Grasser Lamborghinis Sweep Nürburgring Weekend
Orange 1 by GRT Grasser Racing claimed a brace of victories in the ADAC GT Masters meeting held on the Nürburgring short layout last weekend.
Mirko Bortolotti and Christian Engelhart won Saturday’s 60-minute contest from the front of the grid in the No. 63 Lamborghini Huracan GT3 Evo, before their teammates Franck Perera and Rolf Ineichen won Sunday’s race in the No. 82 sister car.
Bortolotti took charge of race 1 from pole, leading away from Dennis Marschall in the No. 8 HCB-Rutronik Racing Audi R8 LMS GT3 Evo.
A clean driver swap ensured Engelhart kept the Lamborghini out front into the second half of the race, while Marschall’s co-driver Carrie Schreiner came under pressure from Maro Engel and Patric Niederhauser.
This helped Engelhart maintain his lead through to the checkered flag, while Engel’s pass on Schreiner, who ultimately finished 14th, ensured a debut podium for rally squad Toksport WRT on its GT racing debut.
Niederhauser completed the top three in the No. 31 HCB-Rutronik Audi started by Kelvin van der Linde, while Sven Barth and David Jahn finished fourth in the RWT Racing Corvette C7 GT3-R.
The race 1-winning Lamborghini was forced to retire on the first lap of race 2 after contact in the mid-pack forced Engelhart out, but Grasser still claimed the win.
Perera led the field having taken pole in wet conditions earlier that morning and controlled the dry race after a brief early safety car for the rescue of his teammate’s vehicle.
The Frenchman built a five-second advantage heading into the pits which Ineichen duly consolidated to secure the No. 82 Lamborghini’s first win of the season.
Timo Bernhard and Klaus Bachler finished second in the No. 17 KÜS Team75 Bernhard Porsche 911 GT3 R, ahead of Niederhauser and van der Linde who extended their championship lead with their first double-podium weekend of 2019.
Engel and Luca Stolz rounded out Toksport WRT’s successful GT Masters initiation by finishing fourth, although the team was not eligible to score points at the Nürburgring.
News & Notes
***Ligier Automotive decorated some of its JS P3 Nissan LMP3s in special Marvel liveries for the recent China Endurance Series round at Tianjin International Circuit. Designs inspired by sueprhero characters included nods to Iron Man, Spiderman and Thor.
***Experienced British racer James Winslow won the first race of the season in a bright green Hulk-inspired Ligier. A total of eight cars, including two GTs, took part in the event.
***The GT Masters e-sports series made its debut at the Nürburgring last weekend, with the first of five races held to decide the 2019 champion.
***The competition, which is being held on RaceRoom software, features a €5000 ($5,500 US) prize pot for the winner across events held at the Nürburgring, Hockenheim and Sachsenring rounds, as well as the ADAC SimRacing Expo later this month.
***German team SPS Automotive Performance recently rolled out the new Mercedes-AMG GT3 Evo package at the Silesia Ring in Poland. The team currently operates a pair of standard-gen Mercedes cars in International GT Open.