The women of ADAC GT4 Germany back in the points at Red Bull Ring
Alesia and Jacqueline Kreutzpointer were back in the points in the Austrian first race, just as Claudia Hürtgen/Sebastian von Gartzen also made important steps forward - but race 2 was one to forget for both teams on a cold Red Bull Ring.
GT4 Germany was back on track this weekend in support of Germany's premier GT3 championship, ADAC GT Masters at the Red Bull Ring, Austria.
After the qualifying session, all three McLaren 570S GT4 cars were in front of the field - only two races after Patricija Stalidzane left the team for the rest of the season because of sponsorship reasons linked to the coronavirus pandemic.
Martin-Dye (Dörr Racing) secured pole ahead of his teammates Sizov and Christer Jöns (both Dörr Racing as well, in what was Stalidzane's #59 car). Claudia Hürtgen qualified her BMW M4 GT4 in 11th position and Jacqueline Kreutzpointner (MRS GT-Racing) was P18.
In race 1, both the McLarens defended their top-2 positions during the start, while the third McLaren of Jöns lost many places before he could came back to P3 a few laps later. Martin-Dye in front pulled away and built a gap of more than 8 seconds in front, when Gabriele Piana (Hofor Racing by Bonk Motorsport) got stuck in the gravel after a contact and the Safety Car was called out. During the race neutralization, the field went through the pit window for drivers change, before the restart.
The first McLaren, now with Phil Dörr behind the wheel after he had taken over from Martin-Dye - pulled away easily again at the restart. Behind him, several drivers fought for position. In the end, it was Hendrik Still to came out on top behind Dörr, with a strong drive to P2, but the former had no chance to pass him for the lead. Dörr/Martin-Dye took their first win for McLaren ahead of Still/Marschaikowski (Team Zakspeed) and Dreyspring/Sizov in the second Dörr McLaren.
Claudia Hürtgen and Sebastian von Gartzen scored again points with a P11 finish, as well as Alesia and Jacqueline Kreutzpointer who were P13 in the MRS Molitor BMW.
"Good Improvement today! Points as well. Let’s push for tomorrow", Jacqueline said after the race.
Qualifying for the second race was a mess of track limits infractions and many relevant laps were cancelled - among them also Alesia Kreutzpointer, as she said: "Just frustrating. Got cancelled 8 from 9 laps, so I have to start the race from the pitlane with cold tyres."
Sebastian van Gartzen qualified his and Claudia Hürtgen's BMW in P14, while again all three McLarens stood out at the top of the session - this time with Dörr leading Dreyspring and Siljehaug.
Race 2 was the race of Møller Madsen/Kasperlik. Møller Madsen started from 18th position, but was already up into seventh place three laps into the race and in P4 when the drivers change began. After the pitstops, his teammate Kasperlik was already in second and tried to catch up with Sizov in the leading McLaren. Behind the two Janits (True Racing), Martin-Dye and Gabriele Piana battled for the last podium spot.
Some minutes before the chequered flag, Claudia Hürtgen had a braking failure: the rear of the #3 Hofor Racing BMW locked up and she slipped into the gravel, beached.
Subsequently, the Safety Car was depoyed. Her teammate Sebastian von Gartzen commented: "A horrible second race with brake problems from the beginning. Really a shame because this track is absolutely stunning."
The field nunched up together and the race resumed - but big drama unfolded when the leader Sizov slowed down on the final lap without fuel pressure and rolled towards the finish line in 10th place. The winning car was thus the Porsche 718 Cayman GT4 Clubsport of Kasperlik/Møller Madsen, ahead of Martin-Dye/Dörr and Piana/Schrey.
For the Kreutzpointer twins, the race was over early, as Alesia went hard over the kerb and into the grass, clipping a big hole in rallycross style and was forced to retire into the pits a lap later.
The next ADAC GT4 Germany round will take place at the Lausitzring instead of Zandvoort because of the reinforced Covid-related travel restrictions from 30rd October to 1st November.