The 2021 season of the ADAC GT Masters gets underway this weekend (14th to 16th May) at Motorsport Arena Oschersleben, where it lines up for the first time as the International German GT Championship. A field of roughly 30 super sports cars promises to produce some thrilling racing at the challenging circuit near Magdeburg.
Key facts, Motorsport Arena Oschersleben, races 1 and 2 of 14 this season
Circuit length: 3,667 metres
Layout: 14 corners (seven right, seven left), driven clockwise
2020 winners, race 1: Michael Ammermüller/Christian Engelhart (SSR Performance, Porsche 911 GT3 R)
2020 winners, race 2: Philip Ellis/Raffaele Marciello (Knaus-Team HTP-Winward-Mercedes-AMG GT3 Evo)
Even at the pre-season test in Oschersleben, the ADAC GT Masters already boasted a remarkable strength in depth: roughly 20 cars were within just one second of each other, offering a tempting taste of what promises to be an exciting first race weekend. The circuit in Saxony-Anhalt is also known for the unpredictability of its races: in Audi, BMW, Corvette, Lamborghini, Mercedes-AMG and Porsche, six different manufacturers have been victorious at the Motorsport Arena in the last five years. As such, there are many favourites for victory on the opening weekend. Among those who will rate their chances highly is defending champion Christian Engelhart (34/Starnberg), whose new team-mate at Küs Team Bernhard, Thomas Preining (22/A), set the fastest time of the pre-season test in a Porsche 911 GT3 R. With four wins in Oschersleben, Engelhart is also the most successful of the current crop of drivers at this circuit. Of this year’s field, 16 drivers have already tasted victory in Oschersleben – including Engelhart’s co-champion from last year, Michael Ammermüller (35/Rotthalmünster), who is out to defend his title with Porsche team SSR Performance.
This season, for the first time, the ADAC GT Masters has been awarded the status of International German GT Championship – the highest grade awarded by the DMSB in automobile circuit racing – by the German Motor Sport Federation (DMSB). The Penalty Lap, with which drivers can be punished for minor offences during the race, will be making its debut in the world of automobile racing. Qualifying, in which up to 30 cars were within one second of each other last year, has been given an upgrade: for the first time, points will be awarded to the top three. The ADAC is working with new partner BWT to achieve greater sustainability at racetracks used in the German GT Championship. In line with the message “Change the world, sip by sip”, the long-term partnership will see the paddock transformed into a bottle-free zone from this year.
Motorsport Arena Oschersleben hosts the ADAC GT Masters for the 17th time this weekend. Since the series was launched, the 3.667-kilometre track, located roughly 40 kilometres west of Magdeburg, has been a permanent fixture on the calendar. Oschersleben is the traditional venue of the opening round of the new season: on twelve occasions, the ADAC GT Masters has kicked off its season there. As well as the ADAC GT Masters, the first race weekend also features ADAC GT4 Germany, ADAC TCR Germany, and the Porsche Carrera Cup Deutschland.
Due to the current pandemic situation, no spectators are permitted on the opening weekend of the season. Fans who have already purchased tickets online in advance may return them or exchange them for another ADAC GT Masters event. Tickets purchased from ADAC branches or Eventim booking offices can be returned there.
Oschersleben is the home round for Hugo Sasse, who is making the step up from ADAC GT4 Germany and comes from Aschersleben, roughly 40 kilometres from the racetrack. The 17-year-old ADAC Stiftung Sport driver is the youngest driver in the field and lines up in a Lamborghini Huracán GT3 Evo run by T3 Motorsport.
Quotes ahead of the race weekend
Christian Engelhart (Küs Team Bernhard, Porsche 911 GT3 R): “The pre-season test went well for us. We ended it with the fastest time. Oschersleben has always been a happy hunting ground for me. I have enjoyed a lot of success there and won the ADAC GT Masters title there last year. As such, I always enjoy returning to the circuit. The track is a lot of fun. It has many long corners, in which good balance is particularly important. The car cannot afford to understeer too much. We believe we have a good chance with the Porsche.”
Maro Engel (Mercedes-AMG Team Toksport WRT, Mercedes-AMG GT3 Evo): “The pre-season test showed that it is crazily close again. The season will be fiercely-competitive again. The standard of the field is probably even stronger, with the addition of some top cars and drivers. We are pleased to be up and running. We are an experienced team and want to take full advantage of that fact.”
Source. ADAC GT Masters