Lamborghini set the tempo at the start of the German GT Championship weekend at the Lausitzring: two Huracán GT3 belonging to the GRT Grasser Racing Team topped the timing sheet in the first free practice. In the final seconds of the session, Franck Perera (37/F) set the fastest time, just 0.1 seconds ahead of team-mate Mirko Bortolotti (31/I).
After Porsche and Mercedes-AMG led the way early on in the practice, GRT Grasser Racing Team and its Lamborghinis upped the pace in the closing stages. Mirko Bortolotti initially took the lead with a time of 1:22.811 minutes. However, as the flag fell, team-mate Franck Perera knocked him off the top spot. The Frenchman, who shares the Huracán GT3 R with Rolf Ineichen (42/CH), was 0.152 seconds quicker, clocking a time of 1:22.659 minutes.
“I am happy,” said the Frenchman. “We did a good job in yesterday’s test. That was important, as we had a long break. However, it didn’t take long for us to get back into it. The car improved with every stint, but there is still a long weekend ahead of us. I like the Lausitzring and the car is always good here. The time intervals will be very close again. It will definitely come down to the odd hundredth of a second.”
Behind Bortolotti and his partner Albert Costa Balboa (31/E), Mercedes-AMG works drivers Maximilian Buhk (28/Hamburg) and Raffaele Marciello (26/I, both Mann-Filter Team Landgraf – HTP/WWR) were third fastest in 1:22.878 minutes. They were followed in fourth place by Joel Eriksson (23/S) and Julien Andlauer (22/F), who were at the wheel of a Porsche 911 GT3 R for Küs Team Bernhard for the first time. Fifth place went to Charles Weerts (20/B) and Dries Vanthoor (22/B, both Team WRT) in the best-placed Audi R8 LMS, ahead of championship leaders Mathieu Jaminet (26/F) and Michael Ammermüller (35/Rotthalmünster, both SSR Performance) in another Porsche.
Looking forward to fans
For the first time since the final round of the 2019 season, spectators will be allowed back in the ADAC GT Masters paddock this weekend. The drivers are delighted. “It is great that the fans are allowed back among us,” said Marvin Kirchhöfer (27/Luzern, Callaway Competition). “The support from the spectators means you can enjoy the event even more as a driver.” Former champion and Audi works driver Christopher Mies (31/Düsseldorf, Montaplast by Land-Motorsport) added: “Without crowds, the race weekends often felt like tests. It was a really weird feeling. As such, it is great to have them back.” Former Formula 1 driver Markus Winkelhock (41/Zdiměřice, Car Collection Motorsport) also believes that fans are an integral part of the ADAC GT Masters. “Normality is finally returning to motorsport. We live from the fans, and you are simply extra motivated when they are there.”
New, familiar faces in the starting field
Two drivers who already have ADAC GT Masters experience are making their comeback in the series this weekend: Formula E driver Joel Eriksson and Porsche Young Professional Julien Andlauer are sharing the number 74 Porsche 911 for Küs Team Bernhard. Jannes Fittje (22/Langenhain), who had driven the car to this point, lines up in a Porsche for Team Joos Sportwagentechnik at the third round of the season. He joins forces with his old acquaintance and local hero David Jahn (30/Leipzig), with whom he shared a car in 2020.
Source. ADAC GT Masters