The ADAC GT Masters title contenders dominated a rain-hit first practice session at the Lausitzring. Porsche driver Robert Renauer (35, GER, Precote Herberth Motorsport) managed to set the fastest time on Friday morning, followed by three more drivers from the Top Five in the standings – Christian Engelhart (33, GER, SSR Performance) also in a Porsche, Lamborghini driver Albert Costa Balboa (30, ESP, GRT Grasser Racing) and championship leader Kelvin van der Linde (24, ZA, Rutronik Racing).
The session was dominated by Porsche drivers right from the start. Engelhart’s partner at SSR, Michael Ammermüller (34, GER) led the field for a long time, but over the last few minutes, Renauer, who is currently fourth in the table, went to the top of the timesheets with his final hot lap. Posting a 2:05.532, the champion from 2018 was ultimately 0.330 seconds faster than Engelhart. “It was very slippery to begin with,” said Renauer. “Getting the wet weather tyres up to temperature was not easy. We ran a setup that suited dry conditions initially but gradually made changes as it got wetter, which went well. We now have a good basis, on which to work. I really like this long version of the circuit, as it offers plenty of variety with two really good overtaking opportunities.”
Albert Costa Balboa and Franck Perera (36, FRA) finished third in the best-placed Lamborghini Huracán GT3 Evo from GRT Grasser Racing with a time of 2.06.018 minutes. Patric Niederhauser (29, CH) and Kelvin van der Linde finished fourth in the fastest Audi R8 LMS. BMW drivers Aidan Read (21, AUS) and Joel Eriksson (22, SWE, both Schubert Motorsport) completed the Top Five.
Bachler stands in for Müller
Austrian driver Klaus Bachler (29, AUT) will race for Precote Herberth Motorsport this weekend, standing in for Porsche works driver Sven Müller (28, GER), who is unwell. As a result, he will be partnering title contender Robert Renauer. Bachler normally drives for Küs Team75 Bernhard, but since his vehicle was badly damaged during testing at Oschersleben, his team will only field the sister car with David Jahn (29, GER) and Jannes Fittje (21, GER).
Augusto Farfus makes ADAC GT Masters debut
Former FIA GT World Championship winner and BMW works driver Augusto Farfus (37, BR) will be competing in the Super Sports Car League for the first time this weekend. MRS GT-Racing have asked the Brazilian to stand in for Jens Klingmann (30, GER) at short notice and share the drive with Erik Johansson (24, SWE).
Winkelhock back at Aust
As was the case at Hockenheim, ex-Formula 1 driver Markus Winkelhock (40, GER) is back in the line up at Aust Motorsport. Once again, he is taking over from Rahel Frey (34, CH), who is unable to compete. Winkelhock will partner Hendrik von Danwitz (21, GER) once more.
WRT with new crew
Team WRT have decided to field a new crew in the Audi with start number 32. Benjamin Goethe (17, Monte Carlo) and Frédéric Vervisch (34, BEL) will take over for the penultimate weekend of the season. “I think it’s great to be able to drive at the Lausitzring,” said Goethe, who at 17 is the youngest driver in the field. “I was called up at very short notice but am good to go. I’m looking forward to getting to know a new track and having a new team-mate. This should prove to be a very useful weekend.” Goethe raced for WRT earlier this season at the Nürburgring while Vervisch drove at the Sachsenring.
Zakspeed with Hendrik Still
There is also a change of drivers at Zakspeed BKK Mobil Oil Racing. Hendrik Still (33, GER) already races in the ADAC GT4 Germany for the famous outfit but will now compete in the ADAC GT Masters at the Lausitzring and in the season finale at Oschersleben as well. Still replaces Daniel Keilwitz (31, GER). Marvin Dienst (23, GER, DLV Team Schütz Motorsport) and Still are the only two drivers, who will contest both the ADAC GT Masters and the ADAC GT4 Germany this weekend. “My first outing was not easy in the wet conditions,” said Still. “The main thing in FP1 was to get to know the car. I’m really pleased to be able to go racing in the ADAC GT Masters for the first time.”
Source. ADAC GT Masters