Championship delights at ADAC Masters Weekend in Assen

 Stanaway and Leidinger are crowned champions in the Netherlands Thrilling race action and exciting title fights: the ADAC Masters Weekend (from 16 to 18 September) at the traditional TT Circuit in Assen, Holland, kept the pulses racing of the 11,600 spectators in attendance throughout the course of the weekend. Changing weather conditions added additional spice to proceedings in the four regular championships – the ADAC GT Masters, ATS Formula 3 Cup, Formel ADAC and ADAC PROCAR and also the guest series the European FIA GT4 Cup. Producing a special highlight during the penultimate race weekend of the “league of super sportscars” were Richie Stanaway and Johannes Leidinger (D) who were crowned ATS Formula 3 Cup and the ADAC PROCAR champions respectively before the big showdown at Hockenheim (30.09-02.10).ADAC GT Masters: Lunardi/Margaritis extend lead Alexandros Margaritis (GR) and team mate Dino Lunardi (F) from LIQUI MOLY Team Engstler further consolidated their leading position in the nine-brand strong ADAC GT Masters. After the two BMW ALPINA drivers were forced to forego a champagne shower recently at the EuroSpeedway Lausitz, the Greek-German duo celebrated their third victory of the season on Saturday in northern Holland. Margaritis and Lunardi started the race from second position behind the ABT Audi of Christopher Mies (D) and Christer Jöns (D). A mistake at the start by pole sitter Jöns was beautifully exploited by Margaritis to put himself at the head of the field. After 34 laps the ‘bright green’ BMW ALPINA took the chequered flag an impressive 6.5 seconds ahead of Mies/Jöns and the second ABT Audi duo of Luca Ludwig/Jens Klingmann. However, the leaders were unlucky in Sunday’s turbulent race: the ALPINA duo got into a spin on the rain-soaked track and dropped from second to seventh position. Team Farnbacher ESET Racing’s Niclas Kentenich (D) and Dominik Farnbacher (D) were more at home in the conditions. Starting from 13th on the grid in the Ferrari 458 GT3 the victorious team also overpowered the surprise leading HEICO Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG GT3 of Harald Proczyk (A)/Dominik Baumann (A). The two Austrians were the first to switch to rain tyres during an early safety car stage and were thus moved from the back to the front of the field. Lance David Arnold (D)/Andreas Zuber (A) sailed to their first podium finish of the season behind their HEICO team mates. Margaritis/Lunardi head the standings with 164 points before the finale at Hockenheim. With 50 points still on offer and only 28 points behind the second placed pairing of Johannes and Ferdinand Stuck (A/A) in the Reiter Engineering Lamborghini still have a realistic chance of taking title honours. The Audi drivers Christopher Mies (133 points) and brand team mate Luca Ludwig (122 points) are also still in the race.ATS Formula 3 Cup: Richie Stanaway conquers the throne Richie Stanaway (NZ) probably never thought that he would have things so easy in the end: even before the first ATS Formula 3 Cup race at Assen had started the 19-year old New Zealander was already champion. Marco Sørensen (DK), the only driver who could have challenged the leader in the title fight, did not arrive. Stanaway completed the two races around the 4.555 kilometre track in Holland without pressure to perform. At his Van Amersfoort Racing team’s home event, the ‘Kiwi’ celebrated the title together with his third placed team mate Hannes Van Asseldonk (NL) on the podium on Saturday. The maximum score of ten points went to Austrian race winner Klaus Bachler. Sunday’s rain also failed to put Stanaway off his stride. Instead the highflyer won the 30 minute race from Markus Pommer (D) and Volkswagen brand mate Alon Day (IL). After 16 of 18 races Stanaway has chalked up an unassailable lead of 158 points including a proud eleven wins and three second places. It is the second championship title in succession for the ‘Kiwi’ after convincingly taking overall victory in last year’s Formel ADAC.Formel ADAC: Pascal Wehrlein has still not reached his goalContrary to the expectations of some, championship leader Pascal Wehrlein was unable to enjoy the fruits of his labour just yet: the 16-year old driver, supported by the ADAC Stiftung Sport, felt his rivals resilience and will to win in the Formel ADAC outing at Assen and missed the podium after finishing sixth, fourth and fifth in all three races. Beneficiary was close rival Emil Bernstorff (GB) who closed, as second in the overall standings, to within 36 points of the championship leader (321 points). Furthermore he helped his team Motopark to win the title with one round still to go. The fastest man in Sunday’s races was ma-con driver Sven Müller (D). Following a ninth place in the first race he took two victories a day later. With 262 points in the bag and with 75 points still to be awarded at the Hockenheim finale in a fortnight he also has a shot at the title. In the second race of the weekend a technical protest was lodged against the car of Wehrlein and Müller which is why the results for races two and three and current championship positions are still provisional. ADAC PROCAR: Assen ace Leidinger is new championsA win and second place was sufficient to give BMW driver Johannes Leidinger (D) the ADAC PROCAR Division 1 title at Assen with one round still to go. The driver from Nalbach holds an unassailable lead with 126 points. Brand mate Jens Weimann (Preetz) is left to fight for the runner-up spot with Honda driver Peter Rikli (CH) who won one race at Assen. In Division 2 everything is still to play for: a win and second place for Guido Thierfelder (Peugeot/Troisdorf) around the TT Circuit keeps him in the title chase with class leader Nils Mierschke (Ford/Fränkisch-Crumbach) who was also scored a win and second place. Only nine points separate the two going into the finale¬.Comprehensive TV coverageTV channel ‘kabel eins’ shows highlights of events in Assen during the night on 19 September at 01:20 after the race Sunday. The sport channel ‘SPORT1’ broadcasts the weekend’s highlights in the ADAC Masters Weekend Magazine on 23 September at 17:30. ‘MotorsTV’ screens the ADAC GT Masters race in full length (24 September, 10:15-12:45, 25 September 03:30-6:00, 26 September 11:00-13:45 and on 27 September from 7:00 to 9:30).