After a thrilling season opener at the Lausitzring, the teams and drivers travel to the Nürburgring next weekend (14th- 16th August) for the second fixture of the 2020 ADAC GT Masters. Among the field of 36 super sports cars will be the championship leading Mercedes AMG GT3 Evo of Toksport WRT driven by Luca Stolz (25, GER) and Maro Engel (34, Monte Carlo). Toksport are based in the surrounding Eifel region and regard this as their home race. Formula 1 star Nico Hülkenberg (34, Monte Carlo, Team mcchip-dkr) initially planned a guest entry at Nürburgring, but is now in a limbo. After this strong comeback in Silverstone, Hülkenberg is on call for Racing Point in Formula 1, which a guest entry in a Lamborghini his other option for the weekend.
Key facts, Nürburgring, Nürburg, Rounds 3 and 4 of 14
Length of track: 3,629 metres
Layout: 11 corners (seven right-handers, four left-handers), driven clockwise
Winners 2019, Race 1: Mirko Bortolotti & Christian Engelhart (Orange1 by GRT Grasser-Lamborghini Huracán GT3 Evo)
Winners in 2019, Race 2: Timo Bernhard & Klaus Bachler (Küs Team75 Bernhard-Porsche 911 GT3 R)
The Top Three
In the season opener at the Lausitzring, it was already apparent that the 2020 ADAC GT Masters was set to be a highly competitive affair, with an extremely high-powered field of sports car brands including Audi, Bentley, BMW, Corvette, Lamborghini, Mercedes-AMG and Porsche. In the first qualifying session of the campaign, there were 31 cars within one second of each other, a tighter result than has ever been seen before. Having chalked up one victory and one runners-up spot, Mercedes-AMG drivers Luca Stolz and Maro Engel travel to the Eifel region as early championship leaders. In second place are the Porsche duo of Michael Ammermüller (34, GER) and Christian Engelhart (33, GER, both SSR Performance), followed in third by the Audi R8 LMS pairing of Charles Weerts (19, BEL) and Dries Vanthoor (22, BEL, both Team WRT) who won the Sunday race at the Lausitzring. The Top Three therefore features three different marques. The statistics show the sheer unpredictability of ADAC GT Masters races on the Eifel circuit: the eight races staged since 2016 have had eight different winners.
Whether Nico Hülkenberg will make his debut in the ADAC GT Masters this weekend is still uncertain, as his short-term Formula 1 commitment may have to take precedence. But if he is available, the Rhinelander will be partnered by the pseudonymous ‘Dieter Schmidtmann’ (35, GER) in a Lamborghini Huracán GT3 Evo entered by mcchip-dkr. Audi Sports driver Markus Winkelhock (40, GER), who shares the cockpit of the second EFP Car Collection by Tece Audi R8 LMS with Mike David Ortmann (20, GER), also has a Formula 1 background. On this second weekend of the season, the Belgian outfit WRT will be fielding a third Audi crewed by German teenager Benjamin Goethe (17, Monte Carlo) and Stuart Hall (35, GB). Boosting the Porsche presence on the grid will be the Joos Sportwagentechnik 911 GT3 R driven by Michael Joos (29, GER) and Porsche Young Professional Julien Andlauer (21, FRA).
The Nürburgring counts as home pastures for several of the teams and drivers. Toksport WRT have the shortest journey from Quiddelbach which is less than five kilometres away. Another illustrious outfit, Zakspeed BKK Mobil Oil Racing from Niederzissen, will also be sending their two Mercedes-AMG GT3 Evos on a very short journey this weekend. For Audi specialists Montaplast by Land Motorsport, the distance from Niederdreisbach is slightly under 100 kilometres. Their two drivers, Kim-Luis Schramm (23 GER) and ex-champion Christopher Mies (31, GER), also enjoy the status of local favourites. Fellow Audi driver Frank Stippler (45, GER) of Team ISR lives just a stone’s throw away from the Nürburgring in Bad Münstereifel.
The Nürburgring is one of the regular circuits on which the ADAC GT Masters is contested. In its 2007 debut season, the racing series held its inaugural race weekend in the forest setting of the Eifel. Since then, the Super Sports Car League has been hosted by the venue in each successive season. This year’s event will be the 16th. Racing takes place on the 3,629-metre sprint track with its Formula 1 chicane. This year’s races will be over a slightly reduced number of laps. As at the Lausitzring, the event will be run in compliance with biosecurity measures drawn up by the ADAC GT Masters and approved by the authorities. Sharing the billing with the ADAC GT Masters this weekend will be the ADAC GT4 Germany, the ADAC TCR Germany and the ADAC Formula 4.
ADAC GT Masters eSports Championship
The second of eight races in the 2020 ADAC GT Masters eSports Championship will take place on Saturday starting at 18:30 CEST. 20 contestants and four guest entrants will compete on a digital version of the Nürburgring. The prize pot stands at EUR80,000. Following his victory at the Lausitzring, Jack Keithley (GB) representing the eSports team of the Formula 1 racing team Williams has taken an early lead in the standings. The race can be watched as a livestream on youtube.com/adac and on adac.de/motorsport.
Comments ahead of the race weekend
Ma ro Engel (Toksport WRT, Mercedes-AMG GT3 Evo): “We are obviously very much looking forward to the Nürburgring weekend. Races there are always associated with many wonderful memories. Last year, it was where our team celebrated a podium finish on its ADAC GT Masters debut. So we are highly motivated and want to carry forward the positive momentum from the season opener. It’s going to be exceptionally competitive again, so we have to be perfectly prepared. The team will be going all out to provide us with a top-class car. Luca and I will try to get the maximum out of the weekend.”
Luca Stolz (Toksport WRT, Mercedes-AMG GT3 Evo): “We think we are in with a good chance. We already acquitted ourselves well here last year. We both know the track quite intimately, and it’s also the home track not only for me but also for the team. Consequently, it would be very nice if we could build on our good results from the Lausitzring. We will be aiming to score as many points as possible and then see what comes out of it in the end.”
Source. ADAC GT Masters