Mercedes-AMG celebrates a successful conclusion of the 2020 ADAC GT Masters season at the Motorsport Arena Oschersleben. In the two races of the final weekend, the teams with the Mercedes-AMG GT3s secured a victory and two further podium finishes. Philip Ellis (GER) and Raffaele Marciello (ITA) of the KNAUS Team HTP-WINWARD won the season-ending race on Sunday in a commanding way. Maro Engel and Luca Stolz (both GER) of the Toksport WRT team had finished second on the previous day, ahead of Ellis/Marciello, who also finished on the podium in the race on Saturday in third place. In the drivers’ standings of the super sports car league, the duo of Engel and Stolz kept the battle for the title open until the final race: with a strong performance on the final weekend, they secured third place in the final drivers’ standings and sealed third place in the teams’ standings for Toksport WRT.
In ideal outside conditions, the final weekend of the ADAC GT Masters season at the Motorsport Arena Oschersleben once again had a lot of entertaining motorsport in store. The teams with the Mercedes-AMG GT3s showed a fascinating final dash. Maro Engel and Luca Stolz on behalf of Customer Racing Team Toksport WRT were particularly determined to still play a role in the battle for the title, having headed to the Magdeburger Börde with just a small gap to the points’ leaders.
The duo managed to do so in the race on Saturday in particular. At the start, Stolz immediately moved up one position with the #22 Toksport WRT Mercedes-AMG GT3 and established himself in second place, hunting the leader. Philipp Ellis also had a good start that saw the #48 KNAUS Team HTP-WINWARD car move up from fifth to fourth place. Just before the pit stop window opened, an accident led to a longer interruption of the race. At the restart, Stolz and Ellis maintained their positions. Shortly after that, a well-timed change from Ellis to Marciello brought the #48 car up into third place while Engel, who had taken over the #22 car from Stolz, remained in second place. As the race went on, both Mercedes-AMG GT3s continued their course for a podium finish without being under threat, but weren’t able to mount a challenge for the lead themselves. After 40 laps of the Motorsport Arena Oschersleben, second place for Toksport WRT and third place for KNAUS Team HTP-WINWARD were in the books. Another pairing to finish in the top ten of the race on Saturday were Indy Dontje (NED) and Maximilian Götz (GER), who finished tenth in the penultimate race of the season with the #47 MANN-FILTER Team HTP-WINWARD entry.
For the final race on Sunday, Marciello had secured the best starting grid position. In a real qualifying thriller, the 25-year-old posted his fastest lap time just before the end of the season. At the start of the race, pole-position for the #48 Mercedes-AMG GT3 proved to be highly valuable as Marciello managed to stay away from a major start line accident. Engel, who had started from P8 with the #22 Mercedes-AMG GT3 equally made it through the debris on the main straight without damage, just like Dorian Boccolacci (FRA) in the #20 Team Zakspeed BKK Mobil Oil Racing car from P5 on the grid. Once the race got underway again, Marciello dominated proceedings and handed the car to Ellis while in the lead. The 28-year-old seamlessly continued the performance and brought the maiden win for KNAUS Team HTP-WINWARD home with a huge margin after 42 laps – the fourth victory of the season for a Mercedes-AMG Customer Racing Team in the 2020 ADAC GT Masters. With the #22 car, Luca Stolz rejoined the race in fifth place after the mandatory pit stop, closely followed by Mick Wishofer (AUT) in the #20 car in sixth. The two Mercedes-AMG GT3s went on to cross the finish line in these positions. Like on the previous day, the duo of Dontje/Götz also finished in the top ten, having started from 13th on the grid: P3 for the #47 MANN-FILTER Team HTP-WINWARD car. Fifth place for Engel/Stolz didn’t lead to any improvement in the overall standings: after a season total of 14 races, the duo ended up third in the drivers’ standings, 14 points down. Toksport WRT concludes the season also with third place in the final teams’ standings, twelve points down.
Third place in final standings ADAC GT4 Germany
In the ADAC GT4 Germany, held on the ADAC GT Masters support package, Julien Apothéloz (SUI) and Luca-Sandro Trefz (GER) headed into the final weekend as the leaders in the drivers’ standings. However, an unfortunate situation in the first race on Saturday saw the duo with the #48 MANN-FILTER Team HTP-WINWARD Mercedes-AMG GT4 drop back. With a competitive spirit, Apotheloz/Trefz recovered strongly by finishing fourth in the final race, resulting into third place in the final drivers’ standings.
Raffaele Marciello, KNAUS Team HTP-WINWARD (#48): “That was a very good weekend for us. Concluding the season with a victory and a podium finish is great, of course. Unfortunately, it wasn’t like that all season. However, that is perhaps also a very good lesson for next year. Now, first of all, I am happy and I say thank you to the entire team that has worked really hard.”
Philip Ellis, KNAUS Team HTP-WINWARD (#48): “My stint during our victory today was rather unspectacular. Only during the first two laps, I still had somebody in my rear-view mirror. After that, I was able to pull away more and more and just had to bring it home. This weekend was a nice end of a season that was rather chequered for us.”
Maro Engel, Toksport WRT (#22): “Of course, we are a bit disappointed that it wasn’t enough for us to still clinch the title on the final weekend. The three races in which we didn’t score points were decisive. There, we lacked the necessary bit of racing luck. Nevertheless, we can be proud of our season. We had a super reliable car and a mega strong team. Thanks to Luca, to Toksport WRT and to Mercedes-AMG.”
Luca Stolz, Toksport WRT (#22): “First of all, a huge ‘thank you’ to the team that once again gave us a great car. Throughout the season, working with them has been great fun. Our guest participation last year already gave an indication of that. Embarking on a full-season campaign in 2020 was a good decision by Toksport WRT. That we were able to conclude the maiden season with third place is an excellent result.”
Stefan Wendl, head of Mercedes-AMG Customer Racing: “I am really happy that we were able to conclude an exciting and action-packed season with an overall win and a total of four Mercedes-AMG GT3s in the top ten. Congratulations to Toksport WRT that secured third place in the championship in their maiden season straight away and to HTP-WINWARD that was able to add two highlights with today’s race win at Oschersleben and yesterday’s podium finish. We are looking forward to being present again in the ADAC GT Masters next year. We thank the teams and the organiser for their huge effort to still make the season happen like this after all the challenges.”