AUDI DUO FELLER/MIES WIN AT THE LAUSITZRING TO LEAD THE GERMAN GT CHAMPIONSHIP AT THE HALFWAY POINT
Ricardo Feller (21/CH) and Christopher Mies (31/Düsseldorf, both Montaplast by Land-Motorsport) were unbeatable in Saturday’s race in the German GT Championship at the DEKRA Lausitzring: pole position, victory, fastest lap – an impressive day’s work for the pair, whose second win of the season propelled them to the top of the table at the halfway point of the ADAC GT Masters. Second place went to Mercedes-AMG drivers Luca Stolz (26/Brachbach) and Maro Engel (36/Monte Carlo, both Mercedes-AMG Team Toksport WRT). They were followed home in third place by the Lamborghini of Mirko Bortolotti (31/I) and Albert Costa Balboa (31/E, both GRT Grasser Racing Team), making it three different manufacturers on the podium. “Maro Engel attacked hard in the closing stages. That really brought me out in a sweat at times,” said former champion Mies after his 12th victory in the ADAC GT Masters. “It is fantastic to be top of the table. We will not rest and will continue to work hard. There is still a long way to go this season.”
Key facts, DEKRA Lausitzring, Klettwitz, race 7 of 14
Circuit length: 3,478 metres
Weather: 23.5 degrees, sunny
Pole position: Ricardo Feller (Montaplast by Land-Motorsport, Audi R8 LMS), 1:21.678 min.
Winners: Ricardo Feller/Christopher Mies (Montaplast by Land-Motorsport, Audi R8 LMS)
Fastest lap: Ricardo Feller (Montaplast by Land-Motorsport, Audi R8 LMS), 1.22,797 Min.
Thrilling battle between Mies and Engel for the win
Having set the fastest practice time of the day on Friday, then secured pole position on Saturday morning, Ricardo Feller continued his perfect weekend so far in race one. The Swiss driver defended his lead at the start and gradually began to pull clear of the chasing pack. By the time he handed the car over to Christopher Mies during the mandatory pit stop around the middle of the race, he had established a cushion of 3.5 seconds. The German Audi works driver extended that lead to about five seconds before the race was interrupted with a little over 20 minutes remaining after the Mercedes-AMG of Jules Gounon (26/F, Team Zakspeed Mobil Krankenkasse Racing) leaked oil onto the track, resulting in a potentially slippery surface. After the re-start, Maro Engel put leader Mies under extreme pressure, much to the delight of the fans at the Lausitzring. However, the Audi man was able to fend off Engel’s attacks. A safety car phase to recover the Porsche of Simona De Silvestro (33/CH, Precote Herberth Motorsport) then made for a breath-taking final battle that raged for the last four laps. Engel was again the aggressor, Mies again stayed out in front – this time to the finish. As well as overall victory, his team-mate Feller also picked up valuable points in the Pirelli Junior competition.
Luca Stolz and Maro Engel finished runner-up to claim their second podium of the season. They started from third on the grid and immediately climbed one position at the start. Their victims were Lamborghini drivers Bortolotti and Costa Balboa, who nevertheless came home third to celebrate another podium.
They were followed over the finish line by Raffaele Marciello (26/I) and Maximilian Buhk (28/Hamburg, both Mann-Filter Team Landgraf – HTP/WWR) in fourth place, meaning they remain second in the overall table. Fifth place went to local favourite Mike David Ortmann (21/Ahrensfelde) and Clemens Schmid (31/A) in another Lamborghini run by the GRT Grasser Racing Team – their best result of the season. Behind them, the Porsche duo of David Jahn (30/Leipzig) and Jannes Fittje (22/Langenhain, both Team Joos Sportwagentechnik) finished sixth.
BMW works drivers Nick Yelloly (29/GB) and Jesse Krohn (31/FIN, both Schubert Motorsport) produced an impressive fightback to finish seventh: Yelloly was spun at the start and dropped back as far as 25th at one point. In eighth place were Rolf Ineichen (42/CH) and Franck Perera (37/F), making it three Grasser Lamborghinis in the top ten. Ineichen also took victory in the Pirelli Trophy. Porsche drivers Joel Eriksson (23/S) and Julien Andlauer (22/F) finished ninth in their first outing for Küs Team Bernhard. Tenth place went to Elia Erhart (33/Röttenbach) and Pierre Kaffer (44/Schlieren, both Rutronik Racing by Tece) in another Audi R8 LMS.
The championship leaders coming into the race, Michael Ammermüller (35/Rotthalmünster) and Mathieu Jaminet (26/F, both SSR Performance), were unlucky. Start driver Ammermüller was spun by another car on lap two and dropped to the back of the field. Ammermüller was then handed a drive-through penalty for the collision with Nick Yelloly. The Porsche came home 13th.
Quotes from the winners
Ricardo Feller: “That was a perfect day for us. I am delighted with the result. The pole position was a fantastic start to the day, and we were then able to do a good job of defending the lead in the race. I was able to set a good pace in my stint without putting the tyres under too much strain. Chris brought the car home safely after the pit stop. Sitting on the outside watching the closing stages was far more nerve-racking than being in the car myself. However, I have every faith in Chris and he brought the win home in impressive fashion.”
Christopher Mies: “The race was really hard work at the end. Maro was always very close at the two re-starts. It was not as easy to shake him off as I thought it would be, as he knew exactly what I intended to do. We both broke very late for turn 1, but I stayed in front. It must have been very exciting for the spectators.”
Source. ADAC GT Masters