Mixed feelings for Simona de Silvestro in ADAC GT Masters at Sachsenring
Updated: Oct 5
After some tough races, Simona de Silvestro and Klaus Bachler had some redemption at Sachsenring on Saturday, with a good starting position and a clean race in P7. But Sunday, old bad luck was back with an unfortunate DNF.
Sachsenring – the third to last round of the 2021 ADAC GT Masters season. The battle between the title contenders continues. Famous for the MotoGP German GP, the hilly track has many ups and downs for a length of 3.645 metres and 14 corners. And among the 27 cars on the grid this weekend, Swiss racing star and Porsche factory driver Simona de Silvestro – one week after her class win at the Nurburgring Nordschleife in the NLS – was back in the #7 Precote Herberth Motorsport Porsche 911 GT3 R, alongside co-driver Klaus Bachler. The duo already showed in both free practice sessions that they could have a good shot for the top-five, as they slotted in P6 and P3 on Friday. After all the bad luck, de Silvestro and Bachler hoped for a good result on this demanding track. ADAC GT Masters took to the track for the last qualifying session of Saturday morning, with the temperatures slightly increasing and the sun rising for the spectators who were allowed both around the track and in the open paddock. It was Jaminet who set the fastest lap of the session, bringing the Porsche 911 GT3 R from SSR Performance on top of the timesheets and ahead of Walilko (Team Zakspeed Mobil Krankenkasse Racing) and Stolz (Mercedes-AMG Team Toksport WRT). Klaus Bachler had another positive run and finished in P8 – a good position for the race later in the afternoon. Jaminet remarked his performance from qualifying and led from the start, pulling away from the rest of the field. His follower Stolz tried to undercut him with an earlier pit stop during the pit window, but with no success. Jaminet swapped for Ammermüller – who ultimately won the first race this weekend at Sachsenring, ahead of Stolz/Engel and Feller/Mies. There was some confusion at the start, with the first attempt being cancelled; nevertheless, it wasn't promptly clear to all drivers and they had to find a way to navigate through the first lap without picking up damage. The second time was the charm but still more chaos arose when Keilwitz/Asch were forced to retire their Audi after a collision in the midfield. Same fate awaited the #91 Porsche of Fittje/Jahn, which required the intervention of the Safety Car right away. Starting from P8, Klaus Bachler lost a position at the start amidst the two cautions in the first couple of laps, but the Austrian then handed over to Simona de Silvestro who was able to finish in seventh place, bringing the car back in the points after the unfortunate previous rounds. "P7 for us today, good start of the weekend for Klaus", wrote a satisfied de Silvestro. The Swiss driver added: "now I just need to get that lap together in qualy tomorrow." The qualifying setting the grid for race 2 will take place at 10:15 local time, while the second and final race of the ADAC event at Sachsenring is scheduled for 16:30.
Conditions were sunny and windy for the second ADAC GT Masters race day at Sachsenring. Simona de Silvestro started with good hopes coming into her qualifying session after the 7th place on Saturday. But a red flag interrupted her run and sent the Swiss driver back to P22 in a very tight field. The polesitting car was just separeted by 1,57 seconds to the last placed.
The start turned out to be a real mess; pole sitter Gounon retained the lead ahead of Perera, but behind them, Buhk was spun by Costa Balboa and chaos broke lose. Buhk was hit by another car and was forced to retire. Costa Balboa served a drive through penalty.
The restart was a clean one for Gounon, who pulled away and handed over to Waliłko with a big gap of nearly 5 seconds, eventually winning the race with a 15.842 margin ahead of Stolz/Engel and Engelhart/Preiniger.
But race 2 continued the streak of bad luck for De Silvestro, as she got stuck into the gravel on lap 6 and was forced to retire from race. After a good Saturday, Sunday's curse came back one more time to hamper De Silvestro and Klaus Bachler's season one again.
"Some days just really don’t go to plan." - commented Simona. "Red flag in qualifying and then getting tangled up in turn one ended our day early."
"This year has been a struggle, let’s try to reset and work hard to turn things around for the last 2 rounds".
Two more rounds await the Swiss/Austrian duo, who aim to score more points at Hockenheimring from 13th to 15th October and Nürburgring from 5th to 7th November.