The right tyre choice was decisive: with the track drying out, defending champion Michael Ammermüller (35/Rotthalmünster) and Mathieu Jaminet (26/F, both SSR Performance) chose the right time to switch to slicks on their Porsche 911 GT3, before going on to take victory in Sunday’s race in the German GT Championship in Oschersleben. Second place went to BMW drivers Nick Yelloly (29/GB) and Jesse Krohn (30/FIN) in the M6 GT3 run by Oschersleben-based team Schubert Motorsport. Maximilian Hackländer (31/Rüthen) and Mick Wishofer (21/A, both MRS GT-Racing) came home third in another 911. “It went perfectly today,” said a victorious Ammermüller. “First the pole position, then the victory and the lead in the championship. After Saturday was not exactly ideal, we turned things around and brought the weekend to a perfect close.”
Key facts, Motorsport Arena Oschersleben, Oschersleben, race 2 of 14
Circuit length: 3,667 metres
Weather: 17 degrees, rain at first, dry later
Pole position: Mathieu Jaminet (SSR Performance, Porsche 911 GT3 R), 1:23.112 min.
Winners: Mathieu Jaminet/Michael Ammermüller (SSR Performance, Porsche 911 GT3 R)
Fastest lap: Ricardo Feller (Montaplast by Land-Motorsport, Audi R8 LMS), 1:26.945 min.
Engel dominates the first half of the race, Ammermüller the second
Roughly 20 minutes before the start of Sunday’s race, a heavy shower made for difficult conditions and forced all the teams to start on wet tyres. Pole-sitter Mathieu Jaminet held onto the lead at the start, but was stopped in his tracks by the appearance of the safety car as early as lap two: Lamborghini driver Franck Perera (37/F, GRT Grasser Racing Team), Marvin Kirchhöfer (27/Luzern, Callaway Competition) in the Corvette C7 GT3-R and Audi driver Markus Winkelhock (40/Zdimerice, Car Collection Motorsport) had skidded off the track. Shortly after the re-start on lap four, Maro Engel (35/Monte Carlo, Mercedes-AMG Team Toksport WRT) passed Jaminet to take the lead, before producing some quick lap times to pull clear of the Frenchman. Engel’s team-mate Luca Stolz continued to lead after the driver changeover at the halfway point of the race, and found himself with a lead of over ten seconds at one point. Jaminet’s partner Ammermüller was the only driver in the leading group to switch to slicks and initially dropped back to fifth place on a track that was still wet. However, the circuit started to dry out just a few laps later – and Ammermüller launched a mighty fightback. The defending champion was several seconds faster than the leaders on each lap and gained position after position. He retook the lead from Stolz on lap 25, before going on to win by 22.64 seconds.
The fact that the switch to slicks was the correct decision was reflected in the other positions. BMW works drivers Nick Yelloly and Jesse Krohn, who started from 13th on the grid, fought back strongly in the second half of the race to finish runner-up – to the joy of their Oschersleben-based team. Maximilian Hackländer and Mick Wishofer climbed a remarkable 15 places in their Porsche to take claim a surprising podium result. In doing so, Wishofer also took victory in the Pirelli Junior competition.
Igor Waliłko (23/PL) and Jules Gounon (26/F, both Team Zakspeed Mobil Krankenkasse Racing) were fourth in the best-placed Mercedes-AMG GT3 Evo, ahead of Ricardo Feller (20/CH) and Christopher Mies (31/Heiligenhaus, both Montaplast by Land-Motorsport) in their Audi R8 LMS. Sixth place went to the Porsche duo of Klaus Bachler (29/A) and Simona De Silvestro (32/CH, both Precote Herberth Motorsport). They were followed home by Luca Stolz and Maro Engel, who had dropped through the field as their wet tyres deteriorated. A further three Porsche 911 GT3 R rounded off the top ten: defending champion Christian Engelhart (34/Starnberg) and Thomas Preining (22/A, both Küs Team Bernhard) were eighth, ahead of Robert Renauer (36/Vierkirchen) and Sven Müller (29/Bingen am Rhein, both Precote Herberth Motorsport), with David Jahn (30/Leipzig) and Marco Holzer (32/Bobingen, both Team Joos Sportwagentechnik) in tenth place.
The winner of the Pirelli Trophy competition was Audi driver Elia Erhart (33/Röttenbach), who shared the R8 LMS of Rutronik Racing by Tece with Pierre Kaffer.
Quotes from the winners
Mathieu Jaminet: “After the modest results yesterday, we produced a top qualifying performance and a very good race today. Switching to slicks so early was a risk, but it proved to be the right decision in the end. We are glad to be back in business.”
Michael Ammermüller: “Mathieu laid the ideal foundation for the race with the pole position. We were then able to build a solid lead thanks to the switch to slicks. The team produced a very good performance today and I am very confident that we will challenge at the front of the field again at the Red Bull Ring.”