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Season finales rarely get this exciting, as 15 drivers in supercars from six different brands will be in contention to secure the ADAC GT Masters title at Hockenheim this weekend (21st – 23rd September). With 50 points still to be awarded, the gap between the two championship leaders, Robert Renauer (33, GER) and Mathieu Jaminet (23, F, both Precote Herberth Motorsport), on their nearest rivals is just four points. Apart from the duo in the Porsche, drivers from Audi, BMW, Corvette, Lamborghini and Mercedes-AMG also have title ambitions.

Robert Renauer (33, GER) and Mathieu Jaminet (23, F, both Precote Herberth Motorsport, Porsche 911 GT3 R), 109 points:
Renauer and team-mate Jaminet have secured points more consistently than anyone else this season. Sharing a car for the first time in the ADAC GT Masters this year, the German-French duo have achieved seven points-scoring finishes in this season’s ten races, including a win and two other podiums. Last weekend at the Sachsenring, the drivers from Precote Herberth Motorsport retook the championship lead by a small margin of just four points, which does not allow the runner-up from 2013 and the Porsche-backed Frenchman to sit back and relax. “The goal is very clear, to become champions,” said Renauer confidently. “We intend to finish on the podium in order to make that happen. It’s important that we have two clean races – as we have had practically the whole year. We’ve been particularly consistent this season, and that should again be the key to our success in Hockenheim.”

Markus Pommer (27, GER) and Maximilian Götz (32, GER, both Mann-Filter Team HTP, Mercedes-AMG GT3), 105 points:
Pommer and Götz are second overall with a deficit of just four points in the standings. So far in 2018, the duo in the Mercedes-AMG have taken one win plus three more podium finishes. Ex-DTM driver Götz is one of the most experienced in the field, having won the ADAC GT Masters title in 2012. Team-mate Pommer is in the Mercedes-AMG GT3 for the first time this season after two years at the wheel of an Audi R8 LMS but has quickly become a serious title contender. “We are still in with a realistic chance, because there are still 50 points to be won,” said Pommer bullishly. “The tide in the title fight can soon turn in the ADAC GT Masters as we unfortunately saw with our two no-fault accidents at the Sachsenring. Actually, we wanted to extend our lead there in order to control the title fight from the front at Hockenheim. Instead, we’re down on points and must attack. I don’t think that any car is at a particular disadvantage on the Hockenheim track. Our Mercedes-AMG is really strong through fast turns and in hard braking zones, like just before the hairpin, for example.”

Sheldon (19, ZA) and Kelvin van der Linde (22, ZA, both Montaplast by Land-Motorsport, Audi R8 LMS), 96 points:
At Hockenheim, the two South Africans want to be the first to achieve something that’s never been done before in the ADAC GT Masters – win the title as brothers and team-mates – and are 13 points adrift of the top of the table before the Hockenheim weekend after taking a win and second place three times. Despite being only 22, Kelvin van der Linde is one of the experienced GT3 drivers. At the tender age of 18, he became the youngest driver ever to win the championship when he took the title in his first ADAC GT Masters season in 2014 along with last year’s DTM champion, René Rast. After a guest start in 2017, his brother Sheldon is now contesting his first full season in the Super Sports Car League and has a good chance of securing the Pirelli Junior title at Hockenheim, as he heads the rankings in that classification. “Our team secured two podiums at the circuit in 2017, so I think things will be similar again this year,” said Kelvin van der Linde. “We definitely stand a good chance with just a 13-point deficit and are very confident. Doing well in the quali at the weekend will be important, because overtaking is not easy in the ADAC GT Masters, and when you start from lower down the field, the risk of being involved in an accident is far greater.”

Marvin Kirchhöfer (24, GER) and Daniel Keilwitz (29, GER, both Callaway Competition, Corvette C7 GT3-R), 92 points:
Kirchhöfer and Keilwitz have achieved two wins so far this season in the run-up to Hockenheim. No other pair of drivers has two victories to their account, but they have also failed to score on seven occasions – more times than any other of the top title contenders – and have a 17-point deficit. While Keilwitz, 2013 champion and the driver with the most wins in the ADAC GT Masters, has been in contention for the title right up to the final weekend in three of the past six seasons, this is new territory for Kirchhöfer, his partner in the Super Sports Car League. However, Kirchhöfer won the Formel ADAC in 2012, the precursor series to the present-day ADAC Formula 4, and Callaway Competition, the outfit that Kirchhöfer and Keilwitz represent, are last year’s team champions. “It will be incredibly close at Hockenheim, but there’s everything still to play for,” said Kirchhöfer. “Hockenheim should suit our car, so I’m hoping for a repeat of our good results at the start of the season when we took two wins and finished runners-up twice at Most and Spielberg. We remain optimistic and are highly motivated.”

Seven other drivers are still in with a chance as outsiders of winning the title in the finale. Indy Dontje (25, NL) and Maximilian Buhk (25, GER) have secured 69 points so far in the second Mercedes-AMG fielded by Mann-Filter Team HTP. Ex-DTM star Timo Scheider (39, GER) and partner Mikkel Jensen (23, DK, both BMW Team Schnitzer, 67 points) are right behind them. Lamborghini works drivers Mirko Bortolotti (28, ITA) and Andrea Caldarelli (28, ITA, both ORANGE1 by GRT Grasser) are on 62 points as is Swiss Audi driver Jeffrey Schmidt (24, CH, 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


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