ADAC Stiftung Sport driver Finn Gehrsitz celebrates his maiden victory and triumphs in the Pirelli Junior competition. Great racing: Successful start to the 17th ADAC GT Masters season at the “Festival of Dreams”. Zimmermann and Evans lead the championship.
Finn Gehrsitz (Stuttgart) and Sven Müller (Bingen) won race two of this season’s ADAC GT Masters at the Hockenheimring Baden-Württemberg. The field of drivers from 15 countries treated the big crowds at the “Festival of Dreams” to an exciting race. 18-year-old Gehrsitz was delighted with his first winner’s trophy: “It is absolutely unbelievable to be celebrating my first win in the ADAC GT Masters. Sven and I are a great team, and we have proven that. To cross the finish line in first place was an incredible moment. I have worked hard to achieve this, and am very proud to have made the breakthrough so early in the season,” said Gehrsitz, who also won the Pirelli Junior competition. The Porsche 911 GT3 R was followed over the line in second place by the Mercedes-AMG GT3 Evo of Petru Umbrarescu (RO) and Arjun Maini (IND/both Haupt Racing Team). Third place on Sunday went to Cologne’s Salman Owega and Elias Seppänen (FIN/both Landgraf Motorsport) in a second Mercedes-AMG.
The weather in the Schwetzinger Hardt forest was at its best again on Sunday: the drivers were greeted by ideal conditions, with glorious sunshine and temperatures around 28 degrees Celsius. Pole-sitter Maini was fastest off the mark. The AMG driver opened a gap at the front of the field early in the 60-minute race, and was still leading when he came in for the mandatory pit stop. His team-mate Umbrarescu returned to the 4.574-kilometre track at the head of the field, but the decisive moment in the race had already happened during the pit stop. The Mercedes-AMG duo was penalised with a penalty lap for an infringement during the driver change-over, and consequently fell back into second place. Gehrsitz, who had taken over from Müller, benefitted from the situation and went on to take the chequered flag. Umbrarescu held on to second in the closing stages. His team-mate Maini was still pleased with the trophy for second place. “Despite the outcome, which was somewhat turbulent for us, there were more positives for me. I am happy with the new lap record in qualifying, the pole position and the trophy for second place – and, above all, I am proud of the whole team,” said Maini.
Third place went to Owega and Seppänen. The two youngsters proudly held their first ADAC GT Masters trophies aloft at the podium ceremony. “I am very happy with the podium. It feels great to be taking my first trophy home with me. I gave it everything again at the end, but the tyres were degrading due to the hot weather,” said Owega. Eduardo Coseteng (PHL) and Britain’s Ben Green were rewarded for their efforts with fourth place. The BMW duo from Schubert Motorsport started race two of the 2023 ADAC GT Masters from sixth place. Behind them, the spectators in the grandstands at the former Formula 1 circuit witnessed some thrilling duels and many battles for position. A successful overtaking manoeuvre in the closing stages saw Tim Zimmermann (Langenargen) take fifth place in a Porsche 911 GT3 R. He and Jaxon Evans (NZ) had previously celebrated the first ADAC GT Masters victory for Huber Racing in Saturday’s race.
Jannes Fittje (Langenhain) and Nico Menzel (Kelberg) fought back strongly to finish sixth in their Porsche 911 GT3 R. The Huber Motorsport duo gained four positions over the course of the race. Seventh place went to Chilean Benjamin Hites and Marco Mapelli (I/both GRT Grasser-Racing-Team) in a Lamborghini Huracán GT3 Evo2. They were followed home in eighth place by Kim-Luis Schramm (Meuspath) and Igor Walilko (PL/both FK Performance Motorsport) in a BMW M4 GT3. Alain Valente (CH) and Ralf Aron (EST) were ninth in the second Mercedes-AMG run by Haupt Racing Team. The final place in the top ten went to 17-year-old Dylan Yip (MAC) and Kwanda Mokoena (ZAF/both Liqui Moly Team Engstler) in an Audi R8 LMS GT3 Evo2.
The second race weekend of the 2023 season takes place from 7th to 9th July at the Norisring. The ADAC GT Masters returns to the spectacular street circuit in Nuremberg for the first time for 15 years. Zimmermann and Evans travel to the shortest track on the calendar (2.3 kilometres) as championship leaders with 38 points to their name.
Photo: ADAC Motorsport