Dream comeback for Jules Gounon (27/F): After a break for an injury, it was uncertain for a long time whether the 2017 champion would start at the Sachsenring. Only on Wednesday did the Frenchman receive the all-clear from his doctor. From that point on, however, Gounon has been unstoppable on his return to racing. He and his driving partner from Drago Racing Team ZVO, Fabian Schiller (25/Troisdorf), produced a commanding display in Saturday’s race to claim their third win of this season’s German GT Championship at the wheel of the #4 Mercedes-AMG GT3. “I am really happy. The Sachsenring is my favourite circuit. It is fantastic to win here three times and to claim the third win of the season for our team.” Fabian Schiller had two reasons to be delighted, as he also won the Pirelli Junior competition. Pole-sitter Raffaele Marciello (27/CH) and Daniel Juncadella (31/E) from Mann-Filter Team Landgraf finished second in the #48 Mercedes-AMG GT3. In doing so, Marciello extended his lead at the top of the table. Third place, after an inconspicuous but extremely efficient performance, went to Kim-Luis Schramm (24/Meuspath) and Dennis Marschall (26/Eggenstein) in the #27 Rutronik Racing Audi R8 LMS GT3 Evo II.
Key facts, Sachsenring, Hohenstein-Ernstthal, race 11 of 14
- Circuit length: 3,645 metres
- Weather: 17.5 degrees, sunny
- Pole position: Raffaele Marciello (Mann-Filter Team Landgraf, Mercedes-AMG GT3 Evo #48), 1:17.878 minutes
- Winners: Schiller/Gounon (Drago Racing Team ZVO, Mercedes-AMG GT3 Evo #4)
- Fastest lap: Jusuf Owega (Montaplast by Land-Motorsport, Audi R8 LMS GT3 Evo II #29), 1:19.776 minutes
Pole-sitter Raffaele Marciello made a rare mistake shortly after the start on Saturday afternoon. The 27-year-old got his braking wrong, allowing Fabian Schiller to take full advantage and move into the lead. Despite coming under attack from the championship leader, Schiller was able to defend his lead. That duo pulled clear of Kim-Luis Schramm in third place. Following the mandatory pit stop, Jules Gounon took over from Fabian Schiller in the Mercedes-AMG and went on to repeat last year’s victory at the Sachsenring. After 45 laps, the Frenchman crossed the finish line in first place, ahead of Daniel Juncadella and Dennis Marschall. Victory sees Gounon and Schiller climb into third place in the table. Rounding off a strong display from the Mercedes-AMG cars were Jan Marschalkowski (19/Inning) and Marvin Dienst (25/Lampertheim) from Mercedes-AMG Team ZVO, who benefitted from a puncture to the #91 Porsche 911 GT3 R of Christian Engelhart (35/Starnberg) and Ayhancan Güven (24/TR) from Team Joos Sportwagentechnik and overtook the Porsche on the finish straight. The Porsche duo, who came home fifth on Saturday, now trails championship leader Marciello by 22 points in the table.
Patric Niederhauser (30/CH) and Luca Engstler (22/Wiggensbach) from Rutronik Racing were sixth in the #15 Audi R8 LMS GT3 Evo II, followed by another Mercedes-AMG GT3 Evo with Elias Seppänen (18/FIN) and Frank Bird (23/GB) at the wheel for Mann-Filter Team Landgraf. Christopher Mies (33/Düsseldorf) and Tim Zimmermann (26/Langenargen) produced an impressive fightback, climbing from 15th to eighth place in the #1 Audi R8 LMS GT3 Evo II of Montaplast by Land-Motorsport. The same can be said of Franck Perera (38/F) and Arthur Rougier (22/F). The Emil Frey Racing duo also made up seven places to finish ninth in the #19 Lamborghini Huracán GT3 Evo. Thierry Vermeulen (20/NL) and Mattia Drudi (24/I) took the last place in the top ten in the #33 Audi R8 LMS GT3 Evo II #33 of Car Collection Motorsport.
Fabian Schiller: “This third win was different to the first two. In the other two, I was the second man in the car. This time, I had to watch the second half of the race, which I did not find so easy. We had good pace, then the tyres started to wear a little. However, Jules did a great job of securing the win.”
Jules Gounon: “Fabian did a great job and managed to overtake Raffaele shortly after the start. I received the car with a good lead and was able to control the field from the front.”
Source. ADAC GT Masters
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