The second race weekend of the ADAC GT Masters was totally dominated by one manufacturer: after victory on Saturday, Porsche triumphed again in the second race courtesy of Robert Renauer (35, GER) and Sven Müller (28, GER, both Precote Herberth Motorsport), who were claiming their first win of the season. Second place went to Charles Weerts (19, BEL) and Dries Vanthoor (22, BEL, both Team WRT) in the best-placed Audi R8 LMS as they finished ahead of Lamborghini works drivers Franck Perera (36, FRA) and (Albert Costa Balboa (30, ESP, both GRT Grasser Racing Team). “What a great victory,” said a delighted Robert Renauer. “That was some small recompense for our unfortunate season opener at the Lausitzring.”
Key facts, Nürburgring, Nürburg, Round 4 of 14
Circuit length: 3,629 metres
Weather: 28°C, cloudy
Pole Position: Kelvin van der Linde (Rutronik Racing, Audi R8 LMS), 1:27.576 mins
Winner: Robert Renauer & Sven Müller (Precote Herberth Motorsport, Porsche 911 GT3 R)
Fastest lap: Patric Niederhauser (Rutronik Racing, Audi R8 LMS), 1:28.593 mins
Porsches off to a flying start
Müller and Renauer laid the foundations for victory with a strong start. Müller improved from fifth to third, and for the whole of the first stint was behind fellow Porsche driver David Jahn, who had gone into P1 from sixth on the grid. Jahn defended his lead against pole-sitter Kelvin van der Linde (24, ZA, Rutronik Racing) and third-placed Müller until the round of pit stops. Van der Linde was the first in the top group to complete his stop, handing the car over to partner Patric Niederhauser. By virtue of having come in early, the two defending champions took P1 as the pit stop window closed, but only briefly. A subsequent drive-through penalty for a pit lane infringement dropped the Audi pairing way down the field. They had to settle for tenth place in the end, despite having posted the fastest lap of the race.
Müller’s partner Renauer was the new race leader after undercutting fellow Porsche drivers Jahn and Fittje with a better pit stop strategy. Renauer then pulled away and eventually achieved a first win of the season by a margin of 3.7 seconds. For both him and his team, Precote Herberth Motorsport, this was win number seven in the ADAC GT Masters and the second for Porsche works driver Müller.
David Jahn and Jannes Fittje took the chequered flag in second, but a retrospective 30-second penalty for an unsafe release after their pit stop dropped them out of the points. Charles Weerts (19, BEL) and Dries Vanthoor (22, BEL, both Team WRT) were accordingly elevated to the runner-up spot. This was the second podium of the year for the Audi pairing from Belgium after they won Race 2 at the season opener. The result was more than enough for Weerts to secure victory in the Pirelli Junior classification.
Making their first podium appearance of the 2020 campaign were third-placed Lamborghini factory drivers Franck Perera (36/FRA) and Albert Costa Balboa (30/ESP, both GRT Grasser Racing Team). Rolf Ineichen (42, CH) and Mirko Bortolotti (30, ITA, both Team WRT) in another Audi missed out on the champagne in fourth place, but Ineichen had the consolation of winning the Pirelli Trophy class.
Markus Pommer (29, GER) and Jeffrey Schmidt (26, CH, both Callaway Competition) came fifth in the only Corvette in the field, finishing ahead of Audi duo Max Hofer (21, AUT) and Christopher Haase (32, GER, both Montaplast by Land Motorsport). Maro Engel (34, Monte Carlo) and Luca Stolz (25, GER, both Toksport WRT) in a Mercedes-AMG GT3 Evo defended their championship lead but were absent from the podium for the first time this season. Also in a Mercedes, Philip Ellis (27, GB) and Raffaele Marciello (25, ITA, both Knaus-Team HTP-Winward) took P8 ahead of the Lamborghini Huracán GT3 Evo of Steijn Schothorst (25, NL) and Tim Zimmermann (23, GER, both GRT Grasser Racing Team).
Comments from the winners:
Robert Renauer (Precote Herberth Motorsport, Porsche 911 GT3 R): “To be honest, my race today was relatively unspectacular. I took over from Sven in P1 and was then able to defend my position. This second generation of the Porsche 911 GT3 R obviously goes extremely well here at the Nürburgring. The car felt really smooth, and our pace was good throughout. Also, the fact that we were able to clinch victory today after our bad luck at the Lausitzring has put things right to some extent and we’re very happy about that.”
Sven Müller (Precote Herberth Motorsport, Porsche 911 GT3 R): “After we had all come round the last corner of the formation lap quite quickly, the start was somewhat chaotic. We got through OK, gaining two positions straight away. As the race progressed, we found it difficult to get past the Audi of Kelvin van der Linde and the Porsche driven by David Jahn, but you could say that we then got lucky to some extent. After our miserable start to the season at the Lausitzring, we are of course very happy with our win here!”
Source. ADAC GT Masters