The ADAC GT Masters is celebrating reaching a special milestone this weekend at the Red Bull Ring (16th-18th October). The 200th race in the series will be contested on Sunday. The fight for the title will dominate proceedings during this third-to-last race weekend of the season. As the championship approaches the final rounds, current leaders Patric Niederhauser (29, CH) and Kelvin van der Linde (24, ZA, both Rutronik Racing) in the Audi will come under fierce pressure at the fastest track on the calendar. The eight races held to date have produced seven different winners, so the Super Sport Car League’s guest rounds in Austria should be really thrilling. A maximum number of 3,000 spectators per day will be allowed at the track, following bio-security measures developed by the Red Bull Ring in conjunction with the ADAC GT Masters.
Key facts, Red Bull Ring, Spielberg, Races 9 and 10 (out of 14)
Track length: 4.31 km
Layout: 10 turns (seven right-handers, three left-handers), racing in a clockwise direction
Winners 2019, Race 1: Nicolai Sylvest/Jens Klingmann (MRS GT-Racing-BMW M6 GT3)
Winners 2019, Race 2: Markus Pommer/Marvin Kirchhöfer (Callaway Competition-Corvette C7 GT3-R)
Who will win the 200th ADAC GT Masters race? Now on 113 points, Audi drivers Patric Niederhauser and Kelvin van der Linde lead the championship as they head to Styria. Although Audi is the most successful manufacturer in terms of victories achieved in the previous 198 races, the sports car with the four rings is not one of the favourites in Styria, simply because the Formula 1 circuit in Austria is the only track on the calendar, on which Audi have never won. Porsche drivers Michael Ammermüller (34, GER) and Christian Engelhart (33, GER, both SSR Performance) are so far the only driver pairing to have clinched two victories in 2020, but Mercedes-AMG drivers Luca Stolz (25, GER), Maro Engel (35, Monte Carlo, both Toksport WRT), currently third in the table, are knocking on the door along with them as they too get tantalisingly close to clinching their next victory. Last’s winners Markus Pommer (29, GER) and Jeffrey Schmidt (26, CH, both Callaway Competition) are the hot favourites to finish ahead in Austria. The Corvette duo celebrated their first success of the season last time out at the Sachsenring. The BMW M6 GT3s fielded by Schubert Motorsport and MRS GT-Racing are also among the favourites to win at the Red Bull Ring, as the BMWs have always done well in terms of podium finishes in Austria in recent years.
The 200th race
The ADAC GT Masters will celebrate reaching a special milestone on Sunday when the 200th race in the series since records began takes place. The first race was staged at the Nürburgring back in 2007, and a driver and outfit, who were in at the start are still achieving success some 14 years later. Christopher Haase (33, GER, Montaplast by Land Motorsport), winner of the inaugural race and the first champion, took a podium last time out at the Sachsenring. Callaway Competition are the longest-serving team in the series. A Corvette built by Callaway has lined up among the starters alongside Porsches and Lamborghinis in all 198 races held to date. With 34 wins, Ernst Wöhr and Giovanni Ciccone’s outfit are also the most successful team in terms of victories while 2012 and 2015 champion Sebastian Asch (34, GER, Precote Herberth Motorsport) holds the record for the most starts in the series, having contested 171 races so far.
The local contingent
No less than seven local drivers and one outfit from Austria will be in the Red Bull Ring line-up. Porsche driver Klaus Bachler (29, AUT, Küs Team75 Bernhard) has the shortest distance to travel to the circuit. He lives in Unzmarkt, just 30 kilometres from the race track. Winner of last year’s Pirelli Junior classification in the ADAC GT Masters Max Hofer (21, AUT, Montaplast by Land Motorsport) will compete in an Audi R8 LMS. Viennese driver, Constantin Schöll (22, AUT, T3-HRT-Motorsport) will race the Bentley Continental GT3 while Mick Wishofer (21, AUT, Team Zakspeed BKK Mobil Oil Racing) will be at the wheel of a Mercedes-AMG GT3 Evo. GRT Grasser Racing have their headquarters at Knittelfeld in the immediate vicinity of the race track, and Clemens Schmid (30, AUT) from Tyrol will drive one of the team’s three Lamborghini Huracán GT3 Evos. Guest entrants Yaco Racing will field an Audi R8 LMS in Austria for the two local heroes, Simon Reicher (20, AUT) and Norbert Siedler (37, AUT).
The Red Bull Ring is the circuit with the highest average speed on the ADAC GT Masters calendar. The Corvette has so far dominated racing there. The current C7 GT3-R has already won five times at the Red Bull Ring while the previous model has taken four victories, equating to a 50-percent win average for the GT3 sports cars built by Callaway Competition. For the third time this season, fans will be able to come to the track to watch the ADAC GT Masters live. A maximum number of 3,000 fans per day will be able to spectate at the circuit and watch the Super Sports Cars League races as they unfold. Seat-specific tickets can be purchased in advance online by visiting adac.de/motorsport. Apart from the ADAC GT Masters, the ADAC GT4 Germany, the ADAC Formula 4, the ADAC TCR Germany and the Porsche Carrera Cup Germany will also be racing this weekend – so there’s sure to be plenty of motor racing action!
ADAC GT Masters eSports Championship powered by EnBW mobility+
Racing on the virtual Red Bull Ring, the ADAC GT Masters eSports championship powered by EnBW mobility+ will contest the fifth of eight races being held this season on Saturday, starting at 18.30 CEST. Four guest entrants will be taking part this time alongside the 20 regular competitors. Nikodem Wisniewski (Williams Esports) currently leads the eSports series and will be hoping to win his share of prize money, totalling 80,000 euros. The race will be broadcast live on youtube.com/adac and at adac.de/motorsport.
Comments in the run-up to the weekend
Markus Pommer (Callaway Competition, Corvette C7 GT3-R): “I feel good about the Red Bull Ring, because, of course, we won there last year. The Red Bull Ring really suits the Corvette, so I’m optimistic about the weekend. Some sections are uphill, so torque plays an important role. I love the circuit. It’s a lot of fun to drive, because there are plenty of fast corners and good overtaking opportunities. The tarmac is a bit special. It is very easy on tyres, but as a result, getting tyres to work properly can be tricky. It’s different to other tracks, in that you can post several hot laps in a row in qualifying.”
Klaus Bachler (Küs Team75 Bernhard, Porsche 911 GT3 R): “I’m really looking forward to the Red Bull Ring, for sure, and we intend to get the most out of it. We’re going to work on every last little detail in order to make that happen. However, the Red Bull Ring probably affords the most places to overtake of all the tracks on the calendar, even though it can prove quite tricky, because the gaps between cars are so very small. It’s really late in the year to be racing at Spielberg, so anything is possible as regards the weather. The Red Bull Ring is located in the mountains where conditions can change very quickly, which will make tyre selection tough for both teams and drivers.”
Source. ADAC GT Masters