Stefan Muecke and Jeffrey Schmidt were dominant winners in Race 1 of the ADAC GT Masters weekend at Autodrom Most in the Czech Republic.
The BWT Muecke Motorsport pair, driving an Audi R8 LMS GT3, both notched up their first series victories in the 60-minute contest.
Muecke crossed the line 4.3 seconds clear of Daniel Keilwitz in the Callaway Competition Corvette C7 GT3-R started by Marvin Kirchhoefer.
Having registered his maiden GT Masters pole on Saturday morning, Schmidt paced the field from the start before handing over to Muecke just before halfway.
An early safety car caused by a multi-car collision at the opening right-left sequence of corners enabled the Audi driver to dictate the opening stanza from Christopher Zoechling in the MRS-GT Racing BMW M6 GT3.
Schmidt pitted at the first opportunity with a 2.5 second lead, which turned into a four second advantage by the time the full pit cycle had played out.
A slow stop from the MRS-GT crew dropped the BMW to fifth, with Keilwitz picking up the chase in second.
Muecke then stifled the Corvette driver’s attempts to bridge the gap, as Audi’s customer program claimed its second victory from three races this season.
Third was the Herberth Motorsport Porsche 911 GT3-R driven by Mathieu Jaminet and Robert Renauer.
With on-track overtaking opportunities at a premium, the Herberth squad made the best of a quick service to bring Jaminet out in third after Renauer started fifth.
The HTP Motorsport Mercedes AMG GT3 of Indy Dontje and Maximilian Buhk also got past the BMW to move up to fourth behind the Corvette and the Porsche.
Jaminet soaked up the late pressure from a hard-charging Buhk to secure the final podium place and elevate the Hertberth crew to the top of the standings heading into tomorrow’s second race.
The sister Mann-Filter-liveried HTP Mercedes, driven by Maximilian Goetz and Markus Pommer, retired 15 minutes from the end whilst challenging Klingmann for fifth.
Goetz was hot on the BMW’s tail when his car suddenly slowed along the main pit straight.
That promoted Timo Scheider to sixth, in the Schnitzer BMW started by Mikkel Jensen.
Oschersleben race two winners Andrea Caldarelli and Mirko Bortolotti picked up the final point on offer with 10th in their Lamborghini Huracan GT3.
Schmidt’s overall victory meant he also picked up Junior Class honors.
Sunday’s second 60-minute contest takes place at 1:08 p.m. local time (CEST).
RESULTS: Race 1