The ADAC GT Masters season started today at Oschersleben near Magdeburg, where 35 cars were entered for the opening round.
Phoenix Racing only just started in ADAC GT Masters, but that didn’t keep them from taking Pole Position with car #5, driven by Max Hofer and Philp Ellis. ORANGE1 by GRT Grasser Lamborghini #63 with Mirko Bortolotti and Andreas Caldarelli was the second fastest car, ahead of BMW Team Schnitzer #42 with Timo Scheider and Mikkel Jensen.
The cars got an extra formation lap, since there was too much space between the cars and they didn’t line up properly.
They all got going in the second try, and even with remarkable little contact through the field. #42 lost a spot to Sheldon van der Linde in the Montaplast by Land-Motorsport Audi #28.
KÜS Team75 Bernhard #17 with team owner Timo Bernhard behind the wheel, was moved out of the way by the new Phoenix Racing Audi #6 driver Oscar Tunjo. Race control gave Tunjo a black and white warning flag, plus he had to give up the position. That now meant that Tunjo had to drop five spots, going out of top-10.
Max Hofer in the Phoenix Racing Audi #5 had made the jump at the front, while Mirko Bortolotti in the ORANGE1 by GRT Grasser Lamborghini #63 kept the second position. Bortolotti was slowly reeling in Hofer, but couldn’t make it past.
Dominik Schwager in the HB Racing Ferrari #7 had a quick trip to the grass, but made it back on the road, a few places further back.
So it quickly turned out that we would have to wait for the mandatory pit stop, for any potential changes to happen.
GRT Grasser Racing Team Lamborghini #82 received a drive-through for being too fast during their pitstop. That made it impossible for them to score any points, but they had been back in the field already.
Honda Team Schubert Motorsport #9 ended up in the gravel after contact with Aust Motorsport Audi #3. That brought out the Safety Car, since they had to get a recovery vehicle out to dig him out of the ground. The race stewards decided that it was 50/50, so nobody was penalized.
It turned out that the pit stops had made no changes to the top 4.
The whole field made it away in fine style, when it went green with 18 minutes to go.
Philip Ellis in the leading #5 had Andrea Caldarelli in the #63 on tow, like they had an invisible tow rope between the cars. They were very close to each other through the last part of the race.
Kevin Estre in the KÜS Team75 Bernhard Porsche #17 had a battle with Victor Bouveng in the BMW Team Schnitzer #43 for several laps, but the Porsche man eventually made it out on the top.
MRS GT-Racing BMW #14 received a drive-through penalty for some kind of happening during their pit stop.
YACO Racing Audi #50 had a small trip through the gravel in the final corner, but could make it back on the track again – far away from the points both prior and post to the detour.
But nothing changed at the front of the race. Phoenix Racing Audi #5 won the race with Philip Ellis and Max Hofer ahead of ORANGE1 by GRT Grasser Lamborghini #63 and Montaplast by Land-Motorsport Audi #28.
The second race of the weekend will be run tomorrow, with a completely separate qualifying and race.
Update – GRT Grasser Racing Team got all three cars disqualified from Race 1, and therefore Montaplast by Land-Motorsport Audi #28 moves up to second, while BMW Team Schnitzer #42 finished third in the race. All three GRT cars had a telemetry system on the car, that they were not allowed to run with.