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ADAC GT Masters, Sachsenring – Race Report
A Perfect Weekend For Audi With Abt And Phoenix

The second round of the ADAC GT Masters took place alongside the FIA GT1 races at the Sachsenring. Pole-positions for the two one-hour races went to Luca Ludwig in one of the Abt-Sportsline Audi R8 LMS and Frank Kechele aboard a Reiter-Engineering Lamborghini LP600+ GT3.

Race One

The start of the first race of the weekend produced the first big crash of the season, when Robert Renauer in the #20 Black Falcon Mercedes SLS AMG GT3 got tapped by Christian Frankenhout’s #33 Heico SLS, sending his car airborne and rolling several times. Frankenhout was able to continue the race, while Renauer escaped the crash unharmed. The Black Falcon SLS, however, was a write-off. Also taken out by the crash was Philip Geipel, driving the #1 Reiter Lamborghini.

Luca Ludwig used his pole-position to grab the lead right from the start, and he was backed up by his teammate Christer Jöns in the second Abt Audi after  Jöns was able to overtake Dino Lunardi in the run-down to the first corner on lap one.

The fight between the Abt Audi and the Alpina B6 GT3 ended after 26 laps when the Alpina had to retire due to a technical failure. The victory for Ludwig and Christopher Mies was never challenged, with their teammates finishing ten seconds behind.

The fight for the final podium spot continued right to the flag, with Christopher Haase in the #7 Pole Promotion Phoenix Audi R8 LMS fighting with Michael Ammermüller in the #10 a-workx Porsche 911 GT3 R for third spot. In the end it was Ammermüller and his partner Sebastian Asch celebrating third position and Haase plus Andreas Simonsen sticking to fourth.

The next two spots were made up by the SLSs of Dominik Baumann / Harald Proczyk and Floran Stoll / David Sigacev. Ferdinand Stuck and his brother Johannes Stuck finished seventh in their success-ballast-heavy Lamborghini Gallardo. Alex Plenagl and Florian Spengler brought the lone remaining Alpina home in eighth position.

The final two point spots were taken by Charlie Geipel and Frank Schmickler in the Mühlner Porsche ahead of Marc Hayek and Peter Kox in another Reiter Lamborghini.

Race Two

When race-control was about to send the 33 surviving cars onto the formation lap, the clouds above the Sachsenring opened their gates, resulting in a delay of the formation lap to give the teams a chance to make their tyre choice. The whole leading pack of the grid stayed on slick tires. One of the teams choosing rain tires was Alexandros Margaritis in the Team Engstler Alpina B6 GT3, and his smart choice meant that the former DTM driver was able to get into the lead on lap one; and even a drive-trough-penalty couldn’t keep Margaritis from occupying the top spot. But the dream of another Alpina victory ended when Dino Lunardi was stranded with another technical failure shortly after the driver-change.

The Phoenix Audi R8 LMS of Christopher Haase and Andreas Simonsen had all the luck on their side and were able to get into the lead after the round of the mandatory pit stops.

Haase started the Audi on slick tyres, saving him from an extra pit stop for a tyre change, and his partner Andreas Simonsen brought the victory home with a flawless stint. An interesting battle for second and third position broke out between the second Phoenix Audi of Stefan Landmann and René Rast and the two Abt-Audis. By the time the chequered flag was waved, Landmann had secured a one-two finish for the Pole-Promotion team.

In the intra-team battle between Luca Ludwig and Christer Jöns, it was Ludwig who secured third position for him and his partner Christopher Mies. Fourth went to Christer Jöns and Jens Klingmann. Fifth place went to the two Stuck boys, Johannes and Ferdinand, finishing one place ahead of their teammates Albert von Thurn und Taxis and Philip Geipel.

Seventh place went to the two Maximilians - Götz and Meyer - who shared a Mercedes SLS AMG GT3 for the weekend. Sebastian Asch and Michael Ammermüller crossed the line in eighth place ahead of the lone-Ferrari 458 GT3, in which Dominik Farnbacher and Niclas Kentenich scored the first points for Farnbacher Racing.

The final point went to Danny von Dongen and Arjan van der Zwaan in the Prosperia Team Brinkmann Audi R8 LMS.

The new championship leaders are now Christer Jöns and Jens Klingmann, who are eleven points ahead of their teammates Luca Ludwig and Christopher Mies. Third place in the championship is occupied by Johannes and Ferdinand Stuck. The next round of the ADAC GT Masters takes place June 10th – 12th at the Zolder-Circuit.

Sören Herweg