Christian Engelhart (35/Starnberg) and Ayhancan Güven (24/TR) remained calm in the rain and won race nine of this season’s ADAC GT Masters at the DEKRA Lausitzring. After 37 spectacular laps, Güven took the chequered flag to claim his maiden victory and the first for Team Joos Sportwagentechnik in the German GT Championship. “I am thrilled that we won this race. It was incredibly tough, as that is the first time I have driven our Porsche in the rain, and everything felt a bit alien. Fortunately, I did enough and we are right in the battle for the championship,” said the young Turk.
Key facts, Lausitzring, Klettwitz, race 9 of 14
- Circuit length: 3,478 metres
- Weather: 19 degrees, rain
- Pole position: Christian Engelhart (Team Joos Sportwagentechnik, Porsche 911 GT3 R #91), 1:35.596 minutes
- Winners: Engelhart/Güven (Team Joos Sportwagentechnik, Porsche 911 GT3 R #91)
- Fastest lap: Klaus Bachler (Dinamic Motorsport, Porsche 911 GT3 R #11), 1:36.352 minutes
Spectators at the Lausitzring on Saturday were treated to one of the most spectacular races of the season so far. With the rain falling heavily at times, all the drivers struggled to keep their super sports cars on the track. There were some fierce battles and a few excursions off the racing surface, but the safety car was not required. Pole-sitter Christian Engelhart was able to defend his lead at the start, with Patric Niederhauser (30/CH) in the #15 Rutronik Racing Audi R8 LMS GT3 Evo II and Albert Costa Balboa (32/E) in the #63 Lamborghini Huracán GT3 Evo of Emil Frey Racing slotting into second and third place behind him. After the mandatory pit stop, Engelhart handed the 911 over to Ayhancan Güven and the 24-year-old was able to open a lead of over five seconds for a while. Behind him, Jack Aitken (26/GB), who had taken over from Albert Costa Balboa in the #63 Lamborghini, benefitted from a spin involving Audi driver Luca Engstler (22/Wiggensbach) ahead of him. Aitken moved into second place and managed to close in on the leader shortly before the finish. However, he was unable to pull off a decisive overtaking manoeuvre. A spin eventually put an end to Aitken’s hopes of winning, and he went on to end the exciting race as runner-up behind Güven. Local favourite Maximilian Paul (22/Dresden), racing alongside Marco Mapelli (35/I) in the #71 Lamborghini Huracán GT3 Evo of Paul Motorsport, finished third in front of his home crowd to claim his first podium of the season. The youngster from Dresden also won the Pirelli Junior competition. The Rutronik Racing pair of Patric Niederhauser and Luca Engstler recovered from the spin to finish fourth. Championship leader Raffaele Marciello (27/CH) climbed five places to finish fifth with his new partner Daniel Juncadella (31/E) in the #48 Mercedes-AMG GT3 Evo run by Mann-Filter Team Landgraf. In doing so, he defended his overall lead in the German GT Championship. Franck Perera (38/F) and Arthur Rougier (22/F) came home sixth for Emil Frey Racing in the #19 Lamborghini Huracán GT3 Evo, underlining the strong performance of the “Lambos” in the rain. Jusuf Owega (20/Cologne) and Ricardo Feller (22/CH) produced a great fightback in the #29 Audi R8 LMS GT3 Evo II of Montaplast by Land-Motorsport, climbing from 13th to seventh. Behind them, team-mates Christopher Mies (33/Düsseldorf) and Tim Zimmermann (25/Langenargen) crossed the finish line in eighth place in the #1 Audi R8 LMS GT3 Evo II. The pairing of Kim-Luis Schramm (25/Meuspath) and Dennis Marschall (26/Eggenstein) followed in ninth in the #27 Rutronik Racing Audi R8 LMS GT3 Evo II. Guest starters Klaus Bachler (31/A) and Adrien De Leener (33/B) from Dinamic Motorsport took the final place in the top ten. Bachler had a particularly strong race, consistently lapping quickly and setting the fastest lap of the race (1:36.352 minutes) in the #11 Porsche 911 GT3 R.
Christian Engelhart: “It was incredibly slippery and difficult to keep the car on the track in the corners. However, our car was very good in these conditions. I didn’t make any mistakes and was able to hand over to Ayhancan in the lead. He produced a great drive and withstood any pressure. I am very happy with our first win of the season.”
Ayhancan Güven: “That is a great win for our team. It was really close in the end. My rear tyres were wearing more and more all the time and I was unable to push as hard as I wanted. I just tried to avoid making any mistakes in the closing stages, and that paid off.”
Source. ADAC GT Masters