Second Weekend in a row. The Masters arrive for Nurburgring Sprint

July 19, 2023

Written by Chris Hosie

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Round 3 of the ADAC GT Masters took place at the famed Nurburgring Circuit. Home to the NLS and Nurburgring 24 hrs. The stars and cars of the GT Masters would tackle this challenging racing venue. Well, sort of.

The 2023 ADAC GT Masters Championship arrived at Germany’s most famous racing venue, The Nurburgring. Famed throughout the motorsport world for its Grand Prix and Nordschliefe layouts. This weekend would see some of Gemany’s finest GT stars tackle the short but, no less, demanding Sprint Circuit. A shorter version of the Grand Prix layout. Which bypasses the famous Nordschliefe. Once again it would be a battle over two races. One taking place on Saturday and the other on Sunday. Qualifyng would also take place on both, determining the grid for the weekends races.

Race one started on a damp circuit after rain during the morning led to a damp qualifying session. Tim Zimmermann claimed the Pole Position for the Huber Motorsport Porsche crew with Landgraf Mercedes of Salman Owega lined up alongside him. Simon Connor Primm lined up third in Grobschrima/Paul Motorsport Lamborghini. The Championship leading Porsche of Jannes Fiffje lined up fourth with the BMW of FK Performance Motorsport lining up fifth. That car being qualified by Kim-Luis Schramm.

The race took place later that afternoon and saw an incredible first lap as the cars jostled for position. A valuable part of racing in this series due to the mandatory pit stops to change drivers. As the race developed, it became a Mercedes procession with Owega and his Co-Driver Elias Seppanen taking the lead and producing a stellar drive. Taking victory in race one and their second win of the season. Matching their victory in race one at the Norisring. Alain Valente and Formula Regional and F3 graduate Ralf Aron took second in their Mercedes. Fielded by the renowned Haupt Motorsport. Third went the way of the Lamborghini of Primm and Maximilian Paul. It didn’t come easy as thy had to hold off the advances of a chasing BMW as well as hound the Haupt entry for second.

The Porsche of Jaxon Evans and Tim Zimmermann finished fifth in race one behind the Team Project 1 BMW of Sandro Holzem and DTM superstar Marco Wittmann. The BMW crew having a very successful debut for the Project 1 squad. Benjamin Hites and Marco Mapelli rounded out the top five in their Grasser Lamborghini. Everyone managed to complete the 40-lap event. All except the Audi of Simas Joudvirsis and Justas Jonusis. The NordPass crew retiring on lap 17. 

Race two saw the Italians take the number 1 spot on the grid. Mapelli claiming pole ahead of the BMW of Ben Green. Though it wasn’t by much with the gap between the top two being just 0.010 seconds. This made it the 50th pole position for Lamborghini in the ADAC GT Masters. The Team Joos by RACEmotion Porsche of Sven Muller qualified third. Making it three brands in the top three positions. 

The race began on a dry track with a slightly overcast sky, and it was another frenetic run down to turn one. With everyone getting through safely. From the off, the Lamborghini of Mapelli and Hites set the pace and would command the race from start to finish. Bringing the Italian makes first win of the season. The Project 1 BMW of Wittmann and Holzem had another storming drive bringing in a stellar second place. A very impressive showing from a team that is most notable for its performance and results with Porsches. Third was the Porsche of Muller and Gehrsitz. 

The race was filled with several great battles and spectacular moments. One which fit into both categories was the fight between the Porsche of Nico Menzel and the Mercedes of Arjun Maini. The two were chasing each other for part of the race until it all went wrong. Maini tagged the back of the Porsche coming out of turn two and sent the 911 GT3 spinning off track. This dropped the Porsche down to 12th having been battling for eighth place.

The Porsche of Zimmermann and Evans finished fourth in race two with the race winning car of Owega finishing eighth. Eduardo Coseteng brought the car he shared with Green home in sixth. The Audi contingent rounded out the final finishers in 13th, 14th, and 15th. 

Three events down, three to go and each with two very intriguing races apiece for each. Next time out the ADAC GT Masters take a much-deserved summer break after two race weekends back-to-back. Next stop is the famed Sachsenring in Saxony for the fourth round of the 2023 season. Taking place on the 8th and 9th of September and. As we’ve seen this weekend, the championship is still up for grabs with plenty of teams and drivers ready to mix things up with the key title contenders.


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