The ADAC GT Masters is looking to crown its super talent of 2019. Who will win the Pirelli Junior classification? The winner will receive 22 sets of slicks from tyre partner, Pirelli, but victory in the Junior stakes has also proved to be a stepping-stone to a works contract in recent times. The Junior champions from the past three years, Connor De Phillippi, Jules Gounon and Sheldon van der Linde, have all been signed by manufacturers following success in the ADAC GT Masters. Nine drivers will still be fighting to see who can win the Junior title In this weekend’s Sachsenring finale. The front-runner is also the youngest in the field – Audi driver, Ricardo Feller (19, CH, Montaplast by Land Motorsport).
Championship leader Feller, who has already celebrated one overall victory with Dries Vanthoor (21, BEL) this season, will have a new team-mate in the finale. Vanthoor has other commitments, so Swiss driver, Feller, will now be partnered by Audi Sport driver, Frédéric Vervisch (33, BEL), in the final round. Feller is still the youngest in the field for the third consecutive year and is currently in third place overall in the ADAC GT Masters. So far, he has accumulated 192 points – eleven more than team-mate Max Hofer (20, AUT). “It’s great for our team to have two drivers leading the Pirelli Junior standings. Of course, both Max and I want to win the title. We are good friends away from the track but competitors out on track. I’m going to do everything I can to win this title.” Feller has had the most experience at the Sachsenring of all the drivers in this top group in the ADAC GT Masters. He wants to benefit from that: “I like the track. Since you can’t really do any testing at the circuit, I might perhaps have an advantage over the drivers driving there for only the first or second time.”
But Hofer’s team-mate is Christopher Mies (30, GER), who has already won four times at the demanding Sachsenring. “The goal is to win the title, for sure!” said Hofer. “The season has gone very well so far. Unfortunately, we lost vital points at Hockenheim recently with a smash and a puncture, and so, we will give it 110 percent and extract the maximum possible. I think there’s plenty of potential. Ricardo is a really good driver in my opinion, and I know we’ll fight fairly.”
Mercedes-AMG drivers, Aidan Read (20, AUS) and Marvin Dienst (22, GER, both Schütz Motorsport), are also in with a good chance. They are on 175.5 points and led the Junior standings for three races. “We never really wanted to relinquish the lead, but unfortunately, things turned out differently,” said Dienst, who was ADAC Junior Motor Racing Driver of the Year in 2017. “From the start, it has always been our goal to attack in the Pirelli Junior standings despite the fact that we don’t have a works driver in the cockpit unlike the others in front of us. Also, Aidan didn’t know any of the circuits before the start of the season. I’m looking forward to the Sachsenring. It is a mega track where a great deal is possible as a driver, and the circuit should suit our car.”
Apart from the Top Four, five other drivers can still challenge for the title at least on paper. Audi driver Mike David Ortmann (19, GER, BWT Mücke Motorsport) is on 153 points, followed by his team-mate Jeffrey Schmidt (25, CH , 151). Fabian Vettel (20, GER, Mann-Filter Team HTP) on 138 points also still has a chance of finishing as best Junior as well as Audi drivers Dennis Marschall (23, GER) and Carrie Schreiner (21, GER, both HCB-Rutronik Racing) with amassed 120 points.
Source. ADAC GT Masters