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AUDI TOPS THE TIMESHEETS AT ADAC GT MASTERS TESTS

The winter break definitively came to an end as the ADAC GT Masters got its new season underway with two days of testing at Motorsport Arena Oschersleben. The absolute best time was set by Audi driver Dries Vanthoor (20, BEL, Montaplast by Land-Motorsport). With four different brands leading the way in the six test sessions, the new season promises to be highly competitive. The Super Sports Car League opener will be contested on the weekend of 26th – 28th April, also at the Oschersleben circuit near Magdeburg.

Thirty GT3 sports cars prepared by 19 teams and ultimately separated by only fractions of a second produced an intriguing ADAC GT Masters dress rehearsal. The sunny weather also helped to make this a memorable occasion. The absolute best time of 1:23.458 minutes was set by the Audi R8 LMS of Ricardo Feller (18, CH) and team-mate Dries Vanthoor. Vanthoor exploited the cooler conditions on Tuesday morning when most of the other drivers also clocked their personal best. “I am very satisfied – with the car, with the team and with my new team-mate,” said the Belgian. “I was using fresh tyres, and the cooler conditions also helped. Everything then went perfectly on the lap itself. Obviously, it’s still early in the season, so we’ll have to see whether the car works just as well on the race weekends. If so, I’ll be really satisfied.”

Second fastest in the tests was Porsche driver Lucas Luhr (39, GER) who also set his fastest lap time on Tuesday morning, missing out on the absolute best by 0.294 seconds. “A very good test for us,” commented Luhr’s IRON FORCE RACING team-mate Jan-Erik Slooten (34, GER). “We set out to come in the Top 15, and as it turns out, we were second quickest. We are very happy with that. The new Porsche drives very well.”

Florian Spengler (31, GER) and Mattia Drudi (20, ITA, both EFP Car Collection by TECE) in another Audi R8 LMS were close behind. Last year’s champion Robert Renauer (34, GER) and his new team-mate Thomas Preining (20, AUT) in the new Porsche 911 GT3 R of Precote Herberth Motorsport took fourth place. Series newcomer Preining also caused a stir by coming out on top in the second test session. Fellow Porsche drivers Klaus Bachler (27, AUT) and Timo Bernhard (38, GER, KÜS Team75 Bernhard) clocked yet another best session time for the new 911 on Monday.

Taking fifth place overall in the tests, which at times saw up to 19 vehicles within one second of another, was ADAC GT Masters rookie Fabian Vettel (20, GER, Mann-Filter Team HTP) making an impressive debut. The younger brother of Formula 1 World Champion Sebastian Vettel and partner Philip Ellis (26, GB) drove the speediest of the Mercedes-AMG contingent.

Ferrari and Corvette were two other brands that clocked best times in the individual sessions. Sebastian Asch (32, GER) and Luca Ludwig (30, GER, both HB Racing) in their Ferrari 488 GT3 were the first names to top the timesheets on Monday morning. They were displaced on Monday afternoon by Markus Pommer (28, GER) and Marvin Kirchhöfer (25, GER, both Callaway Competition) in the American muscle car. Honours in the final session at Oschersleben went to the Audi pairing of Patric Niederhauser (27, CH) and Kelvin van der Linde (22, ZA, both HCB-Rutronik Racing).

Making its first official appearance in the ADAC GT Masters was the new Aston Martin Vantage GT3. This marks the return to the series of the British marque for the first time since 2013. “We already have a lot of experience with this car, and that was very important,” says ex-champion Daniel Keilwitz (29, GER, PROpeak Performance). “We learn something new with each outing.”

