Team ISR have notched up a maiden victory in the ADAC GT Masters. Filip Salaquarda (34, CZ) and Frank Stippler (43, GER) driving an Audi R8 LMS entered by the Czech outfit were winners in Sunday’s race of the Super Sports Car League at the Nürburgring. In the battle for second place, the Mercedes-AMG pairing of Markus Pommer (27, GER) and Maximilian Götz (32, GER, both Mann-Filter Team HTP Motorsport) edged out Mike David Ortmann (18, GER) and Markus Winkelhock (38, GER, both BWT Mücke Motorsport) on the penultimate lap. “What a great day”, said first-time winner Salaquarda. “To win a race in our first ADAC GT Masters season is really fantastic.”
Key facts, Nürburgring, Nürburg, Round 8 of 14
Circuit length: 3,629 metres
Weather: 27°C, sunny
Pole Position: Frank Stippler (Team ISR, Audi R8 LMS), 1:25.681 mins
Winner: Filip Salaquarda and Frank Stippler (Team ISR, Audi R8 LMS)
Fastest lap: Frank Stippler (Team ISR, Audi R8 LMS), 1:26.812 mins
Number of spectators over entire weekend: 20,000+
Team ISR assert early lead
The two Team ISR drivers dominated proceedings on their way to achieving a maiden win in the ADAC GT Masters. Frank Stippler, the local favourite from nearby Bad Münstereifel, had pulled out a gap of just under two seconds by the middle of the race when it was time for the mandatory change of drivers. His partner, Salaquarda, subsequently extended their lead to 11.4 seconds at the finish line to secure Team ISR’s first victory in eight Super Sports Car League outings. This was Filip Salaquarda’s first and Stippler’s second time on the top rung of the podium in the series. Stippler made his maiden podium appearance at this same venue back in 2008 driving a Porsche.
The contest for the remaining podium spots remained tense until the dying minutes of the race, and it was only on the penultimate lap that Mercedes-AMG driver Markus Pommer was able to overtake Mike David Ortmann’s Audi to secure second place for himself and Götz. Thanks to Pommer’s second podium finish of the weekend, the partnership have now reduced their deficit on the championship leaders to a single point. It was the first podium finish of the year for third-placed Ortmann and Winkelhock in their Audi R8 LMS. Ortmann also registered a maiden victory in the Pirelli Junior classification.
Two more Audi drivers, Ricardo Feller (18, CH) and Christopher Haase (30, GER, both BWT Mücke Motorsport), finished fourth. Behind them came the Porsche pairing of Robert Renauer (33, GER) and Mathieu Jaminet (23, FRA, both Precote Herberth Motorsport) who beat fellow Porsche drivers, Adrien de Leener (28, BEL) and Klaus Bachler (27, AUT, both KÜS Team75 Bernhard) to fifth place. This was the best result of the season so far for Leener and Bachler.
Jake Dennis (24, BEL) and Christopher Mies (29, GER, both Montaplast by Land-Motorsport) finished sixth in their Audi. Timo Bernhard (37, GER) and Kévin Estre (29, FRA, both KÜS Team75 Bernhard) took the chequered flag behind them. Luca Stolz (23, GER) and Sebastian Asch (32, GER, both Team Zakspeed BKK Mobil Oil Racing) in the Zakspeed Mercedes AMG and Audi drivers, Sheldon van der Linde (19, ZA) and Kevin van Linde (22, ZA, both Montaplast by Land-Motorsport) completed the Top Ten.
The current championship leaders, Marvin Kirchhöfer (24, GER) and Daniel Keilwitz (29, GER, both Callaway Competition), finished out of the points once again. Keilwitz got away well at the start, moving up from tenth to third, but had to retire his Corvette C7 GT3-R after 14 laps with a faulty alternator. Kirchhöfer and Keilwitz now lead by a single point after four out of seven race weekends.
Remo Lips (35, CH) and Maximilian Hackländer (28, GER, both Aust Motorsport) in an Audi won the Pirelli Trophy classification.
Frank Stippler (Team ISR, Audi R8 LMS):
“We laid the foundations for victory in the early stages of the race. We started on a fresh set of tyres, and that certainly paid off. We were able to pull out an early lead while the drivers behind us were busy scrapping with each other. This is a great success for our team which is new to the ADAC GT Masters. We have been steadily improving, but we’ve also had bad luck on occasions, because there have been several races where we didn’t finish. This victory therefore comes as a pleasant change.”
Filip Salaquarda (Team ISR, Audi R8 LMS):
“Stippi put in a fantastic first stint and handed the car over to me in first place. After that, I tried to increase our lead, which I succeeded in doing. Towards the end, though, I went easy on the tyres. The team and Frank did a great job. We have been improving from race to race, and we work really well together. Consequently, the win is a magnificent reward – especially after we had to retire from yesterday’s race following a collision that was not our fault.”
Calendar for the 2018 ADAC GT Masters
13/04/18 -15/04/18 Motorsport Arena Oschersleben
27/04/18 -29/04/18 Autodrom Most (CZ)
08/06/18 -10/06/18 Red Bull Ring (AUT)
03/08/18 -05/08/18 Nürburgring
17/08/18 -19/08/18 Circuit Zandvoort (NL)
07/09/18 -09/09/18 Sachsenring
21/09/18 -23/09/18 Hockenheimring Baden-Württemberg
Source. ADAC GT Masters/Photo. Gruppe C