Hockenheim showed its best side, when this season’s penultimate race of ADAC GT Masters was run under clear blue sky and bone-dry asphalt.
The starting grid for the race on Saturday was with the Championship leader Precote Herberth Motorsport Porsche #99 on Pole Position, ahead of Montaplast by Land-Motorsport Audi #28, Callaway Competition Corvette #1, and MANN-FILTER Team HTP Mercedes #47.
Mikkel Jensen and Timo Scheider would start from tenth position in BMW Team Schnitzer #42, while Nicolai Sylvest and Kim Luis Schramm in Team Zakspeed BKK Mobil Oil Racing #20 started the race from P18.
Precote Herbert Motorsport Porsche #99 got the best start, but Callaway Competition Corvette #1 came up to second.
It didn’t take further than Turn 2 before chaos broke in the middle of the field. Nikolaj Rogivue in Aust Motorsport Audi #3 outbraked himself and took out BWT Mücke Motorsport Audi #24 and Montaplast by Land-Motorsport Audi #29 with him.
Further down the field GRT Grasser Racing Team Lamborghini #19 and MANN-FILTER Team HTP Mercedes #48 had a collision.
In the hairpin, Team ISR Audi #33 spun by itself and had to wait for the rest of the field to pass.
All those incidents deployed a Safety Car, since #3 was stuck on the gravel and #19 was parked on the track.
The race got restarted shortly after. MANN-FILTER Team HTP Mercedes #47 did a little driving mistake in the hairpin and lost several places, before Markus Pommer could rejoin the field. It was critical for #47 because they were battling with #99 for the championship.
BMW Team Schnitzer #43 had a tour on the grass in the last corner, when Victor Bouveng had a little too much speed and couldn’t keep the car on the track.
GRT Grasser Racing Team Lamborghini #82 had to retire after ten minutes due to technical problems.
15 minutes into the race, Callaway Competition Corvette #1 accelerated better on the way out of the hairpin than Precote Herberth Motorsport Porsche #99, and thus could overtake the lead.
After that the race went calmer, until the cars had to do their obligatory pitstop.
In the middle of the race, YACO Racing Audi #50 and Phoenix Racing Audi #5 brushed sides, and both had a tour through the gravel but they went back on the track again.
RWT Racing Corvette #13 and MANN-FILTER Team HTP Mercedes #47 had a close duel for sixth place, where the latter sneaked himself ahead. Soon, #13 got under pressure by Team Rosberg Lamborghini #53, but they could keep the seventh place so far.
KÜS Team75 Bernhard Porsche #17 started the race from last position, but by excellent driving from Timo Bernhard and later Kevin Estre, the car could climb up in top 10 with fifteen minutes left on the clock – and we should note that there were 34 starting cars.
While Montaplast by Land-Motorsport Audi #28 and BWT Mücke Motorsport Audi #25 battled it out, MANN-FILTER Team HTP Mercedes #47 closed up the gap and began to put #25 under pressure. Maximilian Götz was the quicker one between the two, and went past #25 wiht nine minutes left on the clock. Would they also get past the championship leaders in #28?
Kelvin van der Linde in #28 had a big problem with nurturing the tires and went all over the track. He tried to defend himself as much as he could, and when Götz in #47 attempted to overtake #28, they went three men wide with #25 on the way to the hairpin.
The three cars continued to battle as if it was a sprint race, where there were contacts several times.
BWT Mücke Motorsport Audi #26 tried to keep BMW Team Schnitzer #42 behind, where Stefan Mücke in #26 attempted to push Timo Scheider off the track. Instead, Scheider could hold on and #26 ended up hard in the tire barrier.
Callaway Competition Corvette #1 with Daniel Keilwitz and Marvin Kirchhöfer won the race, in front of Precote Herberth Motorsport Porsche #99 with Mathieu Jaminet and Robert Renauer, while Kelvin and Sheldon van der Linde got Montaplast by Land Motorsport Audi #28 finish third, ahead of MANN-FILTER Team HTP Mercedes #47 with Maximillian Götz and Markus Pommer, and BWT Mücke Motorsport Audi #25.
The result meant that #99 kept their lead in the championship, followed by #1, #47, and #28 respectively. Only 16 points separated top four before tomorrow’s race, so it’s still very much open in the ADAC GT Masters.