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ADAC GT-Masters, Assen – Race Report
A Very Good Weekend For Flatex-Reiter

A relative modest entry of 14 cars and difficult weather conditions were  the ingredients for the fourth meeting of the ADAC-GT-Masters on the 19th/20th April, which was held  for the first time at Assen in the Netherlands. 

Four Lamborghinis (two Flatex-Reiter & two Argo-Racing), three Corvettes (two MM-Racing & the yellow Toni Seiler-Racing car), three Hexis-Astons - for the first time in the Masters-Championship - three Porsches from Mühlner & JvO-Racing and the Matech Ford were the competitors on the Dutch track.

Two wet qualifying sessions ended both times with pole for the reigning champions’ car, with Albert von Thurn & Taxis taking the pole in the orange and white Flatex-Reiter-Lamborghini for race 1 - the Czech youngster Martin Matzke in the MM-Corvette, Kenneth Heyer in the Matech-Ford and Julien Rodrigues in the fastest Hexis-Aston completing the top four places - and Christopher Haase taking the pole for race 2, ahead of Matech-Pilot Marc Hennerici, Flatex-Reiter Pilot Jan Lammers  and MM-Racing driver Adam Lacko; who drove, together with Stephan Vojtech, the second MM-Corvette for the Czech team, which for the first time fielded two cars in the German championship.

Downpour conditions at the start of race 1 on Saturday promised a difficult race ahead.

In fact, it all went wrong for Matech’s Kenneth Heyer on the first lap when his car left the track on one of the fastest corners and hit the armco hard at a speed higher than 200km/h. The impact, probably technically initiated, took the car effectively out of the meeting and left Heyer in medical care with a dislocated shoulder and bruising. As in the second Norisring race, a long safety car period followed the incident, but unlike the one on the Nürnberg-street circuit, this one emerged into a short racing phase again. Before the resumption, officials felt they had to distribute some drive-through penalties for yellow flag infringements which mainly affected the white Argo Gallardo of Frank Schmickler and the Mühlner-Porsche of Ronald van der Laer.

After the restart, with twenty minutes remaining, Christopher Haase pulled away; heading towards his and co-driver Albert von Thurn und Taxis’ first win of the season. Jan Lammers was hampered by a reluctant windscreen wiper in the still wet conditions, but not enough to prevent him claiming second place and a one-two for Flatex-Reiter.

Third place finally fell to the Czech duo Matzke/Skula who underlined an ever improving season with their first 2008-podium.

The track conditions did not improve on Sunday and also the result was similar. Haase /Thurn & Taxis had the better start on their teammates and had a clean run to the chequered flag, while Lammers / Ritskes were this time slowed by ABS-worries in their white Flatex-Reiter-Lamborghini; but again not enough to prevent them from taking a second runner-up spot at their home race. Third was again an MM-Corvette, but this time the second car of Lacko/Voitech. Both Czechs had the best end of a dogfight for the last podium-place that included both MM-Corvettes, both Mühlner-Porsches and the Hexis Aston of Phillipe Dumas; the only casualty of this race when he parked his Aston backwards in the barriers.

With the two wins,  Christopher Haase and Albert von Thurn und Taxis were able to catch up to Tim Bergmeister in the championship; so that now all three drivers lead the points table before the ADAC-GT-masters heads to the Nürburgring for the second time.

The ninth and tenth races of the season will be held as support-races for the 1000km LMS-round; hopefully, again with a 20+ grid.

Harald Gallinnis