Perfect weekend for Emil Frey Racing in Zandvoort. On Saturday, the team followed pole position with its maiden success in the German GT Championship, courtesy of Mick Wishofer (22/A) and Konsta Lappalainen (20/FIN). Jack Aitken (26/GB) and Albert Costa Balboa (31/E) then repeated that success on Sunday. The fastest duo in qualifying controlled the race at the dune circuit in the #63 Lamborghini Huracán GT3 Evo, and ultimately took a comfortable lights-to-flag victory. “That was a mega success and a really great weekend for our team Emil Frey Racing. Victory yesterday, the top step of the podium again today – it doesn’t get any better,” said former Formula 1 driver Aitken, whose lap time of 1:34.715 minutes was not only the fastest of the race, but also a new lap record in Zandvoort in the ADAC GT Masters. Local favourite Thierry Vermeulen (19/NL) also had cause for celebration. The friend of Formula 1 world champion Max Verstappen finished runner-up with Car Collection Motorsport to claim his first podium in the ADAC GT Masters. Two-time Formula 1 world champion Emerson Fittipaldi from Brazil presented the trophies to the successful drivers. Another record was broken at the circuit in the Dutch dunes: With 14,500 spectators, the German GT Championship recorded its third crowd record in a row.
Key facts, Circuit Zandvoort, Netherlands, race 6 of 14
- Circuit length: 4,259 metres
- Weather: 20 degrees, dry, cloudy with sunny spells
- Pole position: Jack Aitken (Emil Frey Racing, Lamborghini Huracán GT3 Evo #63), 1:33.471 minutes
- Winners: Aitken/Balboa (Emil Frey Racing, Lamborghini Huracán GT3 Evo #63)
- Fastest lap: Jack Aitken (Emil Frey Racing, Lamborghini Huracán GT3 Evo #63), 1:34.715 minutes
Pole-sitter Jack Aitken carried on at the start of Sunday’s race where he left off in the morning’s qualifying session. The Brit defended his lead emphatically and handed the Lamborghini over to his partner Albert Costa Balboa with a lead of 2.5 seconds. The Spaniard completed the race in relative comfort and took the chequered flag after 38 laps. He was followed over the finish line by Thierry Vermeulen (19/NL), who had taken over from Mattia Drudi (23/I) at the wheel of the #33 Audi R8 LMS GT3 Evo II. Second place, in front of his home fans, was Vermeulen’s biggest success so far in the German GT Championship. The closing stages were a dramatic affair. Christian Engelhart (35/Starnberg) was running in a comfortable third place, which would have meant the lead in the overall standings, when the #91 Porsche 911 GT3 R started coasting with just a few metres remaining. Having looked guaranteed to take third place, Engelhart and his partner Ayhancan Güven (24/TUR) had to settle for eighth. The beneficiaries of this incident were Franck Perera (38/F) and Arthur Rougier (22/F) in the #19 Lamborghini Huracán GT3 Evo of Emil Frey Racing, who came home third to snatch a last-gasp podium. Christopher Mies (32/Düsseldorf) and Tim Zimmermann (25/Langenargen) finished fourth in the #1 Audi R8 LMS GT3 Evo II, which is the best result of the season so far for the Montaplast by Land-Motorsport pairing. There then followed a big gap before the best-placed Porsche 911 GT3 R, with Joel Sturm (20/Brühl) and Sven Müller (30/Bingen) taking fifth place for Allied-Racing.
Kim-Luis Schramm (24/Meuspath) and Dennis Marschall (25/Eggenstein) ended Sunday’s race in sixth place in the #27 Audi R8 LMS GT3 Evo II for Rutronik Racing. Fabian Schiller (24/Troisdorf) and Jules Gounon (27/F) produced a great fightback, making up ten places in the #4 Mercedes-AMG GT3 Evo to take seventh place for Drago Racing Team ZVO. Elias Seppänen (18/FIN) and Frank Bird (22/GB) of Mann-Filter Team Landgraf also battled hard. The youngsters came home ninth behind Christian Engelhart and Ayhancan Güven having climbed nine places. The top ten was completed by Simon Reicher (22/A) and Norbert Siedler (39/A) in the #54 Audi R8 LMS GT3 Evo II run by the Eastalent Racing team.
Albert Costa Balboa: “It went fantastically. We have pushed all season, and have finally been rewarded for our efforts. Jack handed me the car with a lead, which I was able to maintain through to the finish. The tyres started to wear at the end, but I was already home and dry by then. I am very happy.”
Jack Aitken: “The car was very good, I was able to push from the start. Albert then did a good job and brought the success home. The fact that a second Emil Frey Racing Lamborghini finished third rounds off the success nicely.”
Jos Verstappen: “I have coached Thierry Vermeulen a lot over the past two years, and he did a very good job today. I am very happy. As a young driver, it is important for him to gain a lot of experience. We are in exactly the right championship for him. He has a good car, a strong team, and an experienced team-mate.”
Source. ADAC GT Masters