Former champion Jules Gounon (26/F, Team Zakspeed Mobil Krankenkasse Racing) set the fastest time in the opening free practice session of the German GT Championship at the Sachsenring. In doing so, he backed up his impressive performance last time out at the Lausitzring, where he claimed pole position, victory and the fastest lap. Behind the Mercedes-AMG works driver were Porsche and Audi drivers.
Gounon, who shares the car with Igor Waliłko (24/PL), clocked a fastest lap of 1:18.887 minutes. This made him the only driver to break the 1:19-minute mark. “The time doesn’t actually mean all that much. We went out on fresh tyres, which not every team did,” said the 2017 champion. “I am always pleased to return to the Sachsenring. It is actually here that my GT3 career got up and running, when I claimed my maiden victory in the ADAC GT Masters in 2016. As such, it is always very emotional for me to drive here. I am feeling better all the time in the Mercedes-AMG, which I am driving for the first time this year. We obviously want to get another good result this time, but we have to remain modest, work hard, and fight. Then we will see where we stand in qualifying.”
0.285 seconds behind Gounon was Porsche works driver Mathieu Jaminet (26/F, SSR Performance), who shares the 911 GT3 R with defending champion Michael Ammermüller (35/Rotthalmünster). Third place in the one-hour session, with a time of 1:19.196 minutes, went to the Audi R8 LMS of Kim-Luis Schramm (24/Meuspath) and Dennis Marschall (25/Eggenstein, both Rutronik Racing by Tece). In fourth place was another Porsche: Thomas Preining (23/A) and Christian Engelhart (34/Starnberg, both Küs Team Bernhard) set a personal best of 1:19.219 minutes. Rounding off the top five were Rolf Ineichen (42/CH) and Franck Perera (37/F, both GRT Grasser Racing Team) in the best-placed Lamborghini Huracán GT3 Evo with a time of 1:19.242 minutes.
Audi works driver at Rutronik Racing by Tece
Italian Mattia Drudi (23) is filling in for Pierre Kaffer (44/Schlieren) at Rutronik Racing by Tece at the Sachsenring. The Audi works driver shares the #11 Audi R8 LMS with regular driver Elia Erhart (33/Röttenbach). This is Drudi’s first outing at the demanding, rollercoaster of a circuit. “It is not an easy track,” said Drudi. “It is very challenging, as it undulates and puts a lot of strain on the tyres. However, it is great fun. It is nice to be back in the ADAC GT Masters after two years away. I want to help Elia in the race for the title in the Pirelli Trophy, but we obviously also want to do well in the overall standings.”
Race winner back at MRS GT-Racing
In Sweden’s Erik Johansson, a former race winner returns to the ADAC GT Masters. The 24-year-old will line up in the MRS GT-Racing Porsche 911 GT3 R for the rest of the season. Johansson is an old acquaintance for the racing team from Lonsee: in 2020, he won the Sunday race at the Red Bull Ring with the team of Karsten Molitor and Iris Dorr. So far this season, he has been racing for MRS in the Porsche Carrera Cup in North America.
Driver changes in the Lamborghini teams
Saxony-based team T3 Motorsport starts with a new line-up this weekend: regular driver Maximilian Paul (21/Dresden) shares the team’s Lamborghini Huracán GT3 Evo with works driver Marco Mapelli (34/I). Paul’s previous partner Hugo Sasse (17/Aschersleben) has moved to the GRT Grasser Racing Team, for whom he will also contest the remaining races in Hockenheim and at the Nürburgring, where he will share the driving duties in the #82 Huracán GT3 Evo with Tim Zimmermann (24/Lochau).
Source. ADAC GT Masters