Motorsport News - Sportscar
Win for Lunardi, Martin secures half time title in ADAC GT Masters
16th July 2012
Dino Lunardi and Maxime Martin claim second winners' trophy of season
Difficult conditions as driving rain is followed by rapidly drying track
Dolenc celebrates second victory in amateur classification
Rain just before the start, a cloudburst at the end of the first stint and blue skies as the cars crossed the finish line. The Eifel weather ran through its full repertoire for the eighth race of the 2012 ADAC GT Masters, held at the Nrburgring as part of the support programme for the ADAC Truck Grand Prix weekend. Coping best with the changing conditions were defending champions Dino Lunardi (33, France) and Maxime Martin (26, Belgium / ALPINA) who not only took their second winners' trophy of the season but now also top the championship table. Runners-up in Sunday's race were Sebastian Asch (26, Ammerbuch) and Maximilian Gtz (26, Uffenheim / kfzteile24 MS RACING Team) in their Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG ahead of Saturday's victorious partnership of Ren Rast (25, Frankfurt) and Christian Mamerow (27, Waltrop / MAMEROW Racing) in their Audi R8. Winner Maxime Martin summed up: "Our car was perfect in the heavy rain, but towards the end, as the track started to dry out, we were getting a bit worried. In fact, we were relieved that the race didn't go on for another couple of laps."
Starting on a rain-drenched track, pole-sitter Maximilian Gtz in his Mercedes Benz SLS AMG managed to hold onto the lead for only the first two laps. On lap three, Maxime Martin, who started from third on the grid in his BMW ALPINA, accelerated past the black Gullwing and into the lead. However, the Belgian was unable to pull away to any significant extent from the pursuing Gtz. It was only after 20 minutes as heavy rain set in and towards the end of the first stint that Martin succeeded in increasing the gap to 5.1 seconds. But after Martin handed over to Dino Lunardi, the defending champion then went on to consolidate the lead. Toward the end of the race, the track began to dry out. Sebastian Asch now sensed an opportunity and began to catch up on his opponent. But the son of touring car legend Roland Asch was running out of laps to catch the Alpina and had to content himself with taking the chequered flag 2.1 seconds behind.
Lunardi and Martin's second win of the season puts them back at the top of the championship table, crowning them with the unofficial title of the 'half-time' champions after 8 of 16 races. Martin's view of the race: "Our car performed really well in the heavy rain. The drying track benefited the Mercedes more, making things a bit tight for us later on." Lunardi: "I was struggling toward the end of the race and was completely focused on just getting the car over the finishing line."
Rast and Mamerow in strong push for podium
Also putting in a strong performance to master the difficult conditions were Ren Rast and Christian Mamerow. Starting from twelfth on the grid in an Audi R8, the previous day's winners worked their way through the field to end up in second place on the podium, ahead of the Porsche 911 of Christian Engelhart (25, Ksching) and Sean Edwards (25, GB / Team Geyer & Weinig - Schtz Motorsport).
Swen Dolenc wins amateur classification to go fifth overall
In the amateur stakes, Swen Dolenc (44, Maulbronn / FACH AUTO TECH) driving a Porsche 911 can look back on a successful weekend in the Eifel. This win was not only his second in the amateur classification but also the best result yet for him and his partner Martin Ragginger (24, Austria) in the overall rankings - a P5 finish. At the halfway stage in the season, Dolenc once again occupies the top spot in the amateur championship. Joining him on the amateur podium were Aston Martin V12 Vantage driver Kristian Poulsen (35, Denmark / Young Driver AMR) and Porsche 911 man Ren Bourdeaux (37, Munich / Team GT3 Kasko).
The best-placed of the BMW Z4s was driven by Claudia Hrtgen (40, Aachen) and Dominik Schwager (35, Munich / Schubert Motorsport). They finished sixth ahead of Robert Renauer (27, Jedenhofen) / Nicki Thiim (23, Denmark / FROGREEN CO2 neutral) in a Porsche 911 and Andreas Simonsen (22, Sweden) / Maximilian Buhk (19, Dassendorf / HEICO Junior Team) in a Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG.
Kristian Poulsen and Christoffer Nygaard (26, Denmark / YOUNG Driver AMR), who acquitted themselves so well at the Sachsenring, steered their Aston Martin V12 Vantage across the line in ninth. Christiaan Frankenhout (30, NL) and Kenneth Heyer (32, Wegberg / HEICO Motorsport) came through strongly in the final minutes of the race, posting the fastest lap times of all in their Mercedes Benz SLS AMG, to finish tenth and claim the last of the championship points.
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