Pole position, the fastest lap of the race, and victory: Ricardo Feller (21/CH) and Christopher Mies (31/Düsseldorf, both Montaplast by Land-Motorsport) claimed a commanding victory in Saturday’s race in the German GT Championship in Zandvoort. This was the first victory of the season for the Audi R8 LMS. Second place at the spectacular circuit in the Dutch dunes went to Maro Engel (35/Monte Carlo) and Luca Stolz (25/Brachbach, both Mercedes-AMG Team Toksport WRT), with Nick Yelloly (29/GB) and Jesse Krohn (30/FIN, both Schubert Motorsport) taking third place in the BMW. “A perfect day with a perfect race,” said a delighted Feller. “It all came together: the car was fantastic, the strategy spot on, and Chris did a great job of bringing home the win. I am overjoyed.”
Key facts, CM.com Circuit Zandvoort, Zandvoort, race 5 of 14
Circuit length: 4,259 metres
Weather: 21 degrees, overcast
Pole position: Ricardo Feller/Christopher Mies (Montaplast by Land-Motorsport, Audi R8 LMS)
Winners: Ricardo Feller/Christopher Mies (Montaplast by Land-Motorsport, Audi R8 LMS)
Fastest lap: Ricardo Feller (Montaplast by Land-Motorsport, Audi R8 LMS), 1:35.267 minutes
Feller defends his lead
Ricardo Feller laid the foundation for the win with a good start from pole position. The Swiss stayed out in front and successfully defended his lead against second-placed Lamborghini driver Mirko Bortolotti (31/I, GRT Grasser Racing Team) through to the round of pit stops – despite two short safety car phases to recover the Audi of Daniel Keilwitz (31/Villingen, Aust Motorsport) and the Porsche of Klaus Bachler (29/A, Precote Herberth Motorsport). Feller handed over to Mies on lap 17, while Bortolotti came in one lap later to swap places with Albert Costa Balboa (31/E). Costa Balboa rejoined as the race leader, but did not have long to enjoy the position: four laps later he was handed a drive-through penalty because his pit stop had been too short. This resulted in him dropping out of the top ten. Christopher Mies then guided the Audi R8 LMS home to take a relatively comfortable victory, crossing the finish line with a three-second lead. For Mies and Feller, their team and Audi, the victory on the remodelled track, which now features two spectacular banked corners, was the first of the season. Feller also won the Pirelli Junior competition for young drivers.
Second place went to Maro Engel and Luca Stolz. They started the race from third on the grid and claimed their first top-three result of the season with the Mercedes-AMG, which had to be reassembled after the crash at the start of the race at the Red Bull Ring. Third place went to BMW works drivers Nick Yelloly and Jesse Krohn.
Sven Müller (29/Bingen am Rhein) and Robert Renauer (36/Vierkirchen, both Precote Herberth Motorsport) finished fourth in the best-placed Porsche 911 GT3 R, followed by Charles Weerts (20/B) and Dries Vanthoor (22/B, both Team WRT) in another Audi.
Sixth place in race five of the season was sufficient for Mathieu Jaminet (26/F) and Michael Ammermüller (35/Rotthalmünster, both SSR Performance), who started eighth, to successfully defend their lead in the championship. Jeffrey Schmidt (27/CH) and Marvin Kirchhöfer (27/Luzern, both Callaway Competition) were seventh in the Corvette C7 GT3-R, ahead of the Mercedes-AMG duos of Igor Waliłko (23/PL) and Jules Gounon (26/F, both Team Zakspeed Mobil Krankenkasse Racing), and Maximilian Buhk (28/Hamburg) and Raffaele Marciello (26/I, both Mann-Filter Team Landgraf – HTP/WWR).
The final spot in the top ten was taken by Kim-Luis Schramm (23/Meuspath) and Dennis Marschall (24/Eggenstein, both Rutronik Racing by Tece). Fellow Audi man Florian Spengler (33/Ellwangen) and former Formula 1 driver Markus Winkelhock (41/Zdiměřice, both Car Collection Motorsport) crossed the finish line in eleventh place, which gave Spengler victory in the Pirelli Trophy competition.
Quotes from the winners
Ricardo Feller: “Three weeks ago I took pole position and then the race win here in another series. I never dreamt that I would do the same again this weekend. To achieve that in the ADAC GT Masters is a mega performance. We have scored extremely valuable points for both the overall standings and the Pirelli Junior competition.”
Christopher Mies: “I am delighted with the win and for the team. Ricardo did a super job in qualifying, and the good car meant the race was relatively easy for us. The victory was never really in doubt. At first I was quite surprised why the Lamborghini was so far ahead of us after the pit stop, and I obviously tried to close the gap as quickly as possible. I managed it too. When he then had to pull into the pits for the penalty, the race was relatively safe.”
Source ADAC GT Masters