Smiling faces, cheering and plenty of excitement at the Sachsenring. BWT Mücke Motorsport have taken their second win of the ADAC GT Masters season with DTM star Edoardo Mortara and Sebastian Asch in the Mercedes-AMG GT3 – after a fairly lengthy period of uncertainty. Asch and Mortara crossed the finish line in P3 at the end of the second race of the weekend. However, the result was declared provisional following the disqualification of the first and second-placed drivers. Their rivals withdrew their penalty appeal on Monday evening and were excluded from the classification, so Mortara and Asch are now officially the winners of the second round at the Sachsenring. The results of Audi pairings Alessio Picariello & DTM driver Jamie Green in car #24 and of Mike David Ortmann & Filip Salaquarda in the #25 also improved as a result.
The weekend’s highlights
Double DTM power: No less than two drivers currently active in the DTM, Jamie Green and Edoardo Mortara, were busy racing for BWT Mücke Motorsport at the weekend, and they both notched up a double first, as Green and Mortara were both making their debut in the ADAC GT Masters and at the Sachsenring. Mercedes-AMG Motorsport DTM driver Mortara stood in for DTM team-mate Lucas Auer at short notice. The Austrian driver had to attend a lot of PR and marketing events and decided in conjunction with the team to hand his cockpit over to Mortara. Audi driver Jamie Green replaced Markus Winkelhock, who was at the Nürburgring over the weekend, contesting the Blancpain GT Series.
Hallelujah for two Mercedes aces: The weekend got off to a perfect start for Asch and Mortara. They posted best time of 1:17.927 minutes in second practice and were the only team to crack 1:18. Asch qualified car #26 on the front row for Race 1. The dream of a podium, however, was consigned to history after just a few metres when there was a contact with another competitor, which caused Asch to spin and finish up at the rear of the field, from where he and Mortara mounted an impressive charge up into 12th place. They had the crowds cheering again on Sunday. Mortara secured P3 on the grid for the Mercedes-AMG GT3 and maintained his position until the pit stop. Another competitor overtook Asch in a very aggressive manoeuvre after the driver handover. The two-time ADAC GT Masters champion reclaimed P3 after a safety car period just before the end with an overtaking manoeuvre of his own and the third podium of the season was in the bag. The disqualification of the first and second-placed drivers has now finally been confirmed, giving BWT Mücke Motorsport their second win of the season and Mortara his maiden victory in the Super Sports Car League. The well established Berlin-based outfit is also back in championship contention with Asch, who is only 27 points adrift in the run-up to the last two races of the season races.
Give me (high) five: DTM star Green and the newly crowned champion of the Audi R8 LMS Cup, Alessio Picariello, were at the wheel of the Audi R8 LMS #24. With sixth place in qualifying on Saturday, Picariello laid the foundations for a super result and even made it into the Top Five during his stint. Green rejoined the track in sixth place after the driver handover. The reason for his eventual loss of position was the imposition of a five-second penalty for an error at the start, which had to be served during the pit stop. P6 and the chequered flag brought an end to a whole series of no-fault retirements for the Audi R8 LMS #24. They have now been bumped up into fifth place following the disqualification of the runners-up in Race 1, giving car number 24 its best result of the season and securing ten vital points towards the championship. Green qualified in eleventh place for Sunday’s race. Points were within reach once again, but right at the start, a slow puncture (at the back, rear left) made its presence felt and got worse during the safety car period after the handover of drivers. Consequently, Picariello was forced to pit again just before the end of the race, resulting in only P15 at the finish line, but the lap times posted without traffic were incomparable.
Pink points: Race-proven drivers regrouped in the Audi R8 LMS #25. Mike David Ortmann and Filip Salaquarda were partnered in the same car for the first time, and with some success, as Salaquarda qualified 12th for Sunday’s race. The Czech driver worked his way up into ninth place despite the many scraps going on around him before handing the car over to Ortmann. The rookie driver comfortably secured car #25’s fourth points-scoring finish. They too gain as a result of the changes at the top of the standings and move up from seventh place, giving Ortmann his best haul of points in his rookie season. They were out of luck, though, in the first race. Ortmann got away well off the line from a strong eighth place on the grid – his Audi had been the third-best in the entire field in qualifying. However, there was a contact in Turn 1 during the fight for position at the start. He spun and lost a fair few number of positions through no fault of his own. A further contact later in the race and a drive-through penalty made it impossible to do better than P19.
One team, one target: This was a strong team performance by BWT Mücke Motorsport at the Sachsenring. All three cars finished in the Top Ten, earning valuable points towards the team championship. The Berlin-based outfit has now amassed 134 points in its debut season in the ADAC GT Masters, putting them in third place in the team standings with the same number of points as Land-Motorsport. The championship is definitely within reach for BWT Mücke Motorsport, as they are only eight points down on the front-runner.
