There have now been eight different winners in nine races. Henric Skoog (24, SWE) and Nick Yelloly (29, GBR, both Schubert Motorsport) driving a BMW M6 GT3 cruised to victory in Saturday’s ADAC GT Masters race at the Red Bull Ring. Their triumph in the 199th race of the Super Sports Car League was the first for BMW this season. Porsche drivers Robert Renauer (35, GER) and Sven Müller (28, GER, both Precote Herberth Motorsport) finished second on the Austrian Formula 1 circuit, with third place going to Erik Johansson (24, SWE) and Jens Klingmann (30, GER, both MRS GT-Racing) in another BMW. “After our somewhat faltering start to the season, this success is an important one for the whole team,” said winner Henric Skoog at the finish. “The guys were incredibly happy. We’re now looking to excel again tomorrow.” Sunday’s race in Austria will be the 200th in the history of the ADAC GT Masters.
Skoog dominates first stint
Eventual race winners Henric Skoog and Nick Yelloly dominated the action from the very first lap, while pole-sitter Steijn Schothorst (26, NL, GRT Grasser Racing Team) enjoyed his lead for only a brief moment. On the approach to Turn 3, Dutchman Schothorst was overtaken by Skoog, Robert Renauer and Erik Johansson, dropping down into fourth place. Sweden’s Skoog then controlled the race from the front as he steadily pulled away from his opponents and, after ten laps, had built up a 4.6-second lead. His time cushion on Renauer in P2 was more than seven seconds when the pit stop window opened at the halfway point of the race. Team-mate Nick Yelloly then increased the gap to more than nine seconds to comfortably achieve BMW’s first major success of the season. This was a maiden win in the ADAC GT Masters for both Englishman Yelloly and partner Skoog. For Schubert Motorsport, it was their eleventh victory and first since Zandvoort 2015. Skoog triumphed in the Pirelli Junior classification for the first time.
Runners-up Robert Renauer and Porsche works driver Sven Müller made their fourth podium appearance of the season and improved their position in the standings to third overall. With a deficit of five seconds, Erik Johansson and last year’s winner Jens Klingmann came third in another BMW to register their first Top Three result of the season. After a close fight, they won through with a lead of 0.3 seconds on Franck Perera (36, FRA) and Albert Costa Balboa (30, ESP), who just missed the podium in this home fixture for GRT Grasser Racing by coming fourth. Philip Ellis (28, GB) and Raffaele Marciello (25, ITA, both Knaus-Team HTP-Winward) were fifth in the best-placed Mercedes-AMG GT3 Evo.
Currently in second place in the overall standings, Christian Engelhart (33, GER) and Michael Ammermüller (34, GER, both SSR Performance) scored more vital points in the fight for the title, taking P6 after starting tenth on the grid in their Porsche 911 GT3 R. Pole-sitter Schothorst and partner Tim Zimmermann (24, GER) had to settle for seventh place in the end.
After a difficult qualifying that brought them a lowly P24 on the grid, Audi drivers Patric Niederhauser (28, CH) and Kelvin van der Linde (24, ZA, both Rutronik Racing) fought their way up into eighth place. Now on 121 points, the defending champions continue to head the standings but only have a seven-point lead on their closest pursuers, Engelhart and Ammermüller. Completing the Top Ten were Niels Lagrange (29, BEL) and Clemens Schmid (30, AUT) in the third Lamborghini fielded by GRT Grasser Racing and Luca Stolz (25, GER) partnered by Maro Engel (35, Monte Carlo, both Toksport WRT) in the Mercedes -AMG GT3 Evo.
Audi driver Elia Erhart (32, GER, EFP Car Collection by Tece) won the Pirelli Trophy classification for amateur drivers.
Comments from the winners:
Henric Skoog (Schubert Motorsport, BMW M6 GT3):
“At the start, I went through the first corner side by side with Steijn (Schothorst). Despite a minor contact, I was able to keep up with him, and I then took the lead on the following straight. From that point on, we were able to drive our own race and – most importantly – to look after our tyres. Leading the field always makes the race so much easier, which meant that we were able to post consistently clean laps. As a team, we are absolutely delighted with the victory, and we will do our best to finish in a good position in tomorrow’s race as well.”
Nick Yelloly (Schubert Motorsport, BMW M6 GT3):
“Track conditions like we had today and our BMW M6 GT3 are certainly good in combination, especially as the car can exploit to the full its aerodynamic superiority here in the fast and medium-fast sections. But in any case, our team Schubert Motorsport has also done a great job and we intend to build on this going forward. We were already flying in today’s quali, and in the second half of the race, I was able to control our pace well. This victory has made me very happy – after all, it is the first win in the ADAC GT Masters for Henric (Skoog) and myself.”
Source. ADAC GT Masters