Spectacular motorsport, a high-class support programme, and a great atmosphere: A record 28,000 spectators flocked to Oschersleben for the opening weekend of this season’s ADAC GT Masters. Never before had so many fans packed into the Motorsport Arena for an event in the German GT Championship. On Sunday, the spectators saw Fabian Schiller (24/Troisdorf) and Jules Gounon (27/F) produce a flawless display on their way to victory. The #8 Mercedes-AMG GT3 Evo took the chequered flag after 43 laps of racing to earn newcomers Drago Racing Team ZVO their first success in the German GT Championship. Pole-sitters Patric Niederhauser (30/CH) and Luca Engstler (22/Wiggensbach) of Rutronik Racing finished runner-up in the #15 Audi R8 LMS GT3 Evo II. Jonathan Aberdein (24/ZA) and Raffaele Marciello (27/I) came home third in the #48 Mercedes-AMG GT3 Evo to claim the third spot on the podium for Mann-Filter Team Landgraf. “It feels great to be celebrating my first win on my ADAC GT Masters debut. Jules did a great job,” said a delighted Fabian Schiller, who also won the Pirelli Junior competition.
Key facts, Motorsport Arena Oschersleben, Oschersleben, race 2 of 14
- Circuit length: 3,667 metres
- Weather: 16.4 degrees, sunny, cloudy towards the end of the race
- Pole position: Patric Niederhauser (Rutronik Racing, Audi R8 LMS GT3 Evo II), 1:22.277 min.
- Winner: Fabian Schiller/Jules Gounon (Drago Racing Team ZVO, Mercedes-AMG GT3 Evo)
- Fastest lap: Albert Costa Balboa (Emil Frey Racing, Lamborghini Huracán GT3 Evo), 1:24.060 min.
Right from the start, it was clear that Jules Gounon of Drago Racing Team ZVO had no intention of hanging around in second place for too long. He immediately attacked pole-sitter Patric Niederhauser and was able to pass the Swiss on the opening lap. The Frenchman kept his rival at bay until the mandatory pit stop and handed the Mercedes-AMG GT3 Evo over to his partner Fabian Schiller in first place. He endured a scary moment at the exit from the pit lane, when he almost collided with Luca Engstler, who was also exiting the pits. Once he was out on the track, there were no such problems for the 24-year-old, who defended his lead superbly and crossed the finish line 2.735 seconds ahead of Engstler to claim his maiden victory in the ADAC GT Masters. Third place went to Jonathan Aberdein, who struggled with tyre wear during his stint.
Aberdein was followed home by Jesse Krohn (31/FIN) and Nicky Catsburg (34/NL) from local favourites Schubert Motorsport, who finished fourth in the #20 BMW M4 GT3. Krohn put Aberdein under all kinds of pressure in the second part of the race, but was unable to find a way past the South African. In fifth place was the #63 Lamborghini Huracán GT3 Evo belonging to the Emil Frey Racing team, with Jack Aitken (26/GB) and Albert Costa Balboa (31/E) at the wheel. They set a new lap record for the German GT Championship of 1:24.060 minutes. Saturday’s winners, Jusuf Owega (20/Cologne) and Ricardo Feller (21/CH), had to settle for sixth place in the #29 Audi R8 LMS GT3 Evo II. However, they still leave Oschersleben as the championship leaders. Behind them, Kim-Luis Schramm (24/Meuspath) and Dennis Marschall (25/Eggenstein) of Rutronik Racing finished seventh in the #27 Audi R8 LMS GT3 Evo II. Jan Marschalkowski (19/Inning) and Daniel Juncadella (30/E) improved one position on their qualifying result and came home eighth in the #8 Mercedes-AMG GT3 Evo. Thierry Vermeulen (19/NL) and Mattia Drudi (23/I) ended Sunday’s race in ninth place in the #33 Audi R8 LMS GT3 Evo II of Car Collection Motorsport. Rounding out the top ten, and picking up the first points in the German GT Championship for their newly-founded team Eastalent Racing, were Simon Reicher (22/A) and Norbert Siedler (39/A) at the wheel of the #54 Audi R8 LMS GT3 Evo II.
Fabian Schiller: “Jules did a great job in qualifying and the race. I was able to control the race from the front in the second stint. At first, I did not see Luca at all at the pit exit. Fortunately, nothing happened. I am really pleased with this maiden win. Long may the success continue.”
Jules Gounon: “It feels super to have claimed the first win for Drago Racing Team ZVO. Fabian wrapped up the win brilliantly and drove a serene race. It was a great opening weekend. I love this championship. Thank you to all the fans. I want to win my second title this year, to add to the one from 2017.”
Source. ADAC GT Masters