Five drivers from three different teams, fielding an Audi R8, Porsche 911 and BMW Z4 will still be battling it out for the Super Sports Car League title at the ADAC GT Masters finale in Hockenheim on the weekend of 3rd-5th October.
Championship leaders Kelvin van der Linde (18, South Africa) and René Rast (27, Germany / both Prosperia C Abt Racing) are on the home straight in the Audi R8 and have the best chance of success. The Audi drivers extended their lead recently at the head of the standings on rivals Jaap van Lagen (37, Netherlands / GW IT Racing Team Schütz Motorsport) in the Porsche 911 with a double win at the Sachsenring.
“We’ve definitely got the advantage but it’s not game, set and match just yet, as you never know what might happen at the last weekend of the season,” said a cautious Rast ahead of the finale.
Claudia Hürtgen (43, Germany) and Dominik Baumann (21, Austria / both PIXUM Team Schubert) will pull out all the stops in the two races in Hockenheim (live on kabel eins, Saturday and Sunday, commencing at 11:45 am). Placed third in the standings, they only have a chance on paper in the BMW Z4 but are still fighting to take the team title and the runner-up position.
Van Lagen has to make up ten points in first race
High drama in Hockenheim on Friday in qualifying and in Saturday’s first race. For title rivals van Lagen and team-mate Christian Engelhart (27, Germany) in the Porsche, it’s a question of securing a good grid position for race one and a top ranking in Saturday’s race in order to keep the title race open until Sunday.
Van Lagen must gain by at least ten points in the standings on the Audi pair in the first race, otherwise, it’s van der Linde / Rast, who will be cheering on Saturday. It’s not very often that the title in the ADAC GT Masters is decided in the penultimate race. Only twice in seven years in fact has the championship been resolved after the penultimate race.
“I have to hope that the Audi guys will fail to score any points in one of the races and pray for rain, because we think we have a good chance on a wet track,” said van Lagen before the finale.
BMW duo Hürtgen / Baumann will focus primarily on the team standings in the finale. “Audi did extremely well in the races last time out. If they can achieve a decent grid position in qualifying at Hockenheim, there will be very little risk of the title not going to van der Linde and Rast,” was Hürtgen’s considered opinion in the run-up to the finale.
The winner of two races this season intends to bring home the team championship for Oschersleben-based PIXUM Team Schubert along with Baumann and team-mate Max Sandy Knight (25, Germany), plus local driver Jens Klingmann (24, Germany). Things are even closer in the team standings than in the drivers’ championship in the run-up to the two final races.
Defending champions Prosperia C Abt Racing led by former ADAC GT Masters champion Christian Abt have an 18-point lead on PIXUM Team Schubert. GW IT Racing Team Schütz Motorsport and Corvette team, Callaway Competition, also have a theoretical chance of lifting the title.
The Corvette is now the most successful super sports car in the ADAC GT Masters in terms of victories, but the American sports car has a score to settle at Hockenheim; so far, the Corvette has been without a win in Callaway’s home race. Daniel Keilwitz (25, Germany) and local hero Andreas Wirth (29, Germany) intend to change that situation in the finale.
Mercedes-Benz team ROWE Racing are hoping for their maiden podium of the season at their home race. The team from the nearby city of Worms are aiming to round off their debut season in the ADAC GT Masters with a champagne shower for the two Mercedes-Benz SLS AMGs and their strong pairings of ex-Formula 1 driver Jaime Alguersuari (24, Spain)/Nico Bastian (24, Germany) and former DTM-driver Maro Engel (29, Germany) and Jan Seyffarth (28, Germany).