Audi driver Ricardo Feller (20, CH) set the first best time of the day in FP1 of the ADAC GT Masters finale at Oschersleben. On a drying track, Feller topped the timesheets ahead of Lamborghini drivers Clemens Schmid (30, AUT) and Tim Zimmermann (24, GER, both GRT Grasser Racing Team). The title contenders were meanwhile happy to bide their time in the slippery conditions.
The 50-minute session began on a wet track. As it gradually began to dry off, the lap times became correspondingly faster. Feller moved to the top of the timesheets with his final hot lap: “That went quite well. I like these mixed conditions. It was still pretty wet at the beginning, so we didn’t go out until the track had dried off a bit. With rain tyres, things went well, but it was still too early for slicks. As we will probably only have dry conditions for the rest of the weekend, we shouldn’t read too much into this free practice session.”
Feller, who shares an Audi R8 LMS with Stefan Mücke (38, GER), set a time of 1:31.001 minutes, 0.407 seconds faster than Niels Lagrange (29, BEL) and Clemens Schmid (30, AUT, both GRT Grasser Racing Team) in the fastest of the Lamborghini contingent. Behind them in third place with a time of 1:31.514 minutes were Steijn Schothorst (26, NL) and Tim Zimmermann (24, GER) in another Grasser Huracán GT3 Evo. In fifth place came Albert Costa Balboa (30, ESP) and Franck Perera (36, FRA) in the third car fielded by the Austrian outfit.
Christian Engelhart (33, GER) and Michael Ammermüller (34, GER, both SSR Performance) in a Porsche ended the session in fourth, which positioned them as the best of the title contenders. Their championship rivals were meanwhile holding fire. Leaders Patric Niederhauser (29, CH) and Kelvin van der Linde (24, ZA, both Rutronik Racing) only completed nine laps in their Audi. “We were just running in the brakes,” said van der Linde. “With the track not having dried out, it made little sense for us to do many laps.”
Comeback for Jaminet
Ex-champion Mathieu Jaminet (26, FRA) is about to make a welcome return to the ADAC GT Masters this weekend at Oschersleben. The Frenchman is stepping in at short notice to replace the indisposed Sven Müller (28, GER) at Precote Herberth Motorsport. Jaminet will be supporting Robert Renauer (35, GER), who is currently second in the championship standings. The duo had already won the Super Sports Car League together in 2018. “I am happy to be back in the ADAC GT Masters,” says Jaminet, “even though I would have liked to return under different circumstances. It will be an exciting weekend. I will give everything to support Robert.” Jaminet has fond memories of Oschersleben: in 2017, he took pole position on his ADAC GT Masters debut and drove to victory at the first attempt. Ironically, that win came when he was partnering Michael Ammermüller (34, GER, SSR Performance) who is now cast in the role of competitor to Renauer for the title.
Küs Team75 Bernhard back at full strength
Timo Bernhard’s team are back in the line-up for Oschersleben with both of their Porsche 911 GT3 Rs. Car number 17 driven by Simona De Silvestro (32, CH) and Klaus Bachler (29, AUT, both Küs Team75 Bernhard) was unable to compete in the penultimate round of the season, after sustaining heavy damage in testing prior to the second of the two Lausitzring weekends: Timo Bernhard: “The accident involving our #17 has once again caused us a lot of stress. But the team did a great job and rebuilt the car during the race weekend at the Lausitzring. We are very proud of this – they had to work really hard. They deserve great praise for their efforts. Many thanks! Everyone did an outstanding job. I’m looking forward to what I hope will be a gratifying close to the season with two excellent races.”
Return of the regulars
Various other contestants who were unavailable for the Lausitzring last week will also be back in action at the season finale. Carrie Schreiner (22, GER) returns in the second of the Rutronik Racing Audi R8 LMSs. Fellow Audi Rahel Frey (34, CH) is back with the Aust Motorsport squad. Rolf Ineichen (42, CH) and Mirko Bortolotti (30, ITA, both Team WRT) will be sharing the cockpit of the number 30 Audi again. BMW works driver Nick Yelloly (29, GB) is set to return in the Schubert Motorsport BMW M6 GT3.
PS on Air on Saturday evening
The next episode of PS on Air (Ravenol ADAC GT Masters talk show) goes out live from Oschersleben on Saturday at 20:00 CET. Presenter Patrick Simon will be taking an in-depth look at the ADAC GT Masters title fight with his guests and analysing the key moments from Saturday’s Super Sports Car League race.
Source. ADAC GT Masters