A difficult Weekend for Simona de Silvestro in ADAC GT Masters
Updated: Jul 14
It was a weekend of highs and lows for Simona de Silvestro at Zandvoort: from a sixth place in qualifying, to plenty of bad luck in the ADAC GT Masters races, but still managed to add a few points to her championship tally.
27 cars tackled the newly-built Zandvoort track between the Dunes of the Netherlands' shores; on the field of the highly competitive ADAC GT Masters, Swiss driver Simona de Silvestro and her teammate Klaus Bachler got back behind the wheel of the Porsche 911 GT3 R by Herberth Motorsport for the third round of the 2021 season.
On the first qualifying session, Klaus Bachler was interrupted by a red flag on his fyling lap, but he managed to qualify the #7 Porsche on sixth place at the end. Because of a 3 grid penalty due to a FCY speed infringement on Friday, though, he would have to start from ninth. The fastest overall was Ricardo Feller (Montaplast by Land Motorsport), ahead of Mirko Bortolotti (GRT GRASSER RACING TEAM) and Maro Engel (Mercedes-AMG Team Toksport WRT).
Feller defended his lead at the start of race 1 - which was again interrupted soon by the accident of Daniel Keilwitz (Aust Motorsport) who lost his car and slipped into the barrier, requiring the intervention of the Safety Car. Shortly after, Klaus Bachler was forced to retire his damaged car because of a puncture and the race for Simona De Silvestro was over before it started.
"In L1 during the race, I got a pretty hard hit from the back in Turn 2, which made some damage at our rear bumper. Few laps later, the damage at the rear bumper destroyed our left rear tyre. So we had an DNF in today's Race 1", Klaus Bachler explainded.
At the front, there were no changes until the pit stops: Feller pitted and handed over to Mies, while Bortolotti stopped a lap later to let Albert Costa Balboa have his turn - the latter rejoined into the lead. Costa Balboa and Bortolotti would receive a drive through penalty because of a shorter pit stop time.
It were Feller and Mies to take home a controlled victory, ahead of Maro Engel/Luca Stolz and Nick Yelloly/Jesse Krohn (Schubert Motorsport).
The second qualifying session on Sunday was a difficult one for Simona De Silvestro, who ultimately set a time that put them in P22 for the race. Dries Vanthoor (TEAM WRT) was fastest, ahead of Perera (GRT GRASSER RACING TEAM) and Costa Balboa.
From pole, Vanthoor defended his lead and pulled away from Marciello who followed him in second place. Vanthoor was not under threat until the driver change, where he handed over his Audi to Charles Weerts and remained in front.
A Safety Car phase followed due to a collision and the subsequent stranded Porsche of Sven Müller (Precote Herberth Motorsport) and the neutralization bunched up the field back together - but Weerts made no missteps and crossed the finish line in first, ahead of Marciello/Buhk (MANN-FILTER Team LANDGRAF - HTP/WWR) and Ineichen/Perera.
De Silvestro was in trouble right after the start and battled hard for positions outside the Top-20, until she swapped seat with Klaus Bachler. The Austrian recovered up to P13 at the chequered flag.
"Well, like Klaus would say we had the sh*** stuck to our shoe the last few races." - commented De Silvestro. "Today we finally got to the end of one. Finishing P13 from getting tangled up at the start and dropping to P25."
"Some work to do the next few weeks to come back strong at Nürburgring", added the Swiss racing star.
The next ADAC GT Masters round will take place at the Nürburgring from 6th to 8th August.