Porsche drivers Robert Renauer (33, GER) and Mathieu Jaminet (23, F, both Precote Herberth Motorsport) prevailed in the most exciting ADAC GT Masters season ever seen to become champions of the Super Sports Car League for the first time. But let’s take a closer look at the 14 races!
Consistently successful: No one finished in the points as regularly during 2018 as champions Robert Renauer and Mathieu Jaminet. The Porsche drivers took championship points from eleven of the 14 races, including one win and three more podium finishes.
Front-runners: The lead in the standings changed five times during the season between five pairs of drivers from Audi, Corvette, Lamborghini, Mercedes-AMG and Porsche. Champions Jaminet and Renauer led the overall standings following the two races at Most until the meeting at the Red Bull Ring and then went back into the lead after Sunday’s race at the Sachsenring.
Hard-working: Competitors in the ADAC GT Masters covered a total of 90,637.05 kilometres in all the various practice sessions, qualis and races during 2018.
Team with the most wins: The Corvette pairing of Marvin Kirchhöfer and Daniel Keilwitz took the most wins during the season, three in all. Some 22 drivers from Audi, Corvette, Lamborghini, Mercedes-AMG and Porsche finished on the top rung of the podium this year. Only once before in the ADAC GT Masters, in 2015, did so many different driver pairings manage to come first, but during that season, there were 16 races not 14.
Best brand: Not only did Audi have the largest contingent of GT3 cars in the field, 13 in all, it also led in many categories for being the best. The R8 LMS secured the most victories (six), qualified on pole most often (four times) and along with Lamborghini, posted the most fastest race laps (four each).
Maiden wins: Twelve drivers – Max Hofer, Philip Ellis, Andrea Caldarelli, Jeffrey Schmidt, Stefan Mücke, Marvin Kirchhöfer, Indy Dontje, Filip Salaquarda, Marco Mapelli, Sheldon van der Linde, Elia Erhart and Pierre Kaffer – took their maiden wins in the ADAC GT Masters during 2018.
Successful start: Team ISR and EFP by TECE clinched their maiden race wins in their first season in the ADAC GT Masters. A total of nine racing teams achieved at least one race win in 2018. Callaway Competition was the most successful with three successes followed by GRT Grasser Racing Team, Montaplast by Land-Motorsport and Mann-Filter Team HTP with two wins each.
Clean sweep: Kirchhöfer and Keilwitz finished third in the championship and were the only driver pairing to win both rounds in a single race weekend, showing their rivals a clean pair of heels twice at the Red Bull Ring. The last time that happened was at the Hockenheim season finale in 2014 and Daniel Keilwitz was again one of the drivers involved.
Leading lights 1: Kirchhöfer and Keilwitz are also ahead in the standings for the most laps in the lead. Callaway Competition’s driver pairing led for 91 laps out of a total of 520. In all, 23 different pairs of drivers led the race for at least one lap this season.
Leading lights 2: Just once in 2018 did a driver pairing manage to post a lights-to-flag victory. Audi drivers Max Hofer and Philip Ellis showed everyone a clean pair of heels at the season opener in Oschersleben. In all of the season’s other 13 races, the lead changed at least while the pit stop window was open.
Speedy brothers: Audi drivers and championship runners-up Sheldon and Kelvin van der Linde finished on the podium more often than any other driver pairing this season. The two brothers made it into the Top Three a total of six times. With their two victories this season, they also became the first brothers since Ferdinand and Johannes Stuck in 2011 to achieve wins together.
Plenty of variety 1: There were 13 different pole-sitters in the first 13 races of the season. Only in qualifying for the very last race of the season did Mercedes-AMG driver Maximilian Götz manage to shine one more time. The pole-sitter also went on to win the race eight times in all.
Qualifying specialists: Maximilian Götz and partner Markus Pommer were the strongest drivers in qualifying over the season as a whole. Their grid slot for the 14 races averages out at 5.7. Next were the champions, Renauer and Jaminet (7.0), followed by the championship runners-up, the van der Linde brothers (7.2).
That was close!: In the second qualifying session at Zandvoort, a mere eight-thousandths of a second separated pole-sitter Mathieu Jaminet from his closest rival in P2. The biggest lead in the race against the clock was posted by Mercedes-AMG driver Maximilian Götz on Sunday at Hockenheim as the track was drying. He was 0.742 seconds quicker than the next best driver. Over the season as a whole, the fastest driver was 0.158 seconds faster on average.
Highly competitive: The highly competitive nature of the field in the 2018 ADAC GT Masters was demonstrated on a regular basis by the small gaps between cars in qualifying. In nine out of 14 qualis, some 20 GT3 cars were covered by one second. Things were particularly close at the Nürburgring where in the first qualifying session 31 and in the second qualifying session 29 GT3 sports cars finished within one second of one another.
Plenty of variety 2: In the 14 races, twelve different drivers posted the fastest race lap. Only Marvin Kirchhöfer and Lamborghini driver Christian Engelhart managed to go fastest twice.
Consistent: Audi driver Jeffrey Schmidt and Mercedes-AMG team-mates Indy Dontje and Maximilian Buhk proved to be totally dependable in 2018, completing all 493 laps in the 14 races.
Top Junior: Sheldon van der Linde was the most successful young driver of the season. Thanks to his four victories in class, the South African secured the title in the Pirelli Junior classification in his first full season in the ADAC GT Masters. Eleven other drivers under 25 achieved one victory in class each.
Swiss success: While Lamborghini driver Rolf Ineichen achieved six victories in the Pirelli Trophy classification, which was more than any one else, the title in the amateur stakes went to fellow Swiss competitor, Remo Lips (Audi), for the third consecutive time. He notched up two wins in class in the races. Series newcomer Jan-Erik Slooten (Porsche) took three wins in the Pirelli Trophy classification as did the pairing of Claudia Hürtgen and Sven Barth (Corvette).
Diversity: A total of 83 drivers from 18 countries competed in the 14 ADAC GT Masters races in 2018, and 69 of them secured at least one championship point while 40 drivers even made it into the Top Three in the ADAC GT Masters.
Spanning the generations: Swiss driver Ricardo Feller was again the youngest driver in the field as he had been in 2017. At the season opener in Oschersleben, he was 17 years, ten months and 13 days old. Series returnee Claudia Hürtgen was the oldest aged 46 years, seven months and four days.
Source. ADAc GT Masters