A successful weekend for Mercedes-AMG: in the penultimate DTM event of 2021, Mercedes-AMG secured the manufacturers’ title early following a strong overall result. Behind the wheel of the #22 Mercedes-AMG GT3 of Mercedes-AMG Team WINWARD, Lucas Auer (AUT) scored a commanding win on Sunday. Maximilian Götz (GER) of Mercedes-AMG Team HRT scored further valuable points for the championship with third and fifth place and is currently third in the drivers’ standings. In ADAC GT Masters at Sachsenring Team Zakspeed Mobil Krankenkasse Racing and Mercedes-AMG Team Toksport WRT secured a 1-2 in the second race. In the drivers’ standings, Maro Engel and Luca Stolz (both GER) are now in second place.
Hockenheimring served as the venue for the penultimate DTM race weekend of the current season and already brought an early decision in the championship for Mercedes-AMG. In the two qualifying sessions, Mercedes-AMG Team WINWARD’s Lucas Auer secured the best starting grid positions of all the Mercedes-AMG drivers with a pair of second places. Daniel Juncadella (ESP/#8), driving for Mercedes-AMG Team GruppeM Racing, started from fourth on the grid for both 55-minute races. Title candidate Maximilian Götz secured sixth and seventh place on the grid.
Following a turbulent start of the first race, all of Lucas Auer’s hopes for a good result were blown. After a collision with fellow Mercedes-AMG driver Arjun Maini (IND) of Mercedes-AMG Team GetSpeed, both drivers had to retire from the race. In the opening stages, Maximilian Götz moved up to second place. The Franconian remained in the front-running group for a long time, but eventually had to make do with fifth place. With Juncadella (P6), Philip Ellis (P7/#57) and Vincent Abril (P9/#5), three further Mercedes-AMG GT3s finished in the point-scoring positions and thus secured valuable points for the championship.
Victory for the Mercedes-AMG GT3 in race two
At the start of the second race, Lucas Auer already moved up into the lead right at the beginning and immediately pulled clear from his rivals. Maximilian Götz also had a good start and already moved up from seventh to third place in the early stages of the race. Dani Juncadella and Philipp Ellis also established themselves in the front-running group behind Götz. In first place, Lucas Auer with the #22 Mercedes-AMG GT3 #22 controlled proceedings throughout the race. Eventually, he crossed the finish line in first place with a margin of over six seconds, securing his second win of the season in a dominant way. With Maximilian Götz in third place, another driver with a Mercedes-AMG GT3 made it onto the podium, followed by his fellow Mercedes-AMG drivers Ellis and Juncadella in fourth and fifth place. With DTM newcomer Marvin Dienst (GER) in seventh, Arjun Maini in eighth and Vincent Abril in ninth place, seven cars from Affalterbach finished in the top 10.
With this outstanding team result, Mercedes-AMG already secured the DTM manufacturers’ championship in the penultimate event. In the drivers’ standings, Maximilian Götz moved up into third place and still has the possibility to decide the battle for the championship in his favour in the final two races of the season. The DTM season finale is taking place at the Norisring in Nuremberg next weekend already.
Stefan Wendl, head of Mercedes-AMG Customer Racing: “I am really delighted that we have been able to achieve an important season goal for Mercedes-AMG already prior to the final races at Norisring. Therefore, I express my thanks to our teams and drivers who have all made their contribution to this success. The success is even more beautiful as we were able to bring it home at our home track with a victory and all the AMG Teams involved in the top ten. Moreover, our teams and drivers were very successful in ADAC GT Masters this weekend. There, we still have chances of the championship after a strong recovery drive. I am looking forward to an exciting final stage in this series.”
Maximilian Götz, Mercedes-AMG Team HRT #4: “I am very happy with the podium result! Also with having been able to overtake direct championship rivals on the track. We have shown that we aren’t giving up and that we will continue to fight hard. Now, we have kept all our options open. I am looking forward to Norisring. There, we want to race for the championship until the final lap!”
