin Busch and Mücke Motorsport.
Three teams have opted for the Mercedes-AMG GT: BWT Mücke Motorsport from Berlin Mercedes-AMG Team Zakspeed and Mercedes-AMG Team HTP.
After their strong debut season in 2016, KÜS Team75 Bernhard led by World Sports Car Championship winner Timo Bernhard and his father Rüdiger will be entering not one but two Porsche 911s this time around. Two other teams will be fielding one 911 each: bigFM Racing Team Schütz Motorsport and Precote Herberth Motorsport.
The Lamborghini Huracán is favoured by three teams: HB Racing WDS Bau and GRT Grasser Racing Team from Austria as well as ADAC NSA/Attempto Racing. Callaway Racing are once again counting on their own in-house GT3 racing version of the Corvette C7, while RWT Racing have also committed themselves to the new Corvette for the first time. MRS GT-Racing continue as the only team to place their faith in the Nissan GT-R. Schnitzer Motorsport have now moved out of the DTM and have nailed their colours to the BMW mast with an M6 GT3.
Fans attending the ADAC GT Masters race weekends will have the pleasure of enjoying action from a number of support series: ADAC Formula 4 and ADAC TCR Germany also feature on the programme at six of the seven events. Other attractive guest series are the Spezial Tourenwagen Trophy (Special Touring Car Trophy), the Porsche Carrera Cup and the Renault Clio Cup.
2017 ADAC GT Masters Calendar
28/04/17 – 30/04/17 Motorsport Arena Oschersleben
19/05/17 – 21/05/17 Lausitzring (with DTM)
09/06/17 – 11/06/17 Red Bull Ring, Austria
21/07/17 – 23/07/17 Circuit Park Zandvoort, Netherlands
04/08/17 – 06/08/17 Nürburgring
15/09/17 – 17/09/17 Sachsenring
22/09/17 – 24/09/17 Hockenheimring Baden-Württemberg
Source. ADAC GT Masters/Photo. ADAC Motorsport