At the end of May, Audi driver Kelvin van der Linde (21, ZA, Aust Motorsport) won the ADAC Zurich 24-hour race. On his return to the Nürburgring, the South African clocked the fastest lap time in the first practice session of the ADAC GT Masters weekend, this time on the shorter sprint circuit. Second place went to DTM star Lucas Auer (22, AUT, BWT Mücke Motorsport), who had travelled directly from his first Formula 1 test to the ADAC GT Masters in the Eifel.
Van der Linde registered his fastest lap early in the 60-minute session. No other driver was able to match his time of 1:28.464 minutes. “I am delighted to be back at the Nürburgring. It would be great if we were right at the front of the pack this weekend. The car was very good in free practice. We were also really fast at Zandvoort recently. I think our chances here are very good.”
Lucas Auer finished the session 0.209 seconds adrift of the leader. “At the start, I needed a bit of time to get used to the GT car again. But after that, things went well. The weekend is still young, of course, so we have to wait and see where we really are.”
P3, P4 and P5 went to a trio of Lamborghini Huracáns. Fastest of the three pairings were Ezequiel Perez Companc (23, RA) and Mirko Bortolotti (27, ITA, both GRT Grasser Racing Team). Next came their GRT Grasser team-mates Rolf Ineichen (39, CH) and Christian Engelhart (30, DEU). Fifth fastest were Florian Spengler (29, DEU) and Christopher Zanella (27, CH, both Team HB Racing). The three Italian supercars were within 0.119 seconds of each other. Sixth place went to the Mercedes-AMG GT3 of Patrick Assenheimer (25, DEU) and Maximilian Götz (31, DEU, both Mercedes-AMG Team HTP Motorsport).
Current championship leader Jules Gounon (22, FRA, Callaway Competition), who this week shares the cockpit of his Corvette C7 with Spaniard Albert Costa (27, E), was ninth.
First Formula 1 test for Lucas Auer
Immediately before the race weekend at the Nürburgring, Lucas Auer (22, AUT, BWT Mücke Motorsport) was invited to test drive a Formula 1 car, the first time he has had such an opportunity. The Austrian, who is co-driver to Mercedes-AMG GT3 man Sebastian Asch (31, DEU) for the weekend, is making his second appearance in the ADAC GT Masters. During the tests on Tuesday and Wednesday at the Hungaroring just outside Budapest, he completed a total of 103 laps in a Force India VJM10-Mercedes. “The acceleration was impressive”, said Auer, clearly awed by his first taste of the highest echelon of motorsport. “When I accelerated out of the pit lane, my head was thrown backwards, and that was when I was still in second gear.”
Warm-up with Auer and Schumacher
On Thursday evening, there was a warm-up event ahead of the Nürburgring race weekend at the restaurant owned by ex-Formula 1 driver and ADAC Formula 4 team boss Ralf Schumacher in Cologne. In addition to ADAC GT Masters driver Lucas Auer, who came directly from his Formula 1 test, Schumacher, ADAC Managing Director Lars Soutschka and ADAC Head of Motorsport Thomas Voss, the get-together was attended by representatives of the new ADAC sponsor Infront Sports & Media as well as several journalists.
Milestone for Philip Geipel
Audi driver and two-time ADAC GT Masters race winner Philip Geipel (30, DEU, YACO Racing) will celebrate a major milestone on Sunday when he makes his 100th start in the Super Sports Cars League. Geipel will be only the fourth in the current crop of drivers to reach this mark, the other three being Sebastian Asch (31, DEU, 129 starts), Daniel Keilwitz (28, DEU, 108) and Luca Ludwig (28, DEU, 108).
Source. ADAC GT Masters/Photo. ADAC Motorsport