A Porsche, a Mercedes-AMG and a Corvette in the Top Three, separated only by a hair’s breadth: the first free practice of the ADAC GT Masters suggests that we have an exciting race weekend ahead of us. The fastest time in the one-hour session was clocked by Porsche junior Matteo Cairoli (23, ITA, Küs Team75 Bernhard).
Maximilian Götz (33, GER, Mann-Filter Team HTP) in a Mercedes-AMG had led the way for most of the session but was displaced by Cairoli just before the end. The Porsche Junior’s time of 1:29.573 minutes was a mere 0.004 seconds superior to that of the former champion. “It was a positive session for our team,” said Cairoli, who shares a cockpit with Adrien de Leener (29, BEL). “We got both cars into the Top Ten. The car drives well. I think we can probably get slightly more out of it in qualifying. It’s great to drive on the Red Bull Ring. I like the track and I have fond memories of it, because I’ve already won here in other racing series. We intend to come away with a good result this time, too.”
Maximilian Götz also expressed himself satisfied with the close second place: “We feel really good here so far. We were fastest twice during yesterday’s tests. We set our time relatively early on, so I think we should be able to do even better in qualifying. The car has a great balance. I had some oversteer at first, but then my team-mate Indy Dontje took the car out for testing and improved it even further. Now, it’s all about getting ready for tomorrow’s quali. We definitely intend to take a trophy home with us. You’ve seen today how tight it is at the top. Everything has to be perfect on a fast lap, otherwise you’re out of the picture. In qualifying, you have to put in an error-free lap, otherwise you have no chance.”
Just two-thousandths of a second behind Götz was the Corvette C7 GT3-R of Markus Pommer (28, GER) and Marvin Kirchhöfer (25, GER, both Callaway Competition) which has so far won two races in the current season. Ricardo Feller (19, CH) and Dries Vanthoor (21, BEL, both Montaplast by Land-Motorsport) in the best of the Audi R8 LMSs ensured that four different brands featured in the first four positions. Completing the Top Five were another Audi duo, Filip Salaquarda (35, CZ) and Frank Stippler (44, GER, both Team ISR).
The highest-placed Austrian driver in sixth was local favourite Klaus Bachler (27, AUT) in the Porsche he shares with Timo Bernhard (38, GER, both Küs Team75 Bernhard).
Change of driver at Aust Motorsport
Aust Motorsport have brought along a new recruit to the Red Bull Ring: Stéphane Tribaudini (35, FRA) is the new partner of Arlind Hoti (20, GER) in the number 4 Audi R8 LMS. “For me, GT3 sport is uncharted territory,” says the Frenchman. “Because so far I’ve been competing only in the GT4 category in France. But I soon adjusted to the Audi.” Tribaudini plans to contest four of the remaining five ADAC GT Masters race weekends.
Source. ADAC GT Masters