First place for Huber Racing on its first ADAC GT Masters outing. Thrilling finish: Filipino Eduardo Coseteng takes second place alongside Ben Green. BMW driver Coseteng wins in the Pirelli Junior competition on debut.
The opening race of season 17 of the ADAC GT Masters could hardly have been more exciting. New Zealander Jaxon Evans and Tim Zimmerman from Langenargen took victory at the end of an action-packed race at the Hockenheimring. The Porsche duo presented team principal Christoph Huber with his first success on the team’s debut in the series, and also earned the maiden victory for the 911 GT3 R from the 992 series on its first outing in the ADAC GT Masters. Evans was beaming in the post-race interview: “I am overjoyed to be able to celebrate our first victory in the ADAC GT Masters. The closing stages were very wild and dominated by a lot of battles. The decisive overtaking manoeuvre allowed me to leave all that behind me and take the win. Tim did a great job of preparing the groundwork and looking after the tyres, which meant I was still able to go on the attack at the end of the race.” Eduardo Coseteng (Philippines) and Ben Green (Great Britain/both Schubert Motorsport) in the BMW M4 GT3 and Jannes Fittje/Nico Menzel (both Huber Motorsport) in another Porsche 911 GT3 R completed the podium.
In glorious sunshine and temperatures of 29 degrees Celsius, the drivers from 15 countries lined up on the starting grid for the first time in 2023 at the 4.574-kilometre circuit near Heidelberg. The crowds in the grandstands at the “Festival of Dreams” were treated to an exciting race from the word go. Pole-setter Benjamin Hites kept a cool head at the wheel of his Lamborghini Huracán GT3 Evo2 and was first into turn one. However, the Chilean had to come in for an early pit stop after suffering a puncture, dashing his hopes of victory. Kim-Luis Schramm benefitted from this situation and gained his first kilometres at the head of the field for the newcomers from FK Performance Motorsport. Following the mandatory pit stop, his team-mate Igor Walilko rejoined the race in first place in the Bremen-based team’s BMW M4 GT3.
A safety car phase on lap 24 added extra excitement. After the re-start, the drivers continued to deliver the best possible advert for the ADAC GT Masters and produced a very entertaining finish. Second-placed Evans, at the wheel of a Porsche 911 GT3 R, overtook the leader Walilko when the racing resumed and went on to take the chequered flag. The runners-up from Schubert Motorsport, Eduardo Coseteng and Ben Green, impressed with a spirited fightback. Coseteng started the 60-minute race from eighth place and had climbed to fifth by the time he handed the car over to his team-mate. Green, a two-time ADAC GT Masters race winner, followed on where Coseteng had left off, launching one successful attack after another. “A big compliment goes to Eduardo, who had an impressive debut. In the closing stages, I used all the power of our BMW M4 GT3, which allowed me to gain an advantage after the corners. I am very happy with the result. Second place is a super start to the season for the team,” said second-placed Green.
Huber Motorsport was also pleased with third place and a spot on the podium on the team’s first outing in the ADAC GT Masters. The German pairing of Jannes Fittje and Nico Menzel worked their way from fifth place on the grid into the podium places over the course of the 25-lap race. “The safety car phase did not help us, and meant we had to battle hard for our position again. It was really heated out there in the closing laps. I then took my chance and overtook on the outside in the Motodrom. That was definitely a great debut for the whole team,” said Porsche driver Menzel. Schramm and Walilko came home fourth after the eventful conclusion to the race. Finn Gehrsitz and Sven Müller (Team Joos by RACEmotion) were fifth in the third Porsche 911 GT3 R.
Photo: ADAC Motorsport