Porsche and Lamborghini dominated the first free practice session in the German GT Championship at the Red Bull Ring. Porsche driver Mathieu Jaminet (26/F), who tops the table with his SSR Performance team-mate and defending champion Michael Ammermüller (35/Rotthalmünster), set the fastest lap of the session. Just behind him were two Lamborghini Huracán GT3 Evo belonging to local favourites the GRT Grasser Racing Team.
1:29.451 minutes was Jaminet’s fastest time at the end of the 60-minute session. The Frenchman set that time in the first quarter of an hour of FP1. “It’s looking good so far,” said the 2018 champion. “It is obviously better to be out in front, rather than at the back. However, obviously don’t know yet whether the other teams have been holding anything back. The car is running well and I drove a good lap. The track offers plenty of grip. It is great fun to drive here.”
The Frenchman’s closest rival was Lamborghini works driver Mirko Bortolotti (31/I). He shares one of the GRT Grasser Racing Team’s fastest Huracán with Albert Costa Balboa (31/E). The Italian, who lives in Vienna, was just 78 thousandths of a second off setting the fastest time. He was followed in third place by his team-mates Rolf Ineichen (42/CH) and Franck Perera (37/F) with a time of 1:29.699 minutes.
The best-placed Austrian in the first free practice was Porsche works driver Thomas Preining (22/A) in fourth place. He alternates at the wheel of a 911 GT3 R with defending champion Christian Engelhart (34/Starnberg). “Fourth place is okay,” said the man who was born in Linz. “We are still trying a few things out with the set-up. At this circuit, you always have to find the right balance between the highest possible top speed and good performance in the fast corners in the middle sector. We are working on that now. We’re getting there. I am a little surprised that Porsche is so good, because this is not normally our circuit. As such, I am very optimistic about the race. It is all to play for. We could have a good weekend.”
Rounding off the top five in FP1 was the Audi R8 LMS of Team WRT, with newcomer Dennis Lind (28/DK) and Dries Vanthoor (22/B) at the wheel.
Change in driver line-up at Team WRT
There has been a change in the driver line-up at Team WRT this weekend. Denmark’s Dennis Lind (28) is standing in for regular driver Charles Weerts (20/B) at the second round of the German GT Championship. Weerts is unable to attend the event, as he is doing his exams at university. “This is a fantastic opportunity for me,” said Lind, who teams up with Audi Sport driver Dries Vanthoor (22/B). “I was surprised to receive the call from the team, and am grateful for their trust. I have never raced at the Red Bull Ring, but I am sure that will not be a major problem, as I have done a lot of work in the simulator and we have a lot of track time.”
David Jahn back at Joos
The experienced David Jahn (30/Leipzig) lines up for Team Joos Sportwagentechnik at the Red Bull Ring. The five-time race winner stood in at short notice as a team-mate of Marco Holzer (32/Bobingen) in Oschersleben, where he secured second place on the grid in the first qualifying session.