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  • Writer's pictureSAMU D. OSWALD

Taylor Hagler makes ADAC GT Masters debut

"We know what we need to work on for our next race" – After her European sportscar debut in GT4 Europe last year, Taylor Hagler stepped up to her first GT3 campaign overseas: at the ADAC GT Masters season opener in Oschersleben, she made good progress over the weekend and completed her learning-oriented first round with promising pace in race 2.

Taylor Hagler, Grasser Racing Team Lamborghini Huracan GT3 Evo2, ADAC GT Masters 2024, Oschersleben
Photo credits: Gruppe C Photography

The ADAC GT Masters series returned for its first racing weekend of the 2024 season in Oschersleben, Germany. The series has recently revised its concept and introduced a new scoring structure, with the new format is supposed to shift the attention a bit more on young talents climbing the ranks of GT racing.

In a highly competitive field, 16 cars took to the track for the season opener – and among them US American Taylor Hagler and her teammate Jannik Julius-Bernhart will share the GRT Grasser-Racing-Team Lamborghini Huracán GT3 Evo2.

Two time IMSA Michelin Pilot Challenge TCR champion in fact announced she would again contest a double racing program in 2024, after making her European debut in 2023 in the uber-competitive GT4 European series. After a participation at the mighty 24 Hours of the Nürburgring, in fact, Hagler took the leap to European racing and tackled a whole new set of challenges – quickly adapting to a new car, new team, new environment and new tracks. Nevertheless, the young Texan was in the top 5 at Misano and had class podium-worthy pace at Hockenheim.

Making the step up to GT3 in ADAC GT Masters is therefore another important step in her sports car racing career – although she's no stranger of GT3 machinery, having previously competed and won races in the GT World Challenge America, where she was runner up and rookie of the year in 2021, aboard a Acura NSX GT3 Evo. She last raced in GT3 competitions at the 2022 8 Hours of Indianapolis, before heading to Germany for the start of the popular ADAC GT Masters championship.

“Heading to Germany for the first ADAC GT Masters race weekend is an exciting occasion", she commented before the race meeting. "The European racing environment provides a new challenge for me as a driver", she explained, having just completed a test at Hockenheim a few weeks prior.

"The pre-season test with the GRT Grasser Racing Team at Hockenheimring allowed me the time to learn how the Lamborghini Huracán GT3 EVO2 handles and races while also spending time with the team. There are many new things this weekend, but I look forward to the challenge and opportunity it brings.”

Hagler got up to speed over the practice sessions, despite having to learn a new track where she had never been to before – as well as the new car – in mixed weather conditions.

Taylor progressively improved over the course of the sessions and reduced the gaps ahead of qualifying on Saturday morning.

And it was a bit of a bumpy session, with a red flag that disrupted the action while she was getting in the rhythm in Q1. Track repairs also affected the whole schedule for the day, with the end of qualifying being moved by over one hour. Hagler was 15th fastest in her qualifying session, clocking a 1:25.085 lap that was just a tenth of a second from the pair's benchmark in the previous sessions.

Saturday's race was led by Maxime Oosten (FK Performance Motorsport, BMW M4 GT3) from pole position, ahead of Tim Zimmermann (GRT Grasser-Racing-Team, Lamborghini Huracan GT3 EVO 2) and Elias Seppänen (Landgraf Motorsport, Mercedes-AMG GT3) in third place.

Shortly after the start of the race, though, Taylor Hagler had to retire the car due to a technical issue on lap 3. It was a disappointing start for the Grasser Racing Team duo, who were eyeing further progress with the crucial mileage.

After an action-packed first race, Leon Köhler and Maxime Oosten were able to secure the first win of the season, followed by Tom Kalender and Elias Seppänen. Max Reis and Kwanda Mokoena (Haupt Racing Team, Mercedes-AMG GT3) completed the top three.

Taylor Hagler, Grasser Racing Team Lamborghini Huracan GT3 Evo2, ADAC GT Masters 2024, Oschersleben
Photo credits: Axel Weichert -

On Sunday, in the qualifying for the second race of the weekend, Jannik Julius-Bernhart got behind the wheel for his session and had a promising run to grab eleventh place.

The Top 3 were occupied by David Schumacher (Haupt Racing Team,

Mercedes-AMG GT3), Tom Kalender (Landgraf Motorsport, Mercedes-AMG GT3) and Finn Wiebelhaus (Haupt Racing Team, Mercedes-AMG GT3).

Once again there was a lot of racing action, which made the first round of the ADAC GT Masters a closely contested one. Julius-Bernhart did a great job in his stint, tried to gain as many positions as possible and defended with determination at the same time. After a great first part of the race, he settled in P12 and ran as high as seventh. 

With 35 minutes left on the clock, the ten minute pit window opened for the driver change and Taylor Hagler took over. After the round of pit stops, the team lost a couple of positions.

Right at the start of the pit sequence, Schumacher lost the top spot and then had to retire the car due to technical issues.

Just like her teammate, Taylor Hagler had an equally impressive stint and ran a clean race showing significantly improved pace throughout her driving time. The team eventually finished in 14th position, gaining 2 points for the overall championship.

Elias Seppänen and Tom Kalender won preceding Jannes Fittje and Finn Wiebelhaus followed by Michael Kapfinger and Johannes Kapfinger (Team Joos by Twin Busch, Porsche 911 GT3 R 992).  

“This weekend was difficult, but one for learning", Taylor summed up. "Every car is different and the Lamborghini is no different. I have had fun getting to learn a new platform and race at a track I haven’t been to before."

The progression shown on the first weekend was encouraging and Hagler will be aiming to continue this trend in her learning-oriented European GT3 campaign.

"We know what we need to work on for our next race and we have the time before that to do so. I won’t be out of a car for too long as I head back stateside for the IMSA season and I am looking forward to being back with the GRT for another go at ADAC GT Masters competition,” she added.

The ADAC GT Masters series will be back with more action on the 7th of June in Zandvoort, Netherlands. Hagler's IMSA Michelin Pilot Challenge commitments will resume at the WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca, on May 10-12.



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