They are an integral part of the ADAC GT Masters: The Austrian drivers have so far claimed 20 victories in the German GT Championship. Four drivers will be particularly motivated when they lien up in their home races in Spielberg from 20th to 22nd May.
It is now eleven years since a local driver took victory at the fastest circuit on the calendar. Norbert Siedler (39/Wildschönau) climbed onto the top step of the podium when the Red Bull Ring hosted the ADAC GT Masters for the first time back in 2011. “That was a great result, and something I will always remember. A home race is special and has a really special atmosphere. You know that friends and acquaintances will be watching at the track, and are pleased to have such a great circuit in our country,” says Siedler, who starts in an Audi R8 LMS GT3 Evo II for newly-formed Austrian team Eastalent Racing. Despite the support of the crowd, the experienced racer feels a repeat of his previous success is rather unlikely. “We only received our car two weeks before the start and have hardly done any testing. The team is new and things still need to come together, which can take a while. We want to finish in the points again, as we did in Oschersleben. Then we’ll see what happens over the course of the season,” says the Tyrolean driver, assessing the situation.
His team-mate Simon Reicher (22/Kirchberg bei Mattighofen) can still remember his first ADAC GT Masters experience as if it were yesterday: “It is eleven years since I saw my first ADAC GT Masters race with my father at the Red Bull Ring. The roar of the engines, the spectacle, the whole atmosphere – I will never forget it. Since then, I have always hoped to race there once, and that dream has become a reality,” says the young driver, who, after guest starts in 2019 and 2020, lined up regularly in the German GT Championship last year. For him, the circuit in Spielberg is one of the most modern and beautiful of all. As an Austrian, he is proud to drive there. However, Reicher will also be cranking it up away from the track. “We will be holding a little party for friends and acquaintances on Saturday evening, regardless how the first race plays out. It goes without saying that no alcohol will be drunk, but there has to be a party at our home event.”
Following the opening round in Oschersleben, Mick Wishofer (22/Vienna) is looking to go on the offensive at the Red Bull Ring and score a good haul of points in the Lamborghini Huracán GT3 Evo. “It was a successful start in Oschersleben for our team, Emil Frey Racing. We had the pace to be right among the front-runners. We want to back that up. At your home race, in front of your own fans, you tend to try even harder and be even more focussed than usual. Plus, the Red Bull Ring suits me. I finished third in ADAC Formula 4 here in 2018. That was a cool feeling. Let’s see what we can do with the Lambo. Perhaps a podium might be possible. Whatever happens, we want to continue to compete at the top of the Pirelli Junior competition.” Wishofer will not have the chance to show his young team-mate Konsta Lappalainen (20/FIN) how beautiful his native Austria is, as his calendar is fully booked during his home event. “Over 50 guests, sponsors, friends and acquaintances have been in touch. I am busy from the Monday before the race to the Monday after it,” says Wishofer. Should he win, his team can look forward to free beer, that much is already certain. The young Lamborghini driver: “Styrian Gösser Bier is obviously best suited to a circuit in Styria.”
The fourth Austrian in the Alpine quartet, Klaus Bachler (30/Unzmarkt), is a local favourite at the Red Bull Ring. The 30-year-old lives just 30 kilometres from the circuit and, as a boy, often visited the track in Spielberg with his father. “The Red Bull Ring is a beautiful, but very demanding circuit. As an Austrian, it is always a great feeling to drive here. There are several spots where overtaking is possible. However, you have to be good on the brakes after the fast straights, and you need a set-up that takes into account the versatile layout,” says the experienced Porsche driver. The season got off to a good start with his new team ID Racing with Herberth: Bachler, at the wheel of a Porsche 911 GT3 R, finished a promising fifth in race one. However, he then failed to finish race two, due to a faulty splitter. “We obviously want to compete at the front, but the opposition will not be sleeping. Hundredths of a second are decisive at the Red Bull Ring. If you lose just one tenth, you can soon drop ten places. I have stood on the podium here once, and to win would be the best. Then everyone can get ready for a big celebration.”
Source. ADAC GT Masters