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Porsche teams led the way on Friday morning, dominating the first free practice session of the final round of this season’s German GT Championship at the Nürburgring. Works driver and title contender Mathieu Jaminet (27/F, SSR Performance) set the fastest time of the 45-minute session, ahead of two fellow Porsche racers. Jaminet, who shares the number 92 Porsche 911 GT3 R with defending champion Michael Ammermüller (35/Rotthalmünster), is third coming into the season finale and dealt best with the cool conditions and drying track. In total, 13 drivers from Audi, Mercedes-AMG, Porsche and Lamborghini have chances of winning the German GT Championship at the Nürburgring.

Jaminet, the 2018 ADAC GT Masters champion, set his fastest time in the first half of the 45-minute session. “At first we were not sure what the track conditions were,” said Jaminet. “It was still wet, particularly at the start of the session and in sector one. We are a little surprised that nobody managed to beat that lap time in the end. We have made quite a few changes to the car since yesterday’s test, and it looks as though they are paying off. There is still room for improvement, but this was definitely a good start. Let’s see how we do this afternoon, when the track is completely dry.” The two SSR Performance drivers are 17 points off the lead in the table, meaning Ammermüller has a chance to become the first driver in the history of the ADAC GT Masters to successfully defend his title.

In second place were fellow Porsche drivers Sven Müller (29/Bingen am Rhein) and Robert Renauer (36/Vierkirchen, both Precote Herberth Motorsport). Müller was just 0.068 seconds slower than Jaminet. Third place, with a time of 1:28.260 minutes, went to the 911 of Christian Engelhart (34/Starnberg) and Thomas Preining (23/A, both Küs Team Bernhard). They were followed in fourth place by the duo currently fourth in the championship, Raffaele Marciello (26/I) and Maximilian Buhk (28/Hamburg, both Mann-Filter Team Landgraf – HTP/WWR, 1:28.041 minutes) in the fastest Mercedes-AMG. Rounding off the top five at their team’s home event were Phoenix Racing duo Jusuf Owega (19/Cologne) and former champion Patric Niederhauser (30/CH).

The leading contenders in the championship appeared to be keeping their powder dry. Second-placed Luca Stolz (26/Brachbach) and Maro Engel (36/Monte Carlo, both Mercedes-AMG Team Toksport WRT) were 14th fastest, just ahead of championship leaders Ricardo Feller (21/CH) and Christopher Mies (32/Düsseldorf, both Montaplast by Land-Motorsport) in their Audi R8 LMS. “We struggled to find our rhythm in that session,” said Mies. “At first we focussed on tasks like breaking in the brakes. Then, when we wanted to set some fast lap times, there was a full course yellow. But it’s all good. There is no drama, as we did a lot of driving yesterday.”

Driver change at Team Bernhard

Experienced Porsche driver Marco Holzer (33/Bobingen) will share the Porsche 911 GT3 R of Küs Team Bernhard with Sweden’s Joel Eriksson (23) at the Nürburgring. Holzer is standing in for regular driver Dylan Pereira, who lines up at the final round of the FIA WEC season in Bahrain this weekend. The German contested several races at the start of this season’s German GT Championship in a Porsche for the Joos Sportwagentechnik team. “Marco Holzer will start in the number 74 car due to a schedule clash,” says team principal. “He knows the series and the car well. As such, we have a very strong pair of drivers with him and Joel Eriksson.”

Source. ADAC GT Masters


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