Thunderbolt at round two of the ADAC GT Masters at the Red Bull Ring: Series newcomers Niklas Krütten (19/Trier) and Ben Green (24/GB) produced a flawless performance to secure a sensational victory in Saturday’s race. This earned the youngsters their first success in the German GT Championship in only their third ace. It was also the maiden triumph for the new BMW M4 GT3 and win number 13 for the Schubert Motorsport team in the ADAC GT Masters. Second place went to the pairing of Christian Engelhart (35/Starnberg) and Ayhancan Güven (24/TR) in the #91 Porsche 911 GT3 R for the Joos Sportwagentechnik team. Jonathan Aberdein (24/ZA) and Raffaele Marciello (27/I) finished third for Mann-Filter Team Landgraf in the #48 Mercedes-AMG GT3 Evo to claim the third spot on the podium. “To be honest, I cannot believe it. I tried to make as few mistakes as possible and was able to secure the win, despite the tyres starting to wear,” said Krütten after his maiden victory.
Key facts, Red Bull Ring, Spielberg, race 3 of 14
- Circuit length: 4,318 metres
- Weather: 22.8 degrees, cloudy
- Pole position: Raffaele Marciello (Mann-Filter Team Landgraf, Mercedes-AMG GT3 Evo), 1:28.378 min.
- Winners: Krütten/Green (Schubert Motorsport, BMW M4 GT3)
- Fastest lap: Ben Green (Schubert Motorsport, BMW M4 GT3), 1:28.958 minutes
BMW driver Ben Green showed at the start that he was a force to be reckoned with at the alpine circuit. Starting from third on the grid, he first overtook the #91 Porsche 911 GT3 R of Ayhancan Güven on lap two. The Brit also passed pole-sitter Raffaele Marciello on lap eight, and then set about consistently opening up a lead. After a late pit stop, Niklas Krütten took over at the wheel of the #10 BMW M4 GT3, but initially lost time due to a faulty door, which refused to close properly. Fortunately, the problem solved itself a few laps later when the door clicked into place in a corner. Christian Engelhart, who had taken over second place in the #91 Porsche 911 GT3 R after the driver changeover, applied pressure as the race progressed, and managed to close to within half a second of the leader. However, Krütten held his nerve and, after 41 laps, celebrated his maiden victory in the German GT Championship. At the same time, he and partner Ben Green also won the Pirelli Junior competition. Third place was sufficient for Jonathan Aberdein and Marciello to take the lead in the overall standings.
Joel Sturm (20/Brühl) and Sven Müller (30/Bingen) produced a strong fightback for the Allied-Racing team in the #22 Porsche 911 GT3 R, battling through from ninth place to finish fourth. Fifth place went to the second Schubert Motorsport BMW M4 GT3, with Jessen Krohn (31/FIN) and Nicky Catsburg (34/NL) at the wheel of the #20 car. The best-placed Lamborghini Huracán GT3 Evo was the number 63 car, in which Jack Aitken (26/GB) and Albert Costa Balboa (31/E) shared the driving duties for Emil Frey Racing. The championship leader coming into the race was Jusuf Owega (20/Cologne). He and Dries Vanthoor (24/B) finished seventh in the #29 Audi R8 LMS GT3 Evo II of the Montaplast by Land-Motorsport team, and consequently dropped to second place in the overall standings. The T3 Motorsport pairing of Maximilian Paul (22/Dresden) and Marco Mapelli (34/I) finished just behind them in eighth place in the #71 Lamborghini Huracán GT3 Evo. Patric Niederhauser (30/CH) and Luca Engstler (22/Wiggensbach) were ninth in the #15 Audi R8 LMS GT3 Evo II for Rutronik Racing. Their team-mates and fellow Audi drivers Kim-Luis Schramm (24/Meuspath) and Dennis Marschall (25/Eggenstein) crossed the line in tenth place, but were subsequently disqualified for a breach of the rules. This meant a promotion to tenth place for the #19 Lamborghini Huracán GT3 Evo of Emil Frey Racing, with Franck Perera (38/F) and Arthur Rougier (22/F).
Niklas Krütten: “The first podium, and then the first win. It is incredible what has happened here. I was a little panicked when the door would not close properly. Fortunately, it did shut at some point. The Porsche was closing quite strongly at the end, but I was able to bring home our maiden win and the first success for the new BMW M4 GT3 in the ADAC GT Masters.”
Ben Green: “We have worked hard and the car was fantastic. Niklas held his nerves in the second half of the race and kept the strong Porsche behind him. I am happy with our first win.”
Ayhancan Güven: “I was unable to fend off the BMW at the start and had to let him by. The pit stop was very good and allowed us to gain a position. I am very happy with my first podium in the ADAC GT Masters.”
Christian Engelhart: “Second place was the best we could have hoped for. After the smart pit stop, we still had a chance of winning. I pushed and gave it everything, but the BMW was simply too strong. Despite this, second place is a great success.”
Source. ADAC GT Masters