Küs Team Bernhard has a prominent newcomer: The racing team of two-time Le Mans winner and FIA World Endurance Champion, Timo Bernhard, has acquired the services of the defending champion in the ADAC GT Masters, Christian Engelhart (34/Starnberg). The German will share a Porsche 911 GT3 R with Porsche works driver Thomas Preining (22/A). The team disclosed this secret exclusively on Sunday in the latest edition of PS on Air – The Ravenol ADAC GT Masters Talk. The opening round of this season’s German GT Championship takes place from 14th to 16th May in Oschersleben.
Sights set firmly on victories and titles
Engelhart is one of the most successful rivers in the ADAC GT Masters. Last year, he won the Drivers’ Championship for the first time, alongside Michael Ammermüller in a Porsche run by SSR Performance. The Bavarian already has 15 race wins to his name in the championship. His partner Preining claimed one race win in his debut season in 2019. “The ADAC GT Masters once again spearheads our numerous motorsport programmes this year. We want to demonstrate what we are capable of as a team in this top competition,” says team principal Timo Bernhard. “In Christian, we have signed the reigning champion, who will form a very potent duo with Thomas, who has just been promoted to a Porsche works driver. I am very confident that we will be challenging at the front of the field. I also see the upgrading of the championship and the title of German GT Championship as an extremely positive development.”
Defending champion Christian Engelhart already feels at home in his new team: “When we chatted to Timo in the winter, we soon noticed that this would be a good move. Together, we want to challenge for race wins and titles this year – and we will work hard to achieve that. The Team Bernhard family has already made me feel very welcome and, in Thomas, I have a super-fast team-mate who I already know from previous years. I can hardly wait to get started now.”
Thomas Preining is pleased to be returning to the ADAC GT Masters: “I did spend one season driving in the ADAC GT Masters in 2019, and I have a score to settle there. At the moment, I am working at home to prepare as well as possible for the season. I am spending a lot of time in the simulator, in order to get the very best out of myself, so that I can hopefully challenge for victories. The key will be to bond as a team as quickly as possible and to work well together. However, I am not worried about that. I think that we will primarily use the preseason tests to get to know each other and do some teambuilding, as well as to work on the set-up. I am confident we are a strong team. We have a really good engineer, and Christian and I know each other relatively well, so I am looking forward to sharing the car with him. I believe we are a strong line-up and are capable of great things. We just need to make sure we don’t make any mistakes, don’t end up pointless in any races, and are always consistently quick. If we manage that, the sky is the limit.”
Changes within the team
As well as the drivers, there have also been additional changes in Küs Team Bernhard. Timo Bernhard will be supported for the first time by his sister Jennifer Leising, who will take on organisation and team management. The car numbers for the two Bernhard Porsche are also new: Engelhart and Preining will share the driving duties in the 911 with the start number 75 this season. The second car, whose drivers will be announced at a later date, lines up with the number 74. The number 75 is a nod to the team’s roots: it was in 1975 that Rüdiger Bernhard, the father of Timo Bernhard, started his motorsport activities. The design of the race car has also been modified. Whilst it has been freshened up, great emphasis has been placed on ensuring that the team’s identity and history are retained.
Familiar duo in ADAC GT4 Germany
As it did last year, Küs Team Bernhard will field a Porsche 718 Cayman GT4 MR in ADAC GT4 Germany. The team is also putting its faith in two tried-and-tested drivers: Alexander Tauscher (18/Mitterfels) and Levi O’Dey (16/Jülich) will contest their second season with the team from Bruchmühlbach-Miesau, having finished runner-up in the Pirelli Junior competition in 2020.
“I am very happy that we are continuing with our talented youngsters in ADAC GT4 Germany,” says a delighted Timo Bernhard. “Both showed great potential last season. Alex’s highlight was the win at the finale, and Levi really caught the eye with his consistently quick laps at podium pace. We want to build on this potential as a team.”
Source. ADAC GT Masters