Lights & Shadows in GT Masters At Hockenheimring
Updated: Sep 22
Simona de Silvestro and Klaus Bachler closed in on a ADAC GT Masters podium finish once again, while Dennis Marschall and Carrie Schreiner set pole-position for race 1 - before some troubles slowed them down on Sunday at Hockenheim.
Saturday started in the best possible way at Hockenheim, when the Dennis Marschall and Carrie Schreiner duo put their Audi R8 LMS Evo on pole for race 1 of the top German GT3 series, the ADAC GT Masters. Marschall defended his position from the start on, but Christian Engelhart (SSR Performance) pushed hard from behind and looked for every possible way to pass the Rutronik Racing driver.
An early Safety Car phase due to a loose billboard gave Marschall a short respite, but after the restart Engelhart finally found his way past.
After the driver change, Engelhart's teammate Michael Ammermüller pulled away. Carrie Schreiner struggled with some problems with the #8 Audi and dropped back position after position: "Had some really good laps in the beginning then I struggled a lot with the balance of the car" - she commented. "Messed up the podium result but still Top 10 and P2 on the Junior Podium" - said Carrie after Saturday's race.
Second place went to Patric Niederhauser and Kelvin van der Linde (Rutronik Racing), ahead of Tim Zimmermann and Steijn Schothorst. After a strong drive from the 7th position of the grid Simona de Silvestro and Klaus Bachler (Küs Team74 Bernhard) were fourth across the finish line. "P4 again today, getting close. Tomorrow is a new chance." - said the Swiss star on her Instagram account.
It was a busy start in the first rows of the grid for race 2, as pole man Schothorst dropped back to fifth place quickly. From P6, van der Linde caught up and fired into the lead while Montaplast by Land Motorsport's driver Christian Haase drove from P4 to P2.
At the back of the field, several cars went through the gravel and among them it was also Carrie Schreiner, but all of them were able to continue the race. Not picked up by the TV cameras, Schreiner was also sent into a spin in the first hectic lap: "Got spun around in the first lap yesterday after I’ve already gained a few positions." - she recalled. "Race pace was not so bad but this made a good result even more difficult. After an outstanding performance from my team mate, we still finished P17. Points would have been possible without the incident in the first lap. Though weekend for me, but thanks team for always supporting me."
Up in the lead, van der Linde pulled away with a little gap and after the driver change, his teammate Niederhauser expanded the leadership to more than 4 seconds, taking the chequered flag ahead of Max Hofer & Haase in second and Rolf Ineichen & Mirko Bortolotti (Team WRT) rounding out the podium.
Taking over from Carrie Schreiner, Dennis Marschall drove brilliantly and after an awesome stint in the #8 Rutronik Racing Audi could bring home a P17.
"Stint of my life today! I think we overtook around 15 cars in half an hour. P17. Car and pace were insane" - he said on social media.
After finishing close to the podium in the first race, Simona de Silvestro and Klaus Bachler had a more disappointing second leg at Hockenheim: the Austrian crashed the #17 Porsche 911 GT3 R on the final lap of the race. Approaching the hairpin alongside the #33 ISR Audi and the #21 Zakspeed Mercedes AMG, Bachler ran wide, allowing the Audi R8 of Salaquarda-Stippler to sneak into the inside.
Once onto the kerbs, Bachler tried to come back the racing line but ended up on the Audi's path, which got squeezed into the Mercedes' side. With no room left, the three made cotact and Bachler was turned heavily into the right-hand side wall, ending his race. Bachler and Simona de Silvestro were thus classified in P27 in the final classify.
"Not the end of Race 2 I hoped." - he commented. "Tried to push to get forward and in the end I was on the wrong place at the wrong timing. Was not my intention and i only can apologise", said Bachler afterwards.
The third ADAC GT Masters female entry - experienced GT racer Rahel Frey - wasn't at the German racetrack this weekend, as she competed with the Iron Dames all-female crew in the 24 Hours of Le Mans, as we reported. You can read more about their race at La Sarthe here: Le Mans 24 Hours: Richard Mille Racing and Iron Dames clinch historic P9