Results from the test sessions

Test 1 (Monday)
1. Luca Ludwig & Sebastian Asch, HB Racing, Ferrari, 1:24.533 mins
2. Carrie Schreiner & Dennis Marschall, HCB-Rutronik Racing, Audi, 1:24.607 mins
3. Markus Pommer & Marvin Kirchhöfer, Callaway Competition, Corvette, 1:24.702 mins
4. Max Hofer & Christopher Mies, Montaplast by Land-Motorsport, Audi, 1:24.742 mins
5. Jeffrey Schmidt & Christopher Haase, BWT Mücke Motorsport, Audi, 1:24.836 mins

Test 2 (Monday)
1. Robert Renauer & Thomas Preining, Precote Herberth Motorsport, Porsche, 1:24.492 mins
2. Fabian Vettel & Philip Ellis, Mann-Filter Team HTP, Mercedes-AMG, 1:24.885 mins
3. Filip Salaquarda & Frank Stippler, Team ISR, Audi, 1:24.980 mins
4. Max Hofer & Christopher Mies, Montaplast by Land-Motorsport, Audi, 1:25.078 mins
5. Sven Barth & David Jahn, RWT Racing, Corvette, 1:25.089 mins

Test 3 (Monday)
1. Markus Pommer & Marvin Kirchhöfer, Callaway Competition, Corvette, 1:24.304 mins
2. Indy Dontje & Maximilian Götz, Mann-Filter Team HTP, Mercedes-AMG, 1:24.425 mins
3. Remo Lips, Maximilian Hackländer & Ezequiel Perez-Companc, Audi, 1:24.675 mins
4. Filip Salaquarda & Frank Stippler, Team ISR, Audi, 1:24.701 mins
5. Robert Renauer & Thomas Preining, Precote Herberth Motorsport, Porsche, 1:24.778 mins

Test 4 (Monday)
1. Klaus Bachler & Timo Bernhard, KÜS Team75 Bernhard, Porsche, 1:23.919 mins
2. Filip Salaquarda & Frank Stippler, Team ISR, Audi, 1:24.543 mins
3. Jeffrey Schmidt & Christopher Haase, BWT Mücke Motorsport, Audi, 1:24.578 mins
4. Michele Beretta & Marco Mapelli, ORANGE1 by GRT Grasser, Lamborghini, 1:24.648 mins
5. Ricardo Feller & Dries Vanthoor, Montaplast by Land-Motorsport, Audi, 1:24.680 mins

Test 5 (Tuesday)
1. Ricardo Feller & Dries Vanthoor, Montaplast by Land-Motorsport, Audi, 1:23.458 mins
2. Jan-Erik Slooten & Lucas Luhr, IRON FORCE RACING, Porsche, 1:23.752 mins
3. Florian Spengler & Mattia Drudi, EFP Car Collection by TECE, Audi, 1:23.798 mins
4. Robert Renauer & Thomas Preining, Precote Herberth Motorsport, Porsche, 1:23.799 mins
5. Fabian Vettel & Philip Ellis, Mann-Filter Team HTP, Mercedes-AMG, 1:23.868 mins

Test 6 (Tuesday)
1. Patric Niederhauser & Kelvin van der Linde, HCB-Rutronik Racing, Audi, 1:23.995 mins
2. Sven Barth & David Jahn, RWT Racing, Corvette, 1:24.257 mins
3. Rolf Ineichen & Christian Engelhart, ORANGE1 by GRT Grasser, Lamborghini, 1:24.820 mins
4. Markus Pommer & Marvin Kirchhöfer, Callaway Competition, Corvette, 1:24.287 mins
5. Ricardo Feller & Dries Vanthoor, Montaplast by Land-Motorsport, Audi, 1:24.324 mins

Combined best times for Monday and Tuesday
1. Ricardo Feller & Dries Vanthoor, Montaplast by Land-Motorsport, Audi, 1:23.458 mins
2. Jan-Erik Slooten & Lucas Luhr, IRON FORCE RACING, Porsche, 1:23.752 mins
3. Florian Spengler & Mattia Drudi, EFP Car Collection by TECE, Audi, 1:23.798 mins
4. Robert Renauer & Thomas Preining, Precote Herberth Motorsport, Porsche, 1:23.799 mins
5. Fabian Vettel & Philip Ellis, Mann-Filter Team HTP, Mercedes-AMG, 1:23.868 mins

Source. ADAC GT MASTERS

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