Fast lap times, pit stop practice, and determined drivers and teams: The official ADAC GT Masters pre-season test in Oschersleben offered a taste of what spectators and fans can look forward to at the season-opener, which takes place at the same venue on 22nd April. Over the course of the six sessions, with a total duration of over eight hours, the drivers completed 3,182 laps and a distance of 11,668.394 kilometres. The test provided the drivers with their first opportunity to check out the new tyres from series partner Pirelli, which impressed in both dry and wet conditions. The teams also used the innovative fuel “Shell Blue Gasoline 98 GT Masters” for the first time. Roughly 50 percent of the components are renewable in the new fuel, which was developed by Shell exclusively for the German GT Championship. While the drivers held back a little on a damp track on Tuesday, the lap times fell consistently when the track dried out on Wednesday. The new ADAC GT Masters season gets underway from 22nd to 24th April at Motorsport Arena Oschersleben.
Rutronik Racing and its drivers Dennis Marschall (25/Karlsruhe) and Kim-Luis Schramm (24/Ilmenau) moved to the top of the timing sheet with a good eight minutes of the final stint remaining. The #27 Audi R8 LMS set the fastest time of 1:22.893 minutes for the 3.667-kilometre circuit. Dennis Marschall: “We have a new team, which is still finding its feet and coming together. As such, the test in Oschersleben was very important. In the end, we snatched first place just before the end of the test. That is a good basis for us, as we want to compete at the front of the field.”
Just 0.13 seconds slower were Christian Engelhart (35/Ingolstadt) and Ayhancan Güven (24/TR), ended the test in second place in the #91 Porsche 911 GT3 R. “That was the first test with the car and the team, and there were still a few things I had to get used to. In Christian, I have a very experienced team-mate who really helps me a lot. We were able to try out a lot of things in Oschersleben and achieved a great result. I am looking forward to the start of the season,” said Güven. The third-placed pair of Sven Müller (30/Bingen) and Joel Sturm (20/Brühl) were just 0.037 seconds slower in the #22 Porsche 911 GT3 R run by the Allied-Racing team. Sven Müller: “We simulated various race situations, tried out multiple set-ups, and eventually found a very good configuration. We had done some testing previously, but it is more conclusive to take to the track with the opposition, as that really reveals where you stand in comparison. We are well prepared for the start of the season.”
There was also a hint of Formula 1 at Motorsport Arena Oschersleben, when Thierry Vermeulen (19/NL) was announced as a new driver in the German GT Championship. The Dutchman, who lines up for Car Collection Motorsport in the #33 Audi R8 LMS GT3 Evo II, is the son of Raymond Vermeulen – the manager of Max Verstappen. Thierry Vermeulen has grown up with the Formula 1 world champion and promised that he would share motorsport content of him and the ADAC GT Masters on the platform Verstappen.com.
Christopher Haase (Montaplast by Land-Motorsport, Audi R8 LMS GT3 Evo II #28): “The tests in Oschersleben showed how good the overall package of the new Audi is when it comes to aerodynamics and engine characteristics. The set-up window is significantly larger. It no longer needs to be so finely tuned, which makes life easier for the drivers and engineers. You sit in the car and feel comfortable. That is an important factor in a series like the ADAC GT Masters, in which every hundredth of a second counts.”
Nicky Catsburg (Schubert Motorsport, BMW M4 GT3 #20): “The tests were not particularly long and, unfortunately, we only had one BMW M4 GT3 at our disposal here. However, we are confident that the second car will be ready by the season-opener in two weeks’ time. Our team is excellent and I am sure it will have everything sorted by the start of the season. The new tyres felt very good.”
Daniel Juncadella (Mercedes-AMG Team ZVO, Mercedes-AMG GT3 Evo #8): “It was very good and important to gain experience with the new team in Oschersleben. My young partner Jan is a newcomer to GT3 racing, but still set the team’s fastest time in the final stint. That is a good sign. The tests went very well and the car is good: I am sure we have a successful season ahead of us.”
Maximilian Paul (T3 Motorsport, Lamborghini Huracán GT3 Evo #71): “Oschersleben was our very first test and we learned a lot from it. Above all, we coped well with the new tyres from Pirelli. The car ran smoothly and I am looking forward to the season with Marco Mapelli. I believe we have a strong package and can have a big say in the ADAC GT Masters.”
Result of session 1
1. F.Perera/A.Rougier, Emil Frey Racing, Lamborghini Huracán GT3 Evo #19, 1:37.389 Min.
2. J.Aberdein/R.Marciello, Mann-Filter Team Landgraf, Mercedes-AMG GT3 Evo #48, 1:37.540 Min.
3. J.Aitken/A.Costa Balboa, Emil Frey Racing, Lamborghini Huracán GT3 Evo #63, 1:37.623 Min.
Result of session 2
1. J.Aberdein/R.Marciello, Mann-Filter Team Landgraf, Mercedes-AMG GT3 Evo #48, 1:24.136 Min.
2. S.Müller/J.Sturm, Allied-Racing, Porsche 911 GT3 R #22, 1:24.554 Min.
3. F.Spengler/M.Winkelhock, Car Collection Motorsport, Audi R8 LMS GT3 Evo II #69, 1:24.746 Min.
Result of session 3
1. J.Gounon/F.Schiller, Drago Racing Team ZVO, Mercedes-AMG GT3 Evo #4, 1:35.364 Min.
2. D.Marschall/K.Schramm, Rutronik Racing, Audi R8 LMS GT3 Evo II #27, 1:35.904 Min.
3. F.Spengler/M.Winkelhock, Car Collection Motorsport, Audi R8 LMS GT3 Evo II #69, 1:35.919 Min.
Result of session 4
1. S.Müller/J.Sturm, Allied-Racing, Porsche 911 GT3 R #22, 1:23.062 Min.
2. D.Vanthoor/J.Owega, Montaplast by Land-Motorsport, Audi R8 LMS GT3 Evo II #29, 1:23.076 Min.
3. C. Engelhart/A. Güven, Team Joos Sportwagentechnik, Porsche 911 GT3 R #91, 1:23.178 Min.
Result of session 5
1. S.Müller/J.Sturm, Allied-Racing, Porsche 911 GT3 R #22, 1:23.065 Min.
2. R.Renauer/K.Bachler, ID Racing with Herberth, Porsche 911 GT3 R #44, 1:23.160 Min.
3. C.Mies/T.Zimmermann, Montaplast by Land-Motorsport, Audi R8 LMS GT3 Evo II #1, 1:23.428 Min.
Result of session 6
1. D.Marschall/K.Schramm, Rutronik Racing, Audi R8 LMS GT3 Evo II #27, 1:22.893 Min.
2. C.Engelhart/A.Güven, Team Joos Sportwagentechnik, Porsche 911 GT3 R #91, 1:23.025 Min.
3. S.Müller/J.Sturm, Allied-Racing, Porsche 911 GT3 R #22, 1:23.093 Min.
Source. ADAC GT Masters