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Buhk, Dontje Win Nürburgring Race 1

Inspired final stint from Buhk helps HTP Mercedes crew win at the ‘Ring…

Photo: ADAC GT Masters

Maximilian Buhk and Indy Dontje claimed their first victory of this year’s ADAC GT Masters campaign with a prominent second-half display at the Nürburgring.

The Mann-Filter Team HTP Motorsport pair emerged from an open lead battle to win by six seconds on the short configuration of the GP circuit, as the points-leading Corvette crew retired.

Buhk took the lead with an impressive sweep around the outside of Kim-Luis Schramm’s Zakspeed Mercedes into the fast turn 10 left-hander shortly after the driver swaps.

The Mercedes-AMG driver then checked out in front of the chasing pack, while Schramm struggled to hold back a gaggle of other cars.

With 13 minutes remaining, Schramm was punted into a wild spin at the hairpin joining the two parts of the GP circuit by Ezequiel Perez Companc in the No. 19 GRT Grasser Racing Lamborghini Huracan GT3.

That promoted Christopher Haase in the No. 25 BWT Muecke Motorsport Audi R8 LMS into second, while Andrea Caldarelli came home third in the No. 63 Grasser Lamborghini started by Mirko Bortolotti.

Haase’s team-mate Ricardo Feller, who took the lead after charging from the third row of the grid, was in front heading into the pit window but dropped back when he was handed a five-second stop and hold for being out of position at the start.

That elevated Schramm – who had taken over from pole-sitter Nikolai Sylvest – into the lead before Buhk surged through having swapped with Dontje.

A chaotic start saw two safety car interventions that ate up the first quarter of the 60-minute contest.

The first was caused by Marvin Kirchhoefer in the points-leading Callaway Corvette C7.R GT3 punting Sheldon van der Linde’s Land Motorsport Audi around in the first corner bottleneck.

Kirchhoefer was subsequently handed a drive-through penalty while the car sustained some front-end damage that resulted in its retirement, although he and Daniel Keilwitz remain top of the standings.

The second intervention then occurred at the ensuing restart when Adrien de Leener’s Porsche became stuck in the turn 1 gravel.

A third safety car was then called later in the contest when Christopher Zoechling parked the No. 14 MRS GT-Racing BMW M6 GT3 with an apparent issue.

That bunched up the leaders and eliminated Buhk’s three-second advantage to Schramm, but the HTP driver had no trouble reinstating the gap in the final 20 minutes.

HTP’s sister car driven by Maximilian Goetz and Markus Pommer finished fourth, while the Zakspeed Mercedes of Sebastian Asch and Luca Stolz rounded out the top five.

Sunday’s second race gets underway at 1:08 p.m local time.

Daniel Lloyd is a UK-based reporter for Sportscar365, covering the FIA World Endurance Championship, Fanatec GT World Challenge Europe powered by AWS and the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship, among other series.

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