Decision time at the Hockenheimring. The iconic racetrack in the German state of Baden-Württemberg is the venue for the final round of the 2022 German GT Championship. The favourite to clinch the title is championship leader Raffaele Marciello (27/CH). The Mercedes-AMG works driver comes into the final two races of the season with a 42-point lead and, with support from team-mate Daniel Juncadella (31/E), holds all the aces. However, even a comfortable lead like this is no guarantee in the fastest GT3 series in Germany. This is something that Marciello’s closest rivals Christian Engelhart (35/Starnberg) and Ayhancan Güven (24/TR) from Team Joos Sportwagentechnik are also aware of in the Porsche 911 GT3 R. They will be on the attack and looking to put the leader under pressure from minute one.
Key facts, Hockenheimring Baden-Württemberg, Hockenheim, races 13 and 14 of 14
Circuit length: 4,574 metres
Layout: 17 corners (nine right, eight left), driven clockwise
2021 winners, race 1: Mirko Bortolotti/Marco Mapelli (GRT Grasser Racing Team, Lamborghini Huracán GT3 Evo)
2021 winners, race 2: Rolf Ineichen/Franck Perera (GRT Grasser Racing Team, Lamborghini Huracán GT3 Evo)
One hand on the trophy
Raffaele Marciello from Mann-Filter Team Landgraf has put himself in pole position in the title race, thangs to an impressive second half of the season, including five podiums in six races. Despite the deficit, pursuers Christian Engelhart and Ayhancan Güven still believe that their chance will come. With 56 points up for grabs, the Porsche duo will do everything in their power to make the title dream come true. Fabian Schiller (25/Troisdorf) and Jules Gounon (27/F) may have three wins to their name this season, but they have also dropped a lot of points. A 53-point deficit will be tough for the #4 Mercedes-AMG GT3 Evo of Drago Racing Team ZVO to overturn. It is a similar story for the Lamborghini pairing of Jack Aitken (27/GB) and Albert Costa Balboa (32/E) from the Emil Frey Racing team, who lie a further point back in fourth place.
Neck and neck in the Team competition
In stark contrast, Emil Frey Racing leads the Team competition with 181 points – the same total as second-placed Mann-Filter Team Landgraf, who have one victory fewer to their name than the Swiss team. Behind the two front-runners, Montaplast by Land-Motorsport is still within striking distance on 160 points. Rutronik Racing, Team Joos Sportwagentechnik, Drago Racing Team ZVO, and Schubert Motorsport also have a mathematical chance of clinching the title.
Ben Green on the cusp of winning the Pirelli Junior competition
In the Pirelli Junior competition, leader Ben Green (24) of Schubert Motorsport has the best cards. The Brit holds a 22-point lead over team-mate Niklas Krütten (19/Trier), who missed one weekend, meaning he can no longer catch Green, with whom he again shares the cockpit of the #10 BMW M4 GT3 at the finale. The same goes for Kim-Luis Schramm (25/Meuspath), Joel Sturm (20/Brühl) and Fabian Schiller (25/Troisdorf), as the awarding of points is based on the driver classification of their respective team-mates. That classification is so high that this trio can no longer score the points needed to catch Green in Hockenheim. However, Mick Wishofer (23/A) and Konsta Lappalainen (21/FIN), and ADAC Stiftung Sport driver Jan Marschalkowski (19/Inning am Ammersee) do at least still have a mathematical chance of winning the Junior title.
Last time out at the Sachsenring, Marvin Dienst (25/Lampertheim) claimed his second race win in the ADAC GT Masters. As such, he now travels to his home race brimming with confidence. The Mercedes-AMG driver lives just half an hour from the Hockenheimring and knows every centimetre of the track: “It feels as though I have driven thousands of kilometres here and know the circuit better than anyone else. Another advantage is that the racetrack is basically in my front garden: I don’t need to stay in a hotel, but can sleep at home in my own bed. In the ADAC GT Masters, I want to be in contention at the front in both races. In the Prototype Cup Germany, in which I am also driving this weekend, I have my sights set on winning the championship.” For Dennis Marschall (26/Eggenstein) and his team Rutronik Racing from Remchingen, the Hockenheimring is like their living room and the Audi driver’s absolute favourite circuit. This is where he has done most of his driving, and he lines up in front of friends and acquaintances. “The Hockenheimring is just half an hour from my home and has been a happy hunting ground for me in the past. I have won races in various different series here, including my last race in the ADAC Formula Masters, which is now ADAC Formula 4. The Hockenheimring is a real racing circuit. It has spectacular passages and good overtaking opportunities. Fans can look forward to some great motorsport at the finale.”
Strong support programme
The support programme for the ADAC GT Masters finale at the Hockenheimring features strong racing series, with a total of 12 titles still up for grabs over the course of the weekend. Marvin Dienst is looking to wrap up the title in the Prototype Cup Germany. Excitement is guaranteed in ADAC GT4 Germany, where the Drivers’ Championship will be decided in Hockenheim. Conversely, the championship die has already been cast in ADAC TCR Germany and the Porsche Carrera Cup Deutschland.
Source. ADAC GT Masters
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