Lucas Auer, Mercedes-AMG Team WINWARD #22: “For me, it was a dream start in race two, getting past the leader on the opening lap straight away. After that, I was able to build a nice margin and control the race at the front. Huge thanks to the team for getting the car back in shape again after the accident on Saturday. Congratulations to Mercedes-AMG on the manufacturers’ championship! I am glad to be part of this success.”
ADAC GT Masters: Podium results and a 1-2 for the Mercedes-AMG GT3 at Sachsenring
For the ninth race of the ADAC GT Masters, Igor Walilko (POL) with starting number 13 secured the best grid position of the four participating Mercedes-AMG GT3s with second place for Team Zakspeed Mobil Krankenkasse Racing. Right behind him, Luca Stolz (GER) put the #22 Mercedes-AMG Team Toksport WRT Mercedes-AMG GT3 in third place in qualifying on Saturday. Closely behind the front, Raffaele Marciello (ITA/#70) started the one-hour race at Sachsenring from sixth place for MANN-FILTER Team LANDGRAF – HTP/WWR.
Following jump starts at the back of the field, the Saturday race only really got going after a restart with some position changes at the front. After the early laps, Walilko had to concede his second place and initially found himself in sixth position prior to a safety car intervention after the first lap. Luca Stolz, meanwhile, was able to hold his own in the opening stage and secured second place. Raffaele Marciello also made up a position and moved up into fourth place just before the pit stop window. Subsequently, Maximilian Buhk (GER) drove the #70 Mercedes-AMG GT3 and closed up to get within striking distance of the third-placed opponent in the second half of the race. After a thrilling final stage, he eventually finished in fourth place. Maro Engel (GER), who had taken over from Stolz, secured second place in a commanding way, securing valuable championship points in the process. The duo of Igor Walilko/Jules Gounon (FRA) added another top ten result by finishing in ninth place. Teammates Constantin Schöll and Hendrik Still (both GER) crossed the finish line in 16th.
ADAC GT Masters race 2: 1-2 for Mercedes-AMG Motorsport
After second qualifying on Sunday morning, it was again Jules Gounon who secured pole position for his #13 Team Zakspeed Mobil Krankenkasse Racing entry. Third place on the starting grid went to Maximilian Buhk (#70). Also Maro Engel (#22) had justified hopes of a good result in fifth place on the grid.
Bad luck struck for Maximilian Buhk already on the first lap of the 3,671 kilometres long track with its long history: right after the start, the 28-year-old had already moved up into second pace at the inside of the corner when he came off the track having been hit by an opponent and retired from the race following a subsequent collision. In the frenetic opening stage, the safety car was deployed twice. Gounon also made the best possible use of the restart on lap seven and visibly pulled away from his rivals.
Maro Engel with the #22 Mercedes-AMG GT3 came in for the change to Stolz right at the start of the pit stop window. This strategy paid off: after the mandatory stops, Mercedes-AMG Team Toksport WRT was in third place and went on to put the second-placed car under pressure. Stolz patiently waited for the opportunity to get past the rival ahead of him. Going into the final corner, the 26-year-old used his chance and made a spirited move to overtake his opponent for second place. Totally unfazed by the position fights going on behind him, Igor Walilko was first across the finish line with a comfortable margin after 42 laps.
The duo of Duo Engel/Stolz is now in second place of the drivers’ standings, only three points down on the leaders. Two exciting race ADAC GT Masters weekends are still awaiting the teams with the Mercedes-AMG GT3. First of all, the series will be racing at Hockenheimring from 22nd-24th October, the season finale will be held at the Nürburgring in early November.
Jules Gounon, Team Zakspeed Mobil Krankenkasse Racing: “The Sunday race got off to a very hectic start, but with the excellent car we had today, we were able to control the race at the front. As a team, we recovered really well from the disappointment the day before and with this success, we still have outside chances in the championship. Now, we are relieved going into the final races.”
Luca Stolz, Mercedes-AMG Team HRT #4: “We had a very difficult start of the season. We have tried everything to make up ground. And that is what we managed to do. The team has given us a very good car, which is very important here for qualifying in particular. It also needs a bit of racing luck all the time as well. Now, we are working from one race to the next and we will try to attack at the front.”