Strong start at Sachsenring for Thomas Preining (21, AUT, Precote Herberth Motorsport). The Porsche driver decisively set fastest time in first practice for the grand finale weekend of the ADAC GT Masters. Mercedes-AMG driver Indy Dontje (26, NL, Mann-Filter Team HTP) was second. Third place went to Matteo Cairoli (23, ITA, Küs Team75 Bernhard) in another 911 GT3 R.
For quite some time, it looked like the Mercedes-AMGs would rule the roost, as first Philip Ellis (26, GB) and Fabian Vettel (20, GER, both Mann-Filter Team HTP) and then team-mates Dontje and Maximilian Götz (33, GER) led the field. But Porsche took control in the dying minutes of the session. First, Cairoli went into the lead, then Preining finally took the top spot with a 1:19.056 minutes. The Austrian team-mate to Robert Renauer (34, GER) was 0.3 seconds faster than Dontje and Götz in second place. Cairoli and partner Adrien de Leener (30, BEL) in P3 were another 20 thousandths of a second slower.
“That was a good session,” said Preining. “We bedded in the brakes initially with Robert and then I went out on fresh tyres. The car is running really well. Yes, there are still things we can improve, but basically, it was a good start to the weekend. We now have to build on what we’ve achieved and see that it continues. It’s going to be very close again, but we should have what it takes to challenge up front once more.”
Christian Engelhart (32, GER) and Mirko Bortolotti (29, ITA, both Orange1 by GRT Grasser) in the best-placed Lamborghini and Max Hofer (20, AUT) and Christopher Mies (30, GER, both Montaplast by Land-Motorsport) in the fastest Audi completed the Top Five.
ADAC GT Masters Esports championship finale
The first ADAC GT Masters Esports championship will be decided in two 40-minute races on Saturday at the Sachsenring. Starting at 6.30 pm, the eight regulars and four wild card drivers will compete against each other in garages 32 and 33 in the last live event of the new SimRacing series. The races will be broadcast live on the ADAC GT Masters Facebook page, on YouTube and on RaceRoom’s Twitch channel.
Pommer at Aust Motorsport
Callaway Competition will not be racing at the Sachsenring after being involved in two crashes at Hockenheim, so Markus Pommer (28, GER) is lining up with Aust Motorsport for the final weekend. He has won three races so far this season and will share the #3 Audi R8 LMS with Maximilian Hackländer (29, GER). “I managed to find a cockpit at Aust for the finale, since one of their drivers is unavailable,” said Pommer, who took his first win in the ADAC GT Masters at the Nürburgring in 2017 with the German team from Westphalia and is currently fifth in the standings, “First practice was quite good. I soon got used to the Audi again. I’m sure I can find a few more tenths, but I should be on form on Saturday. My goal still is to finish in the Top Three in the championship.” Aust had to completely rebuild the Audi with a new chassis after crashing in Saturday’s race at Hockenheim so that it could compete at the Sachsenring.
Frenchman in first outing for Mücke Motorsport
Frenchman Steven Palette (29) will be making his Super Sports Car League debut, standing in for regular driver, Christopher Haase, during BWT Mücke Motorsport’s final weekend. “It’s thanks to Markus Winkelhock, with whom I race in another series, and Peter Mücke, that I’ve got this opportunity,” said Palette. “The track is very interesting and enjoyable. I wonder how we’ll do.”
PS on Air with Patric Niederhauser and Kelvin van der Linde
Who is the real champion of 2019? This and other questions will be answered in the next edition of ‘PS on Air – The ADAC GT Masters Talk Show’. On Saturday at 6.30 pm in the Sachsenring’s paddock, talk show host Patrick Simon will challenge freshly crowned ADAC GT Masters champions, Patric Niederhauser (27, CH) and Kelvin van der Linde (23, ZA, both HCB-Rutronik Racing) to an exciting competition, in which the two Audi drivers go head-to-head. The show will be broadcast live at youtube.com/adac, on the ADAC GT Masters Facebook channel and on Patrick Simon’s YouTube channel: youtube.com/Patsimon75.
Source. ADAC GT Masters