- Bortolotti/Mapelli present Lamborghini with its first win since September 2019
- Audi duo Feller/Mies extend their championship lead in front of full grandstands
- Title contenders occupy top four positions in the race
Hockenheim. Mirko Bortolotti (31/I) and Marco Mapelli (34/I, both GRT Grasser Racing Team) took victory in Hockenheim to claim Lamborghini’s first success in the German GT Championship since 2019, while the title contenders finished in the top five and the title race took another step towards its thrilling conclusion. The two Lamborghini works drivers took the chequered flag in front of a big crowd in the Motodrom, just 0.521 seconds ahead of championship leaders Ricardo Feller (21/CH) and Christopher Mies (31/Düsseldorf, both Montaplast by Land-Motorsport). Second place was enough for the two Audi drivers to extend their lead by nine points. Third place went to Porsche works driver Mathieu Jaminet (26/F) and defending champion Michael Ammermüller (35/Rotthalmünster, both SSR Performance). “I am overjoyed. We have waited a long time for that win, and finally everything came together,” said the victorious Bortolotti. “We showed character and that we are always a force to be reckoned with.”
Key facts, Hockenheimring, Hockenheim, race 11 of 14
Circuit length: 4,574 metres
Weather: 12 degrees, slightly overcast
Pole position: Mirko Bortolotti (GRT Grasser Racing Team, Lamborghini Huracán GT3 Evo), 1:37.533 minutes
Winners: Mirko Bortolotti/Marco Mapelli (GRT Grasser Racing Team, Lamborghini Huracán GT3 Evo),
Fastest lap: Christian Engelhart (Küs Team Bernhard, Porsche 911 GT3 R), 1:39.634 minutes
Strong start from Bortolotti
Pole-sitter Bortolotti made a perfect start in his Lamborghini and immediately set about pulling clear of the pack on the opening lap. One lap later, his advantage already stood at almost two seconds. Only as his stint progressed was the pursuing Ricardo Feller able to match the pace of the leader. By the time he came in for the driver changeover, Feller had reduced his deficit to less than a second. After the mandatory pit stops, the Lamborghini, now with Marco Mapelli at the wheel, remained just in front of Feller’s partner Christopher Mies. Two late safety car phases bunched the field back together, resulting in a thrilling finish. After the restarts, Mies tried on several occasions to pass Mapelli, but eventually had to accept defeat – albeit a narrow one. Bortolotti’s seventh victory in total in the ADAC GT Masters sees him climb into fourth place in the table and kept his title chances alive. For team-mate Mapelli, who was sharing a Lamborghini with his compatriot for the first time this season, this was win number two in the series.
Mies and Feller finished runner-up to claim their fifth podium of the season and extend their lead in the overall standings from two to eleven points. A maximum 84 points are still up for grabs in the three remaining races. Feller also claimed his fifth class victory in the Pirelli Junior competition in the eleventh race of the season.
Battles for position throughout the field kept the many spectators in Hockenheim enthralled right through to the finish. The Porsche duo of Jaminet and Ammermüller came out on top in the fight for third place. Behind them, four Mercedes-AMG works drivers were embroiled in a battle that ran for many laps. In the end, fourth place went to the second-placed pair in the championship, Luca Stolz (26/Brachbach) and Maro Engel (36/Monte Carlo, both Mercedes-AMG Team Toksport WRT), while Raffaele Marciello (26/I) and Maximilian Buhk (28, Hamburg, both Mann-Filter Team Landgraf – HTP/WWR), who were fifth coming into the weekend, were handed a 30-second penalty after the race for their part in a collision with the Audi of Audi von Charles Weerts (20/B) and Dries Vanthoor (22/B, both Team WRT). They consequently finished outside the points.
Jusuf Owega (19/Cologne) and Patric Niederhauser (30/CH, both Phoenix Racing) were pleased with their fifth place, having started from 16th on the grid. They were followed by Rolf Ineichen (42/CH), winner of the Pirelli Trophy competition, and Franck Perera (37/F, both GRT Grasser Racing Team) in another Lamborghini. David Jahn (30/Leipzig) and Jannes Fittje (22/Langenhain) finished seventh in a Porsche 911 GT3 R to score valuable points for Team Joos Sportwagentechnik. Lamborghini drivers Tim Zimmermann (24/Lochau) and Hugo Sasse (17/Aschersleben, both GRT Grasser Racing Team) were eighth, ahead of local favourite Luca-Sandro Trefz (19/Wüstenrot) and Christopher Haase (34/Kulmbach, both Montaplast by Land-Motorsport) in ninth. Igor Waliłko (24/PL) and Jules Gounon (26/F, both Team Zakspeed Mobil Krankenkasse Racing) completed the top ten.
Quotes from the winners
Mirko Bortolotti: “After the unfortunate weekend at the Sachsenring, where we lost valuable points in the title race, we needed a result like this. Everything came together today and we were able to convert the pole position into a win. I would like to thank the team for the good preparation. Marco did a super job today and defended the lead brilliantly. The last 20 minutes were very tense again, but I knew that my team-mate would do everything in his power to secure the win. It was a perfect day for us.”
Marco Mapelli: “Mirko and the team really earned that win. He handed the car over to me in a perfect position and I was able to bring the win home. The last 20 minutes were very intense, there was really a lot of pickup on the track during the safety car phase. However, I focussed on the restart and was able to manage the gap to those behind.”
Image: ADAC Motorsport