In the second day at Sachsenring in ADAC GT Masters, there was another Porsche on Pole Position. This time it was nothing out of ordinary, with KÜS Team75 Bernhard #18 with Klaus Bachler and Adrien de Leener on Pole, ahead of MANN-FILTER Team HTP Mercedes #47 with Maximilian Götz and Markus Pommer, followed by their sister car #48 with Maximilian Buhk and Indy Dontje.
The start got aborted like the race yesterday, so the drivers got an extra warm-up lap.
It went wrong at Turn 1, where there were a whole lot of incidents. It caused panic, which carried on until the next lap.
The race director didn’t have a chance to red flag the race, since there were crashed cars all over the track and lots of debris.
We will try to sum up the incident on the first lap. IronForce by Ring Police Porsche #69 had a collision at the back of the field.
MANN-FILTER Team HTP Mercedes #47 got brushed by Montaplast by Land-Motorsport Audi #28, which gave #47 a puncture.
BWT Mücke Motorsport Audi #24 got a little nudge, after a contact with AutoArena Motorsport Mercedes #84, which caused a slow puncture on #24.
EFP by TECE Audi #12 spun around, also involving HB Racing Ferrari #7. When #12 rolled backwards, it hit the innocent Team Rosberg Lamborghini #35, that retired shortly afterwards. Aust Motorsport Audi #3 also retired on the first lap.
Later on the lap, #24 completely punctured, which sent Markus Winkelhock sideways on the track, so Maximilian Hackländer in Aust Motorsport Audi #4 had to drive over the gravel to avoid hitting his Audi colleague.
After about half an hour of cleaning up the track, the race got restarted.
There were 55 minutes left of the race. It was with a short warm-up lap behind the Safety Car, that also counted in the race time.
The restart was much calmer, without any drama.
Orange1 GRT Grasser Lamborghini #19 punctured their rear tire and had to pit, costing them an extra time. BMW Team Schnitzer #43 had a collision with them, which sent them astray.
MRS GT-Racing BMW #14 stopped on the track with smoke from the engine compartment. The second Safety Car of the day was deployed, so the marshals could come and extinguish the fire. Jens Klingmann helped to open the bonnet, while one of the marshals found it difficult to use his fire extinguisher. Luckily, it was only a small fire, so the mechanics won’t have a big task in hand in the next days.
The SC period came five minutes before the pitstop window opened, and got stretched until then. A lot of the teams used the chance to pit right away, causing a long queue in the pits, where over half the field chose to pit.
Honda Team Schubert Motorsport #9 spun at the restart, but they were already behind.
AutoArena Motorsport #84 and HB Racing Ferrari #7 collided on the track, before they pitted – a bad ending to their stint.
All the cars had pitted right away, and came out just as the other cars had completed yet another lap, which was a mess.
Orange1 by GRT Grasser #63 crashed with MANN-FILTER Team HTP Mercedes #48. It deployed another Safety Car period to get #663 removed, noticeably before the three Audis – Aust Motorsport #50 and begge EFP by TECE #11 and #12 had taken their obligatory pitstop.
It gave the three cars a huge advantage, who effectively were half a lap ahead of the rest of the field.
#63 ended up getting a ten-grid penalty in the next race for the contact, as they were deemed guilty for the collision with #48.
YACO Racing Audi #50 hadn’t stayed still long enough during their pitstop, which gave them a drive-through penalty.
So when everyone was in their place, EFP by TECE Audi #11 was leading, in front of their sister car #12, and Aust Motorsport Audi #4 in third.
It was a long Safety Car period with over ten minutes, when they had to remove #7 and #63 from the track, and later sort the field in the right order.
When the race got restarted, there was again panic in Turn 1. Remo Lips in Aust Motorsport #4 didn’t have a good start on the straight, and both BWT Mücke Motorsport #26 and KÜS Team75 Bernhard #18 tried to overtake him. It went totally wrong for them, when #18 drove into #26. The contact sent #18 off the track, and it deployed another SC. During the commotion, Precote Herberth Motorsport Porsche #99 brushed the rear of Montaplast by Land-Motorsport Audi #28, but apart from a little bumper damage on #99, both cars could continue.
Suddenly we had Audi 1-2-3-4-5, ahead of two Porsches and one Mercedes – but there were still 12 minutes left on the clock.
Sheldon van der Linde in #28 attempted to get past Jeffrey Schmidt in #26, while Robert Renauer in Precote Herberth Motorsport Porsche #99 overtook Remo Lips in Aust Motorsport #4.
EFP by TECE Audi #12 did a mistake, so Florian Spengler fell back down the field. At the start it looked like a 1-2 for the team, but it didn’t end up that way.
Montaplast by Land-Motorsport #28 and BWT Mücke Motorsport #26 were, however, not done with each other, where they bumped each other in a couple of corners, until #28 came out in front.
Claudia Hürtgen in RWT Racing Corvette #13 ended up hitting the armco after a contact with BMW Team Schnitzer #42. It gave #42 a ten-grid penalty for the next race, since Mikkel Jensen was deemed responsible for the incident.
BWT Mücke Motorsport Audi #25 with Ricardo Feller had a tour on the gravel, and it costed them a place in the top ten.
After five minutes of intense racing, EFP by TECE Audi #11 with Elia Erhart and Pierre Kaffer won the race, ahead of Montaplast by Land-Motorsport Audi #28 with Sheldon and Kelvin van der Linde, with BWT Mücke Motorsport Audi #26 on P3. The three cars were only separated by 0,635 over the finish line.
#11 started the race from 27th position, and was extremely lucky with the Safety Car period, and last but not least, they stayed clear off the many incidents plaguing the race.
The results from this weekend shake things up before the finale in two weeks’ time. Precote Herberth Motorsport Porsche #99 is now leading the championship, ahead of MANN-FILTER Team HTP Mercedes #47, followed by Callaway Competition Corvette #1 and Montaplast by Land-Motorsport Audi #28. One of them is going to win the title.
The finale in ADAC GT Masters will be run at Hockenheim on 22 and 23 September.