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VICTORY FOR BMW TEAM SCHNITZER IN 150th ADAC GT MASTERS RACE

Six different manufacturers claim the first six positions at Motorsport Arena, as a BMW takes the chequered flag ahead of a Corvette, a Porsche, a Lamborghini, an Audi and a Mercedes-AMG. What a way to finish the 150th race in the Super Sports Car League! The victory went to a brilliant performance from Ricky Collard (20, GB) and Philipp Eng (27, AUT, both BMW Team Schnitzer) in a BMW M6 GT3. In second place were Jules Gounon (22, FRA) and Daniel Keilwitz (27, DEU both Callaway Competition) ahead of Robert Renauer (32, DEU) and Sven Müller (25, DEU, both Precote Herberth Motorsport) in third. “The weekend went like a dream,” said BMW junior Collard, who also came top of the Junior classification. “My first race weekend in the ADAC GT Masters, and already a first victory. I would never have expected that.”

Key facts, Motorsport Arena Oschersleben, Round 2 of 14

Circuit length: 3,696 metres
Weather: 16°C, sunny
Pole Position: Philipp Eng (BMW Team Schnitzer, BMW M6 GT3), 1:25.322 mins
Winner: Philipp Eng and Ricky Collard (BMW Team Schnitzer, BMW M6 GT3)
Fastest lap: Philipp Eng (BMW Team Schnitzer, BMW M6 GT3), 1:26.850 mins

Eng dominates first stint of race

Pole-sitter Eng turned up the heat at the start, taking the first corner of the Motorsport Arena Oschersleben in the lead. The Austrian continued to extend the gap on the pursuing Müller in a Porsche despite a brief safety car period following a spin by Audi driver Patric Niederhauser (25, CH, Aust Motorsport). Eng had pulled out a lead of more than six seconds by the middle of the race when he made his mandatory pit stop and handed over to his partner, Collard. The British 20-year-old then produced a performance way beyond his years. The BMW junior withstood the pressure exerted by his chasing pack, even when the field was bunched together again during two further safety car deployments. But he ultimately secured BMW Team Schnitzer’s maiden victory on their very first weekend in the ADAC GT Masters.

The battle for second place between the Porsche pairing of Renauer and Müller and Corvette drivers Gounon and Keilwitz was decided in the pits. Although the 911 had initially laid claim to the runner-up spot, Gounon and Keilwitz overtook while they were in the pits. Renauer and Müller had to content themselves with third place. It was the first podium of the season for both sets of drivers. The two best-placed Lamborghini drivers, Marco Mapelli (29, ITA) and Norbert Siedler (34, AUT, both Team HB Racing) took fourth place from the highest-placed Audi R8 LMS of Jeffrey Schmidt (23, CH) and Christopher Haase (29, DEU, both Montaplast by Land Motorsport).

By finishing sixth in their Mercedes AMG GT3, ADAC GT Masters newcomers Indy Dontje (24, NL) and Marvin Kirchhöfer (23, DEU, both Mercedes-AMG Team HTP Motorsport) ensured that cars from six different manufacturers were represented in the Top Six. Filip Salaquarda (33, CZ) and Markus Winkelhock (36, DEU, both BWT Mücke Motorsport) brought their Audi R8 LMS home in P7, followed by Luca Stolz (21, DEU) and Luca Ludwig (27, DEU, both Mercedes-AMG Team ZAKSPEED). Last year’s championship winners, Connor De Phillippi (23, USA) and Christopher Mies (27, DEU, both Montaplast by Land) took the final championship point after finishing tenth behind fellow Audi drivers Markus Pommer (27, DEU) and Kelvin van der Linde (20, ZA, both Aust Motorsport).

Saturday’s winners Mathieu Jaminet (22, FRA) and Michael Ammermüller (31, DEU, both KÜS Team75 Bernhard) had a problem with their Porsche 911 GT3-R after just six laps and were forced to retire.

Comments from the winners

Ricky Collard (BMW Team Schnitzer, BMW M6 GT3): “BMW and my team boss Charly Lamm took a big gamble when they signed me, because I had no GT experience going into this season and I have never raced outside the UK before. I’ve been given a great team-mate in Philipp, from whom I’ve already learnt a lot. We had been hoping for Top Ten finishes at Oschersleben, but as the weekend progressed, we kept adjusting our expectations upwards. That was not an easy race. I came under a lot of pressure from the Corvette towards the end, but I withstood it. Many thanks to BMW and BMW Team Schnitzer for the confidence they have placed in me.”

Ricky Collard (BMW Team Schnitzer, BMW M6 GT3): “BMW and my team boss Charly Lamm took a big gamble when they signed me, because I had no GT experience going into this season and I have never raced outside the UK before. I’ve been given a great team-mate in Philipp, from whom I’ve already learnt a lot. We had been hoping for Top Ten finishes at Oschersleben, but as the weekend progressed, we kept adjusting our expectations upwards. That was not an easy race. I came under a lot of pressure from the Corvette towards the end, but I withstood it. Many thanks to BMW and BMW Team Schnitzer for the confidence they have placed in me.”

Source. ADAC GT Masters/Photo. ADAC Motorsport

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