A thrilling title fight involving Corvette, BMW and Audi and the battle between DTM stars Lucas Auer and Jamie Green will get ‘Super Week’ under way in the ADAC GT Masters. The penultimate meeting of the season is calendared for this weekend at the Sachsenring, 15th – 17th September, to be followed just one week later by the grand finale at Hockenheim, 22nd – 24th September. Jules Gounon (22, F, Callaway Competition) currently has the advantage. The Corvette driver could wrap up the championship in Saxony but his BMW und Audi rivals intend to keep the three-way battle for the title on the boil, while both Mercedes-AMG and Porsche still have an outside chance of winning. There will be plenty of excitement too when DTM stars Lucas Auer (23, A) in the Mercedes-AMG GT3 and Jamie Green (35, GB, both BWT Mücke Motorsport) in the Audi R8 LMS go head-to-head as they clash for the first time in the ADAC GT Masters.
Key facts, Sachsenring, Hohenstein-Ernstthal, Races 11 and 12 of 14
Track length: 3,671 metres
Layout: 14 turns (four right and ten left-handers), taken in an anti-clockwise direction
Winners 2016, Race 1: Sebastian Asch & Luca Ludwig (AMG Team Zakspeed, Mercedes-AMG GT3)
Winners 2016, Race 2: Jules Gounon & Daniel Keilwitz (Callaway Competition, Corvette C7 GT3-R)
Plenty of drama in the title fight and the battle between DTM drivers Lucas Auer and Jamie Green – the penultimate race of the season at the Sachsenring should prove very exciting. Auer, who won Saturday’s race in the DTM at the Nürburgring and is currently second in the DTM championship standings, and Green, who has already won two races in the Touring Car Series during 2017, will both compete for BWT Mücke Motorsport in the ADAC GT Masters. While Auer will share the team’s Mercedes-AMG with Sebastian Asch (31, DEU) for a third time, this will be British driver Green’s first outing in the Super Sports Car League, driving the Audi R8 bearing start number 24 in the colours of kfzteile24. Green: “I’m looking forward to the weekend and to going up against my rival in the DTM, Lucas Auer. However, lining up for the same team is going to seem strange, even though we’ll be racing with two different brands. Of course, I’d like to be faster than him. This will be my first time at the Sachsenring. I’ve heard plenty of good things about the track. Everyone says how great it is. I can’t wait.”
Thanks to two wins this seasons and his impressive consistency, Jules Gounon is top favourite to take the title and has a cushion of 38 points in the run-up to the meeting in Saxony; Only once has he failed to score points in ten races. If he can extend his lead to more than 50 points after this race weekend, then no one can take the title from him. However, the statistics suggest that it is unlikely that the title will be decided in Saxony. So far in the ADAC GT Masters, the final weekend has always been the clincher, and in the last five years, it’s even gone to the wire, and the very last race has produced the title winner. “I love the Sachsenring,” says Gounon. “It has plenty of fast turns that really suit our Corvette C7, and the track is real roller-coaster. We won a race there in 2016. However, I can’t yet decide whether we will be as competitive this year. We had a tough weekend at the Nürburgring last weekend.” Gounon will share the drive again at the weekend with Dutchman Renger van der Zande (31, NL), with whom he won the race on Sunday at Zandvoort in July.
Philipp Eng (27, A, BMW Team Schnitzer) is the Frenchman’s main rival. The Austrian, who drives a BMW M6 GT3 and was able to reduce the deficit on Gounon six weeks ago at the Nürburgring, is optimistic: “The Sachsenring really suits our car. I hope we can take advantage of its potential and further reduce the gap on the Corvette so that we can fight for the title next week in Hockenheim.” Eng will share the only BMW in the field with Nick Catsburg (29, NL) as previously in Zandvoort and at the Nürburgring.
Audi drivers Markus Pommer (26, DEU) and Kelvin van der Linde (21, ZA) in third-place have a 46-point deficit on the front-runners. The two of them, who notched up Aust Motorsport’s maiden win at the Nürburgring, are also aiming to leave the title race open until the season finale at Hockenheim by securing two good results this weekend. Van der Linde in particular has some good memories of the Sachsenring. The 2014 champion has secured three of his four victories in the ADAC GT Masters at the hilly Hohenstein-Ernstthal circuit.
Sebastian Asch is the best-placed Mercedes-AMG driver in the championship. He too has previously been a winner at the Sachsenring, having won the race on Saturday last year. Currently placed fifth in the table, he and Lucas Auer secured the first points of the season for the brand with the star at the Nürburgring. “I’ve always said that giving up is not my thing,” said the German. “I’m 48 points adrift. There are still four races and 100 points up for grabs. And that’s why I’ll go on fighting until I either become champion for the third time or until there’s no more chance. In principle, our Mercedes-AMG GT3 should run really well at the Sachsenring. All the signs point to our success. We just have to now go out and do it.”
However, drivers lower down the standings, including the best-placed drivers in a Porsche, Mathieu Jaminet (22, F) & Michael Ammermüller (31, DEU, both KÜS Team75 Bernhard) and last year’s champions, Audi drivers Connor De Phillippi (24, USA) and Christopher Mies (28, DEU, both Montaplast by Land Motorsport) also still have a chance on paper of clinching the title. But with a deficit of at least 55 points, they have to hope that the drivers ahead of them make a mess of things. So, the title race is hotting up at the Sachsenring, not least, because 19 drivers from eight different teams have already secured wins in the ADAC GT Masters held so far this season.
Source. ADAC GT Masters/Photo. ADAC Motorsport