With Simona de Silvestro just missing out on a podium, a solid points-finish for Carrie Schreiner and some bad luck for Rahel Frey, the second ADAC GT Masters weekend at the Nürburgring had all aspects of a driver´s life.
The Nürburgring hosted the second round of the ADAC GT Masters season, which features three high-profile female racers on the grid: Porsche works driver Simona de Silvestro, Carrie Schreiner and Audi GT ace Rahel Frey.
It was a spectacularly closely-fought round, with the first practice session already showing the competition level of the series - 25 cars within one second.
And it was Michael Ammermüller to secure pole, before defending his position from the attacks of Maro Engel into the race after an early Safety Car caused by Constantin Schöll's stranded car (T3-HRT-Motorsport) which came to a stop on track.
The new start had no impact to the race leader Ammermüller (SSR Performance), who remained ahead of Engel (Toksport WRT). Neither the driver change from Ammermüller to Christian Engelhart - and from Engel to Lucas Stolz - did not change the order.
In the midfield, there were several battles for position as Schramm pushed Max Hofer - the latter going wide and into the gravel, causing him to retire shortly after.
While there were no changes for the lead, the midfield saw more action and, with 15 minutes to the end, a second Safety Car phase interrupted the race following an accident by Rahel Frey's teammate Hendrik von Danwitz (Aust Motorsport), who suffered a brake failure that ended their race.
With a seven tenths of a second margin, Engelhart/Ammermüller won over Engel/Stolz, as third were Patric Niederhauser and Kelvin van der Linde, protagonists of some spectacular overtaking moves.
Simona de Silvestro and her teammate Klaus Bachler had again a very thrilling race and finished just 0.9 seconds behind van der Linde in 4th position - narrowly missing out on their first podium.
"Hard battles out there and learning this car." - wrote the Swiss star. "It’s all moving in the right direction."
Carrie Schreiner and Dennis Marschall started 4th and, after a busy race, dropped back to eighth in the overall rankings - a solid points finish for the young duo. That result also meant the second position in the junior cup - a good birthday gift for Marschall.
"Seems like our Birthday’s are made for success" - commented Carrie Schreiner on her social media feeds, recollecting her birthday last year, when the pair claimed their maiden GT Masters podium in Hockenheim.
"Finally a good result! P8 in today’s race and P2 in the Junior Cup. Double podium for Rutronik Racing. Congrats team. Great job today from Dennis Marschall and thanks Team for the amazing effort day and night!"
The second race began with more exciting action: David Jahn, starting from P6, fired into the lead and Sven Müller was up to third from the fifth grid slot. Both the crews were followed by Kelvin van der Linde throughout the first half of the race.
Van der Linde then handed his car over to Patric Niederhauser, who defended P1. But, following an incident during the pit stop, the Rutronik Racing #31 received a drive-through penalty and dropped down the order.
The lead was now inherited by Müller's teammate Robert Renauer, who passed Jahn/Jannes Fittje during the pit stops. Renauer pulled away and took victory from Jahn/Fittje, but a 30 second time penalty caused by an unsafe release dropped them back from P2 to 18th position. Promoted to second was the #32 WRT team of Charles Weerts and Dries Vanthoor, ahead of Lamborghini drivers Franck Perera and Albert Costa (GRT Grasser Racing Team).
The three teams lining up female racing drivers endured a tougher second race and couldn't finish in the points. The best among them was again Simona de Silvestro, who alongside Klaus Bachler finished in 17th place. Carrie Schreiner and Dennis Marschall were P26, while Rahel Frey and Hendrik von Danwitz had another battling day at the back of the field in 34th position.
Simona de Silvestro wrote that she was looking forward to the next round:
"Today was definitely a bit more work. I didn’t do the optimal lap on my qualy run and lost a bit of time in the chicane with trying to drive a bit too Supercars style over the curbs".
Likewise, Carrie Schreiner was hopeful coming into the next rounds: "We all know how tough GT Masters is. But still not unhappy with the performance this weekend. Race pace is good but just my beloved qualifyings. I keep on working and I’m looking forward to the next one."
The next ADAC GT Masters round will take place from 18th to 20th September at Hockenheimring, where Schreiner claimed her first podium position last year.