Pole and P7 for de Silvestro/Bachler in final ADAC GT Masters Race of 2021
The 2021 ADAC GT Masters season wasn't the easiest nor luckiest one for Simona de Silvestro and Klaus Bachler, but they put on a show for the Nürburgring finale, with a pole position and a seventh place finish. A conciliatory conclusion of the season for the Swiss-Austrian duo.
The last round of the 2021 ADAC GT Masters season was held at a surprisingly dry yet cold Nürburgring and saw a tight title battle among 13 drivers still with a chance to win the championship. While leaders Christopher Mies and Ricardo Feller (Montaplast by Land Motorsport) surely had the best chances, Luca Stolz and Maro Engel (Mercedes-AMG Team Toksport WRT), as well as Michael Ammermüller (SSR Performance) were close behind and in contention.
Just like the drivers' championship, the team's championship was closely fought, with GRT Grasser Racing Team just one point ahead of Montaplast by Land-Motorsport at the eve of the last race meeting. Four more teams also had title ambitions.
The qualifying session saw championship leaders Feller/Mies scoring pole position, ahead of Stolz/Engel and Bortolotti/Mapelli (GRT GRASSER RACING TEAM). Simona de Silvestro was not able to put a good lap together and finished in P23.
Feller defended his lead ahead of Stolz at the start and pulled away promptly, extending his gap to nearly 7 seconds to the closest competitor. After the driver change, Mies had no troubles and scored victory, with an over 3 second margin on Jaminet/Ammermüller and Engelhart/Preining (KÜS Team Bernhard) - in a not very action-packed race.
Simona de Silvestro and Klaus Bachler finished in 18th place after they weren't presented with many opportunities to make up positions and reach the front end of the pack.
With a big suprise on Sunday, Klaus Bachler threw down an unbelievable lap to score his first pole position of the year ahead of Ammermüller/Jaminet and Vanthoor/Weerts (Team WRT).
The second race day was cold and grey - and started with two laps behind the Safety Car before the start due to the cold and particularly tricky conditions. Klaus Bachler had the first scary moment as he slipped into the gravel, but was able to come back on track and could re-take the leading position before the green flag was actually waved.
The start saw more drama, as Jannes Fittje (Jahn/Team Joos Sportwagentechnik) was spun around and Pierre Kaffer (Erhart/Rutronik Racing by TECE) wasn't able to avoid the spinning car, slamming straight into the back of the Porsche. Kaffer complained about back pain - which brought out the rescue team to extract him out of the car to avoid injuries. Fittje and Kaffer were taken to the hospital for further checks.
Another crash disrupted the opening lap, leaving debris and scathed cars before the red flag: Engel made contact with Preining, who tagged and spun Vanthoor subsequently. Preining and Vanthoor were out of the race while Engel received a drive through penalty.
After the driver switch, Jaminet took over the lead ahead of Simona de Silvestro - who tried to defend with all her forces but was ultimately passed with 18 minutes to go by Joel Eriksson (Holzer/KÜS Team Bernhard) and Rolf Ineichen (Perera/GRT GRASSER RACING TEAM). In the following laps, Simona de Silvestro dropped back to P7, where she eventually took the chequered flag.
“The conditions in qualifying and the race were definitely not that easy,” said Klaus Bachler. “It was of course great that I was able to get pole on my last lap. I had a great car for these conditions."
"In the race Simona tried everything to defend her position. We would have been happy about a podium, but seventh place is also a good result that we can be happy with."
While Jaminet/Ammermüller won the race ahead of Eriksson/Holzer and Ineichen/Perera, a 10th place was enough for Feller/Mies to win the 2021 ADAC GT Masters title.
Montaplast by Land Motorsport became teams' champions with a 6 point gap to SSR Performance and GRT GRASSER RACING TEAM - who were equal on points.
The ADAC GT Masters series will be back in 2022 with a 7 round calendar, starting in Oschersleben from 22nd to 24th April. Hopefully, again with female participation.