With thrilling battles, good overtaking opportunities and very close gaps between cars, the ADAC GT Masters is set to line up for the third race meeting of the year this weekend (18th-20th September) at the Hockenheimring, a circuit that is well-known for producing plenty of exciting race action. 32 super sports cars will be hunting down championship leaders Luca Stolz (25, GER) and Maro Engel (34, Monte Carlo, both Toksport WRT) in the Mercedes AMG GT3 Evo.
Key facts, Hockenheimring, Hockenheim, Races 5 and 6 out of 14 Track length: 4.57km
Layout: 17 turns (nine right-hand, eight left-handers), racing in a clockwise direction
Winners 2019, Race 1: Mirko Bortolotti/Christian Engelhart (Orange1 by GRT Grasser-Lamborghini Huracán GT3 Evo)
Winners 2019, Race 2: Patric Niederhauser/Kelvin van der Linde (HCB-Rutronik Racing-Audi R8 LMS)
With four different winners in four races, the ADAC GT Masters certainly got the season off to a varied start. Mercedes-AMG drivers Luca Stolz and Maro Engel currently head the standings, having taken one win and two more podiums. The pairings of Michael Ammermüller (34, GER)/Christian Engelhart (33, GER, both SSR Performance) and Robert Renauer (35, GER)/Sven Müller (28, GER, both Precote Herberth Motorsport) in the Porsches are next behind them, followed by Charles Weerts (19, BEL) and Dries Vanthoor (22, BEL, both Team WRT) in the Audi. These drivers have all been successful so far as well this season. Defending champions Patric Niederhauser (28, CH) and Kelvin van der Linde (24, ZA, both Rutronik Racing) are also among the favourites. They too race the brand with the four rings, which is the most successful at Hockenheim with a total of seven wins. Niederhauser and van der Linde won the race on Sunday at the Hockenheimring in 2019, which enabled them to clinch the ADAC GT Masters drivers’ title before the season had even ended.
The local favourites
Three outfits are based within 100 kilometres of the race track, namely, Callaway Competition from Leingarten, who are the most successful outfit in the ADAC GT Masters at Hockenheim with four wins, Rutronik Racing from Remchingen and DLV Team Schütz Motorsport from Bobenheim-Roxheim. Many drivers also live and work in the region around the Motodrom at Hockenheim. BMW works driver Jens Klingmann (30, GER, MRS GT-Racing) comes from nearby Heidelberg, and this is very much a home race too for Dennis Marschall (24) in the Audi from Eggenstein-Leopoldshafen and Mercedes-AMG driver Marvin Dienst (23, GER, DLV-Schütz Motorsport) from Lampertheim. Markus Pommer (29) races the Corvette C7 GT3-R prepared by Callaway Competition and is from Neckarsulm which is also quite close.
The Hockenheimring is famed for producing plenty of exciting, close racing in the ADAC GT Masters. Nine manufacturers have already won there in the past. At 4.57 kilometres, the Hockenheimring is the longest circuit on the calendar and offers an exciting mix of long straights, fast corners, hairpin bends and the narrow, Motodrom stadium section. The race weekend will be held in the absence of spectators following guidelines and hygiene rules to prevent infection developed by the ADAC GT Masters and approved by the authorities. The ADAC GT4 Germany, ADAC TCR Germany and ADAC Formula 4 will also race alongside the ADAC GT Masters at the weekend.
Comments in the run-up to the race weekend
Kelvin van der Linde (Rutronik Racing, Audi R8 LMS): “I think that returning to Hockenheim at the weekend is going to be very special. It’s where we won the race on Sunday last year and clinched the title, giving me plenty of good memories. Patrick and I are both well-motivated and heading in the right direction as we demonstrated with our podium and pole position at the Nürburgring. The team showed just how strong we are. We still have a decent chance of defending the title and that remains our goal. I think we’ll have a good package again at Hockenheim. It’s our team’s home race, which is why we often test there. The fans can look forward to seeing some great racing. Hockenheim is famous for producing plenty of action. We’ve seen some of the best racing in the ADAC GT Masters and great scraps there in recent years. The track offers one or two good overtaking opportunities. Parts of the circuit – especially in the last sector – have been re-surfaced. It will be interesting to see how that affects the new Pirelli tyres.”
Markus Pommer (Callaway Competition, Corvette C7 GT3-R): “Hockenheim is a home race for both me and Callaway Competition, which means that I and some of the team will get to sleep at home in our beds over the weekend. Unfortunately, I’ve had a lot of bad luck at Hockenheim just recently – especially last year with two no-fault accidents on the first lap. It was most unfortunate, so things can only get better now. Even though Hockenheim is Callaway’s home track and we therefore know the track really well, it’s difficult to estimate how strong we will be in the races, as we didn’t post a single race lap in 2019 and we have new tyres this year. Still, things went well last time out at the Nürburgring, especially on Sunday, so I feel quite confident and am really looking forward to the race weekend taking place in my very own back yard
Soirce. ADAC GT Masters