The ADAC GT Masters weekend offered a feast for the eyes. It is to be repeated at Most next year

20.05.2019 00:19

Adrenaline-fuelled battles, dramatic moments with numerous collisions, the curse of the favourites. This is what the prestigious ADAC GT Masters super sports car championship offered at Autodrom Most last weekend. The event was visited by 17,800 spectators. “We are happy to see that so many fans have found their way to us. This proves that our endeavour to draw attractive and high-quality motorsport events to Most pays dividends. According to the initial response, the participating teams have been satisfied as well, as proved by the promoter. In fact, the promoter has already signed a contract with us for the next season,” said Jana Svobodová, Business and Marketing Manager, evaluating the race weekend.

Closeness of the racing for which both the ADAC GT Masters drivers and equipment are responsible is evidenced by very narrow time differences. The field separation between the first and fifteenth finisher was approximately just 30 seconds. This fact was confirmed by the only Czech representative on the grid, Filip Salaquarda. “This is really an incredibly competitive series. A small mistake is enough to drop as many as seven places from a points-scoring position although you lose nothing more than just a few seconds,” he said.

Unfortunately, bad luck came for Igor Salaquarda’s I.S.R. team on their home soil. The principal’s son, Filip, and his team-mate Frank Stippler finished twentieth in the Saturday race while Frank crashed out of the race in their Audi R8 LMS within three laps of the start on Sunday. Last year, in turn, they retired from Race 1 during their debut in the championship at Most whereas they at least raised their spirits in Race 2 coming home in fifth place.

Despite the favourites reached the podium at Most, some of them will not remember North Bohemia kindly. In the first race, Timo Bernhard, a two-time World Endurance Championship title winner and a two-time 24 Hours of Le Mans winner, missed his chance of a strong finish right on the first corner. On Sunday, Thomas Preining, title defender Robert Renauer’s team-mate, paid the price for a collision with a rival by one third of the distance. After the collision and a subsequent spin, he hammered into the Armco barriers, luckily without suffering an injury.

In the Sunday race, Markus Pommer and Marvin Kirchhöfer in a Corvette C7 GT3-R celebrated a victory. They started from pole position as did Patric Niederhaus and his team-mate Kelvin van der Linde in an Audi R8 LMS who were not defeated in the Saturday race.

It is Niederhaus and van der Linde who lead the current standings after the Most event as they added a fourth place on Sunday to their Saturday triumph. Sven Barth and David Jahn, too, did well driving a Corvette C7 GT3-R. They finished fourth and third respectively.

Fabian Vettel, four-time Formula One world champion Sebastian’s brother and a championship rookie, has also left good impression. He and his team-mate, Philip Elins of the HTP Motorsport team, which keeps preparing Mercedes-AMG GT3 cars, the so-called Yellow Mambas, improved their respectable fourteenth spot in the Saturday race to an excellent seventh place on Sunday.

Neither were the three support series of the race weekend boring, e.g. ADAC TCR Germany, Porsche Carrera Cup Germany, and Spezial Tourenwagen Trophy. The German Porsche Carrera Cup drivers, in particular, fought fiercely on the track. This was heralded by the Thursday practice sessions, where one of the young drivers ran wide and almost flew over the barrier in his car at a speed of 200kph. He was lucky to walk away unharmed from the horrifying accident.

The spectators enjoyed the weekend, which was confirmed by Miloslav Rudný, a forty-four years old inhabitant of Prague. “I’m pleasantly surprised not only by the standard and high quality of the races themselves but also by the wide range of beautiful special cars. I must also compliment Autodrom Most on the varied programme of side events, which satisfied me as well as my eight-year-old son. I have really enjoyed the weekend and look forward to similarly successful events,” he said not sparing with praise.

Another spectacular experience is on the Autodrom Most programme in a month’s time. For the very first time, the legendary American NASCAR racing cars will pay a visit to the Czech Republic. The race weekend of 28–30 June will also offer a historic car race for the third time in a row including single-seaters that used to excel on world-famous circuits in the last century. You can buy tickets here.


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