Grand finale, drama aplenty, and a nail-biting climax to the title race – but in the end, they did enough: Ricardo Feller (21/CH) and Christopher Mies (32/Düsseldorf, both Montaplast by Land-Motorsport) won the German GT Championship in the final race at the Nürburgring. Defending champion Michael Ammermüller (35/Rotthalmünster) and Porsche works driver Mathieu Jaminet (27/F, both SSR Performance) got the maximum out of the last race and claimed their fourth win of the season. In the end, however, tenth place was enough for Feller and Mies to take the title with a slender lead of just four points. This was title number two for Mies, who was previously crowned champion in 2016, and the maiden title for Feller. Second place went to Marco Holzer (33/Bobingen) and Joel Eriksson (23/S, both Küs Team Bernhard) in another Porsche 911 GT3 R, ahead of Lamborghini drivers Rolf Ineichen (43/CH) and Franck Perera (37/F, both GRT Grasser Racing Team). “It feels mega,” said champion Christopher Mies. “The race was really nerve-wracking. It was brutally close from the start, but we did enough in the end. It was very emotional today.”
Key facts, Nürburgring, Nürburg, race 14 of 14
Circuit length: 3,629 metres
Weather: 7 degrees, cloudy
Pole position: Klaus Bachler (Precote Herberth Motorsport, Porsche 911 GT3 R), 1:35.470 min.
Winners: Mathieu Jaminet/Michael Ammermüller (SSR Performance, Porsche 911 GT3 R)
Fastest lap: Mathieu Jaminet/Michael Ammermüller (SSR Performance, Porsche 911 GT3 R), 1:27.902 min.
Three-way battle makes for great excitement
Feller and Mies took a solid lead into the final race, but that soon evaporated: While the Audi duo were looking at a meagre haul of points in the fiercely-contested midfield, their title rivals were battling it out for the lead of the race. The first of the contenders to take the lead was Luca Stolz (26/Brachbach, Mercedes-AMG Team Toksport WRT), who came into the race in second place in the overall standings. However, it did not take long for their title hopes to be dashed: Engel was given a drive-through penalty after a collision on the opening lap. The penalty saw the Mercedes-AMG duo drop out of the points and the title race. Ammermüller and Jaminet then took the lead thanks to a smart strategy with an early pit stop, after which they dominated the race on the way to their fourth win of the season. Having actually dropped out of the top ten briefly, Mies and Feller fought their way back to finish tenth – which proved enough to clinch the title. Thanks to this result, they not only won the Drivers’ Championship, but also secured a second Team title for Montaplast by Land-Motorsport, who had previously triumphed in 2016. Feller also won the Pirelli Junior competition for young drivers.
One-two for Porsche
Behind winners Jaminet and Ammermüller, the ADAC GT Masters once again showed motorsport at its best in the final race of the season. Marco Holzer and Joel Eriksson won the battle for second place and crossed the finish line 0.3 seconds ahead of Lamborghini drivers Ineichen and Perera. Fourth place went to their team-mates Mirko Bortolotti (31/I) and Marco Mapelli (34/I, both GRT Grasser Racing Team). Jusuf Owega (19/Cologne) and Patric Niederhauser (30/CH) finished fifth at the home race for their Phoenix Racing team, ahead of the Mercedes-AMG of Igor Waliłko (24/PL) and Jules Gounon (26/F, both Team Zakspeed Mobil Krankenkasse Racing), who fought back strongly from 21st on the grid.
Klaus Bachler (30/A) and Simona De Silvestro (33/CH, both Precote Herberth Motorsport) had to settle for seventh place after Bachler started from pole position and led the race in the early stages. BMW works drivers Jesse Krohn (31/FIN) and Nick Yelloly (30/GB, both Schubert Motorsport) were eighth in the farewell race for the BMW M6 GT3, ahead of Lamborghini juniors Maximilian Paul (21/Dresden) and Luca Ghiotto (26/I, both T3 Motorsport), who finished just ahead of the new champions in ninth place.
In the Pirelli Trophy competition, Audi driver Florian Spengler (33/Ellwangen, Car Collection Motorsport) won the title for the first time. Second place in the class was enough for the Swabian to wrap up the championship.
Quotes from the champions
Ricardo Feller: “Everything feels pretty perfect at the moment. A few years ago, in ADAC Formula 4, I always dreamed of this moment. To win the Driver, Team and Junior titles today is simply incredible. I had to go against my natural instincts in today’s race, and the Junior title was far from a gift too. The battle with Kim at the end was hard but fair, and was obviously great fun. This really is an awesome day.”
Christopher Mies: “That was a very emotional race. We made life hard for ourselves again, and I am happy that it all worked out in the end. There will definitely be some celebrating this evening! It feels good to have won. I am incredibly pleased to have picked up my second title with Land-Motorsport and am also astonished by the way Ricardo has developed in recent years. This is a very special moment for me today.”
Quotes from the race winners
Mathieu Jaminet: “The goal for the race was clear: we tried to push as hard as we could. We then tired an undercut with Michael, as we were stuck in traffic. That worked out well. We had good pace today, and a good car, which allowed us to take the win. Although it was not quite enough for the title, we are very happy on the whole. Land-Motorsport deserved the title this season, they really made very few mistakes.”
Michael Ammermüller: “It was very cool, which made it difficult to get the tyres up to temperature. I was afraid that someone would clean me out from behind in turn 1. Fortunately, however, I got through it well and then pushed very hard to get the race win. We were in contention for the title right down to the finish, as it got really close again. However, we are obviously also pleased with second place.”
Source. ADAC GT Masters