Audi take top two places in the first practice session at the Sachsenring. Last year’s winner, Christopher Mies (29, GER, Montaplast by Land-Motorsport) in the Audi R8 LMS, posted the fastest lap in the first ADAC GT Masters practice session at the Sachsenring. His team-mates Sheldon van der Linde (19, ZA) and Kelvin van der Linde (22, ZA) plus championship leaders Markus Pommer (27, GER) and Maximilian Götz (32, GER, both Mann-Filter Team HTP) in the Mercedes-AMG GT3 came home behind the 2016 champion.
The teams contesting the ADAC GT Masters completed a one-hour test session in wet conditions earlier today before heading back out for first practice at noon, during which Mies, who is sharing the car with the Spaniard Alex Riberas (24) this weekend, posted best time of 1:19.931 minutes towards the middle of the session on a track which had dried out by then. His time remained unbeaten at the end of FP1. “The car was good, but first practice doesn’t really tell you much, because you’ve no idea what tyres the others were running,” said Mies. “I’m really quite used to partnering Alex, as we race together in the Blancpain GT Series. The main thing now is for him and the team to get acquainted, but that shouldn’t be too big a problem.”
Second place went to the second Audi R8 LMS from Montaplast by Land-Motorsport. The two brothers, Kelvin and Sheldon van der Linde, were 0.347 seconds down on best time. Next in third place came the fastest of the title contenders, current championship leaders Markus Pommer and Maximilian Götz in the Mercedes-AMG GT3, with a time of 1:20.293 minutes. “We tried to get a couple of things sorted, as it was our first outing in the dry,” said Götz. “We noticed that the track is very dirty – especially right next to the racing line. That’s why there were one or two spins. We both feel very comfortable in the car and should be among the front-runners. We’re bang on schedule.”
Fourth were Rolf Ineichen (40, CH) and Christian Engelhart (31, both GRT Grasser Racing Team) in the best-placed Lamborghini. Their team-mates, Ezequiel Perez Companc (24, RA) and Marco Mapelli (31, ITA) completed the Top Five.
HB Racing field Ferrari works driver
Change of drivers at HB Racing: The Italian, Davide Rigon, will be in the cockpit both at the Sachsenring and at the Hockenheim season finale (21st – 23rd September), partnering regular driver Luca Ludwig in the Austrian team’s Ferrari 488 GT3. Rigon started his career in Formula BMW ADAC and is the first Ferrari works driver to line up in the ADAC GT Masters. Apart from competing in the FIA WEC sports car world championship for the Ferrari, he is also one of the Formula 1 test drivers for the Scuderia. “I’m pleased to be lining up in the ADAC GT Masters,” said Rigon after posting his first few laps at the Sachsenring. “I know the car quite well but must learn the track initially. The Sachsenring is not an easy circuit, but I want to finish on the podium this weekend.”
Special milestones reached at the Sachsenring
BMW driver Jens Klingmann (28, GER, MRS GT Racing) will be contesting his 80th ADAC GT Masters race on Sunday. Three other competitors will be lining up in the Super Sports Car League for the 70th time this weekend: Mercedes-AMG driver Patrick Assenheimer (26, GER, AutoArenA Motorsport) in the first race on Saturday and fellow Mercedes driver Luca Stolz (23, GER, Team Zakspeed BKK Mobil Oil Racing) in the second race on Sunday along with Audi’s Markus Winkelhock (38, GER, BWT Mücke Motorsport).
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