Comments about the weekend
Edoardo Mortara (BWT Mercedes-AMG GT3 #26): “It was a great experience for me. My first time in the ADAC GT Masters and first time out at the Sachsenring were very exciting. Our Mercedes-AMG GT3 was competitive throughout the weekend. It was a lot of fun. In the end, we took the win in only my second ADAC GT Masters race, which obviously makes me feel very happy. It’s a pity that we had such bad luck on Saturday. We could easily have finished on the podium. I was satisfied with third place on Sunday for my first qualifying in the series. The race was more difficult for us than it had been on the previous day, because we’d run out of fresh tyres. I hope that I’ve been of help to Sebastian in the title fight.”
Sebastian Asch (BWT Mercedes-AMG GT3 #26): “I’m highly delighted with our win but would have preferred to have placed on the podium at the outset and not a few days later. It was a tough race and the scraps were not always very fair. We knew that our Mercedes-AMG GT3 would be strong here, and I proved that by taking best time in practice and second place on the grid in Saturday’s qualifying session. I got into a scrap with a driver at the start of the first race, who didn’t leave me enough space on the inside of the turn. There was a small contact that resulted in a spin. We found ourselves at the rear of the field but fought our way forwards again, so P12 is a great result.”
Mike David Ortmann (BWT Audi R8 LMS #25): “Qualifying on Saturday went really well. The car was excellent, and the field was bunched incredibly close together. It was certainly a good result for us. I had a really good start and took the outside line through the first corner but was forced to spin following an unfortunate sequence of events, which meant in actual fact that our race was over. We achieved the maximum on Sunday. We performed well as far as speed goes but it wouldn’t have been enough to take the lead. We now intend to attack again at the Hockenheimring. We should be very well placed there.”
Filip Salaquarda (BWT Audi R8 LMS #25): “We approached the weekend in a very positive frame of mind, because the Sachsenring usually suits our Audi. The first qualifying session went fairly well for us, but unfortunately, Mike had a spot of bad luck with a contact in the first corner. Saturday was a bit of a mixed bag. We had quite a good qualifying on Sunday. We missed tenth place in the end by the blink of an eye. The start went very much according to plan, and I passed three cars. I even managed to maintain my position. I had some problems at the beginning of my stint, but things gradually improved and I closed on the cars in front of me.”
Jamie Green (kfzteile24 Audi R8 LMS #24): “I’m very pleased with my first weekend in the ADAC GT Masters. It was a good experience and real fun. We secured a points-scoring finish with fifth place on Saturday and drove a good race. My stint on Sunday was fair to middling. I was involved in a couple of scraps and lost a few positions. There was tyre debris next to the racing line. Unfortunately, we had a slow puncture at the rear, so an additional stop was needed, and a good result was no longer possible.”
Alessio Picariello (kfzteile24 Audi R8 LMS #24): “Qualifying on Saturday was terrific. It took me a while to get used to the car and to the Sachsenring at the start of the weekend. I felt more sure of myself by the time qualifying came around and was able to push as much as I liked. Sixth place in my first qualifying in the ADAC GT Masters has got to be good, and I also had a good stint in the race, but it’s difficult to gain position at the Sachsenring. We had some bad luck in the second race, unfortunately. I got a slow puncture after a contact and had to pit. After that, the pace was suddenly all there again, and I was able to push forwards. It was a terrific weekend for me in general. I was able to learn a great deal, especially when working with Jamie and with the whole team as well.”
Peter Mücke (Team Principal): “Our second win in the ADAC GT Masters is a great result and shows that our success at the Nürburgring was no flash in the pan. Although this is our debut season, we are still very much involved in fighting for the drivers’ and team championship in the run-up to the finale, which makes it very clear just how committed everyone at BWT Mücke Motorsport is. Our three newcomers, Jamie Green, Edoardo Mortara and Alessio Picariello turned in a superb performance and got on extremely well with our regular drivers. We achieved another win and three Top Ten finishes in all. We’re now really looking forward to the Hockenheim season finale.”
Matthias Kieper (Team Management): “The whole team was highly delighted with the podium for the Mercedes and the fine finishes by our two Audi pairings, but we were really surprised when we suddenly found that we’d won. These points will bump us further up both the drivers’ and team championship standings. Occupying third place in the team championship and being in with a chance of lifting the title into the bargain, that’s way more than we ever dreamed of as newcomers before the season started. We can be very proud of the performance of our team and of our drivers.”
Michael Weiss (Technical Director): “The weekend got off to quite a hectic start with the switch from Lucas Auer to Edoardo Mortara. We’ve already worked with Edo in the VLN. He’s just as quick as Lucas. We had two more newcomers, Alessio and Jamie, and paired them with Filip and Mike David. Having three guys, who had never raced at the Sachsenring before posed a real challenge both for us and the drivers, but we pulled it off in the end. This was Jamie’s debut weekend in the ADAC GT Masters and he performed extremely well. We can be more than satisfied with P5 on Saturday, and then to achieve another win with the Mercedes-AMG GT3 on Sunday was just amazing, even if it only came about as the result of a disqualification. We’re pleased to see that the ADAC GT Masters has strict checks to ensure that all cars are equal. That’s the very basis of fair sport! We’re now looking forward to an exciting finale in Hockenheim and will pull out all the stops in the battle for the title!”
Source. BWT Mücke Motorsport/Photo. Gruppe C GmbH