In a commanding performance at the Sachsenring on Saturday, the Mercedes duo of Marvin Dienst (23, GER) and Philipp Frommenwiler (31, CH, both DLV team Schütz Motorsport) converted pole position into a maiden ADAC GT Masters win. Runners-up on the spectacular rollercoaster track near Chemnitz were Robert Renauer (35, GER) and Sven Müller (28, GER, both Precote Herberth Motorsport) in the best placed of the Porsches. The Mercedes-AMG pairing of Luca Stolz (25, GER) and Maro Engel (35, Monte Carlo, both Toksport WRT) finished in third place, a result that was enough to take them back to the top of the championship table at the halfway point of the campaign, with seven of the 14 races now complete. “I really enjoyed the final laps,” said winner Philipp Frommenwiler at the finish. “We didn’t have the easiest of starts to the season and are now back on the road to success. Marvin already did a top job with the pole position in qualifying and the team gave us a sensational car for the race.”
Key facts, Sachsenring, Hohenstein-Ernstthal, Round 7 of 14
Length of track: 3,645 metres
Weather: 21°C, slightly overcast
Pole position: Marvin Dienst (DLV-Team Schütz Motorsport, Mercedes-AMG GT3), 1:18.846 mins
Winners: Marvin Dienst & Philipp Frommenwiler (DLV-Team Schütz Motorsport, Mercedes-AMG
Fastest race lap: Albert Costa Balboa (GRT Grasser Racing Team, Lamborghini Huracán GT3 Evo),
Dienst retains lead throughout stint
Marvin Dienst and Philipp Frommenwiler dominated the action right from the start as they headed to victory. Whereas pole-sitter Dienst was able to defend his lead from the start, Porsche driver Michael Ammermüller (34, GER, SSR Performance), who had also been on the front row, dropped back down to seventh over the opening lap. Also in a Porsche, Robert Renauer took his place to become Dienst’s main challenger followed by Luca Stolz in the Mercedes-AMG and Steijn Schothorst (25, NL, GRT Grasser Racing Team) in the best-placed Lamborghini. Dienst continued to draw away from the field on the laps that followed. At the end of ten laps, he was two seconds up on Renauer, and the gap increased to 4.2 seconds after another five. Dienst had built up a lead of more than five seconds on the rest of the field when the pit stop window eventually opened. Frommenwiler then controlled the race from the front and was ultimately first to take the chequered flag by a margin of 3.5 seconds. For Frommenwiler and partner Dienst, this was their maiden victory in the Super Sports Car League and the eighth overall for Schütz Motorsport, the last one having come in 2015. Dienst also took the win in the Pirelli Junior classification.
At the end of the 45 race laps, Renauer and team-mate Sven Müller narrowly beat Mercedes drivers Luca Stolz and Maro Engel in the battle for second place, with 0.9 seconds separating the two cars at the finish. However, third place was still enough for Stolz and Engel to reclaim their place at the top of the championship table, where they are now level on points with defending champions Patric Niederhauser (28, CH) and Kelvin van der Linde (24, ZA, both Rutronik Racing) who finished seventh in their Audi.
Fourth place in Saturday’s race went to Steijn Schothorst and Tim Zimmermann (24, GER). The Lamborghini pairing were the beneficiaries of a mishap that befell their team-mates Franck Perera (36, FRA) and Albert Costa Balboa (30, ESP, both GRT Grasser Racing Team) who were forced to retire with a puncture just before reaching the finish line while lying in fourth place. Mick Wishofer (20, AUT) and Dorian Boccolacci (22, FRA, both Team Zakspeed BKK Mobil Oil Racing) fought their way up from tenth on the grid to fifth. Michael Ammermüller and Christian Engelhart (33, GER) in the Porsche followed them home in sixth place.
Markus Pommer (29, GER) and Jeffrey Schmidt (26, CH, both Callaway Competition) gained no fewer than six places, moving up from 14th on the grid to finish eighth. Klaus Bachler (29, AUT) and Simona De Silvestro (32, CH, both Küs Team75 Bernhard) were ninth in their Porsche 911 followed by Eric Johansson (23, SWE) and Jens Klingmann (30, GER, both MRS GT-Racing) in the best result for a BMW M6 GT3 so far this season. Victory in the Pirelli Trophy classification for amateur drivers went to Filip Salaquarda (36, CZ, Team ISR) in an Audi.
Comments from the winners:
Marvin Dienst (DLV-Team Schütz Motorsport, Mercedes-AMG GT3):
“We had some problems at Hockenheim last time and had to completely transform the car, so it’s obviously great to bounce back with a victory. The team has had to wait a long time for a win, and I’m really happy for them. We asserted our lead right from the start, and because we were leading the field with an open road in front of us, we were able to manage our tyres well. We also had good pace overall. The objective was to establish an early lead so as not to allow our opponents to benefit from slipstream and then to hang on to our position even after the tyres started to degrade, which is what we had been expecting to happen towards the end of the race.
Philipp Frommenwiler (DLV-Team Schütz Motorsport, Mercedes-AMG GT3):
“This victory today goes some way towards compensating us for a few weekends where things didn’t go so well. It was important that we had a good pit stop, allowing me to drive at my own pace. Towards the end of the race, I realised that we had built a good lead, which meant we were able to remain fully in control. This is an important step forward for us. We certainly hadn’t been expecting things to go so well today. For the moment, we are happy about the victory, and we’ll try to keep it up.”
Source. ADAC GT Masters