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The first free practice session in the German GT Championship at CM.com Circuit Zandvoort in the Netherlands produced plenty of variety: the top of the timing sheets featured no fewer than four different manufacturers after the opening session at the remodelled Formula 1 circuit, with its two new banked corners. In the end, it was championship leader Mathieu Jaminet (26/F, SSR Performance) who came out on top in his Porsche 911 GT3 R.

Former champion Jaminet, who shares the 911 with defending champion Michael Ammermüller (35/Rotthalmünster), set the fastest lap time of 1:34.985 minutes with roughly ten minutes of the one-hour session remaining. He was the only driver to dip below the 1:35-minute mark. “It was a very good session,” said the Frenchman. “The car was good from the outset – even on old tyres. We drove a qualifying simulation at the end. I had a free lap and was able to use the peak of the tyres. It was a decent start to the weekend, but we still have work ahead of us.”

Second place went to another duo in the Porsche 911 GT3 R: David Jahn (30/Leipzig) and Marco Holzer (32/Bobingen, both Team Joos Sportwagentechnik), who came up just 0.179 seconds short of the fastest time. In third place, with a time of 1:35.200 minutes were the pair currently second in the table, Mirko Bortolotti (31/I) and Albert Costa Balboa (31/E, both GRT Grasser Racing Team) in the fastest Lamborghini Huracán GT3 Evo. They topped the timings for a while, as did Mercedes-AMG drivers Igor Walilko (23/PL) and Jules Gounon (26/F, both Zakspeed Mobil Krankenasse Racing), who ended the session in fifth place. The Polish/French pairing’s fastest lap was clocked at 1:35.213 minutes.

Rounding off the top five were Kim-Luis Schramm (23/Meuspath) and Dennis Marschall (24/Eggenstein, both Rutronik Racing by Tece) – the current leaders of the Pirelli Junior competition – in the best-placed Audi R8 LMS.

Drivers love the banked corners

A US feel on the North Sea coast: the steep banks in the second, third and final corner in Zandvoort remind the drivers of oval racetracks in the USA. Although banked corners are nothing new in the ADAC GT Masters, the camber of 18 degrees at the Dutch Formula 1 circuit are far steeper than the six-degree slopes at the Lausitzring, where the ADAC GT Masters will be in action in September. The drivers were delighted. “The banked corners are really good,” said Corvette driver Marvin Kirchhöfer (27/Luzern, Callaway Competition). “I particularly like the Hugenholzbocht. The final turn is also fun, but it is not really a corner anymore, as the banking means that you can now take it flat out.” Team-mate Jeffrey Schmidt (27/CH) added: “The people running the circuit have done a great job of the remodelling. The two banked corners are rather special and unique in Europe. It gives it a bit of a Daytona feeling.” BMW works driver Nick Yelloly (29/GB, Schubert Motorsport) is also impressed by the modified circuit: “I really like the new layout. The banking is great fun.”

Backstage – behind the scenes

There will be an opportunity to take a look behind the scenes at 13:15 on Sunday, live at youtube.com/adac: after the successful debut at the Red Bull Ring, fans can now look forward to episode two of ADAC GT Masters Backstage live from the eBay Motors garage. Live from the pit lane in Zandvoort, Patrick Simon will be joined by interesting guests and discuss fascinating topics as they go behind the scenes of the German GT Championship.

Source. ADAC GT Masters


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