ADAC GT Masters: Mercedes dominates in the Eifel

You can hardly win a race more dominantly. Raffaelo Marciello/Maro Engel are the winners of Saturday’s race at the fourth round of the ADAC GT Masters season at the Nürburgring.
The Italian had put the Mercedes AMG GT3 Evo of the Mann-Filter Team Landgraf on pole position with the best time in qualifying and was ahead of the field from the start. Even two safety car phases, during which debris had to be removed from the track after harmless jostling, could not slow down Marciello. After every restart, he immediately pulled away from the field and handed over the Mercedes to his colleague Maro Engel at the mandatory pit stop with a lead of more than three seconds.

The 36-year-old who returned from the series then controlled the field from the front and, after 41 laps, crossed the finish line in first place, completely unchallenged. With this success, 27-year-old Marciello is the new leader in the drivers’ standings and thus half-time champion in the super sports car league, which counts as the German GT championship. “Of course I’m very happy today and I’m really happy about the win. But there is always something that can be improved. We have to put in top performances in the next races as well,” said Raffaele Marciello.

His teammate Engel praised the Italian to the skies: “Raffaele did a mega job today. He handed the car over to me with a good lead and good tyres. Our goal is to get as many wins as possible. Today was a good start. Overall, the team worked wonderfully together. Tomorrow I’ll be in qualifying and of course I’ll give it my all.”

Raffaele Marciello and series returnee Maro Engel land a commanding start-to-finish victory.

For a long time, Jules Gounon/Fabian Schiller in the ZVO team’s Mercedes AMG GT3 Evo were able to claim second place on the podium, but ultimately had to bow to the constant pressure from Sven Müller in the Porsche 911 GT3 R (Allied Racing). With a good first half of the race by Joel Sturm (20, Germany) and a perfectly timed pit stop, the Porsche duo, which had started from seventh place, worked their way up the field.

A few laps before the end, Müller pushed past the Mercedes into second place with a maneuver worth seeing and defended it to the finish. At least Gounon/Schiller secured the last place on the podium.

Behind them, the combination of Patric Niederhauser and Luca Engstler from Rutronik Racing in the best Audi R8 LMS GT3 Evo II took fourth place with a gap of more than ten seconds.

The race was somewhat disappointing for Christian Engelhart and Ayhancan Güven. The duo from Team Joos Sportwagentechnik started the race as leaders of the standings from third on the grid, but lost two places in the Porsche 911 GT3 R #91 after the pit stop and thus the lead in the overall rankings in fifth place.

The team of Elias Seppänen and Frank Bird from Mann-Filter Team Landgraf did a strong race and drove the Mercedes-AMG GT3 Evo with starting number 8 in sixth place. That was the best result of the season so far for the two young drivers.
The winners of Sunday’s race in Zandvoort, Jack Aitken and Albert Costa Balboa, were unable to repeat their triumph and finished seventh with a Lamborghini Huracán GT3 Evo fielded by Emil Frey Racing.

Defending champion Christopher Mies and Tim Zimmermann from Montaplast by Land-Motorsport in the Audi R8 LMS GT3 Evo II improved by six positions compared to qualifying and finished eighth.

Just behind them, Jan Marschalkowski and Luca Stolz in the Mercedes-AMG GT3 Evo with starting number 8 finished ninth. The youngsters Niklas Krütten (19, DEU) and Ben Green (24, GB) from Schubert Motorsport completed the top ten in the #10 BMW M4 GT3.

ADAC GT Masters
Result race Saturday

1.R.Marciello/M. Angel (Mercedes)
2. S. Müller/J. Storm (Porsche)
3. J. Gounon/F. Schiller (Mercedes)
4. L. Engstler/P. Niederhauser (Audi)
5. C. Engelhardt/A. Guven (Porsche)
6. F. Bird/E. Seppanen (Mercedes)
7. A Costa Balboa/J. Aitken (Lamborghini
8. C.Mies/T. Carpenter (Audi)
9. L. Stolz/J. Marshalkovsky (Mercedes)
10. B.Green/N. Krutten (BMW)

Driver Rating

1. Marciello 86 points
2. Engelhart 82
2. Ayhancan 82
3. Owega 74
4. Krutten 71
4th Green 71
5.Costa 70
5. Aitken 70

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