Victory for newcomer team of Geyer & Weinig/Schütz Motorsport in Porsche Exciting scrap: Engelhart vs Asch Porsche victory too for Swen Dolenc in amateur stakes 12,900 spectators at season opener
The season got off to an exciting start with two fascinating first races in the 2012 ADAC GT Masters at the Motorsport Arena Oschersleben. During the second race of the League of Super Sports Cars at the season opener, Christian Engelhart (25, Kösching / team Geyer & Weinig/Schütz Motorsport) in a Porsche 911 and Sebastian Asch (25, Ammerbuch/kfzteile24 MS RACING Team) in a Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG had an exciting scrap for victory that Engelhart won by a narrow margin for himself and team-mate Nick Tandy (27, GB). Trailing by just 0.392 seconds, Asch and team-mate Maximilian Götz (26, Uffenheim) had to be content with second place. Diego Alessi (40, I)/Daniel Keilwitz (22, Villingen/Callaway) brought their Corvette home in third place. "Our hard work on the car paid off this weekend," said a delighted Christian Engelhart. "We've got our Porsche set up just perfectly, and used the new YOKOHAMA tyres to the full, right to the line." Keyfacts, Motorsport Arena Oschersleben Circuit length: 3.696 kilometers Weather: sunny, light cloudy, 10°C Pole Race 2: Maxime Martin (ALPINA-BMW ALPINA B6 GT3) 1:27,796 Fastest Lap: Maximilian Götz Fastest lap: Maximilian Götz (kfzteile24 MS RACING Team-Mercedes Benz SLS AMG) 1:29,185
Early tyre gamble decisive factor in race outcome Sunday's crowd saw a thrilling second race at the Motorsport Arena Oschersleben that had plenty of action at the start and a nail-biting finish. Saturday's race winner Maxime Martin (26, Belgium / ALPINA BMW ALPINA B6) led from pole but came under pressure from Corvette driver Frank Kechele (25, Ulm / Callaway Competition). On Lap seven, Kechele's yellow Corvette disappeared from his rear mirror as the result of electronic problems, but the Belgian immediately came under threat from Carrera Cup champion Nick Tandy in his Porsche. The British ace tightened the screw and eventually went past on the eleventh lap. After Tandy vacated his seat for Christian Engelhart, the Porsche driven by the newcomers from Geyer & Weinig / Schütz Motorsport retained its lead, but soon came in for some unwelcome attention from Mercedes-Benz driver Sebastian Asch. Yet the son of touring car legend Roland Asch pressed to no avail as Engelhart kept his nerve to secure a second ADAC GT Masters win. "I tried to push the Porsche into making an error, but it was unwilling to oblige," said a breathless Asch after crossing the finish line. Martin and Lunardi take championship lead Behind the third-placed Corvette duo of Keilwitz and Alessi, who earned their podium with a confident and flawless drive, came Martin and defending champion Dino Lunardi (33, France) in the BMW ALPINA. Fourth place was sufficient to secure Saturday's winning pair a championship lead that is theirs until at least the next ADAC Masters Weekend in Zandvoort (4th/6th May). HEICO Mercedes-Benz quartet dominates P5 to P9 The complete Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG fleet entered by HEICO came home in positions five to nine, with a solitary BMW Z4 elbowing its way into the procession. Andreas Simonsen (22, Sweden) and Maximilian Buhk (19, Dassendorf) were fifth in their HEICO gullwing, followed by Hari Proczyk (36, Austria) / Dominik Baumann (19) and Kenneth Heyer (32, Wegberg) / Christiaan Frankenhout ( 30, NL). Defending champion Alexandros Margaritis (27, Cologne) together with co-driver Lance David Arnold (25, Duisburg / SCHÖNER WOHNEN Polarweiss) finished in ninth behind the BMW Z4 of Jeroen den Boer (24, NL) / Simon Knap (23, NL / DB Motorsport) to pick up their first championship points. Swen Dolenc wins for Porsche in the Amateur class The final points position was claimed by Swen Dolenc (44, Maulbronn) and Martin Ragginger (24, Austria) in the Porsche 911. As well as the 10th place finish, Dolenc also took victory in the Amateur class ahead of the Aston Martin of Kristian Poulsen (36, Denmark). Porsche 911 driver Georg Engelhart managed to take third place in the Amateur class and a visit to the podium. Start of the season to forget for Ex-Formula 1 driver Frentzen Ex-Formula 1 world championship runner up Heinz-Harald Frentzen (44, Neuss, Callaway Competition) and his team mate Andreas Wirth (27, Heidelberg) failed to score any points during the opening race weekend. Frentzen, driving a Corvette, was able to run in third place during the opening phase, but had to retire his US Muscle car in the pitlane with engine problems. Comments from the winners: Nick Tandy (#36 Team Geyer & Weinig/Schütz Motorsport-Porsche 911): "Our race went according to plan. Our goal was to make some places up at the start because we didn't know how well the car would do over the race distance. But it went better than expected. I had a bit of luck when the Corvette ahead of me retired which meant that I could take the lead. A great start to the 2012 season!" Christian Engelhart: "The closing stages were very exciting, as not only did I have to contend with Asch in my mirrors, but also with lapping backmarkers, which made things interesting for me. We worked hard on the car this weekend and it paid off as we had a perfect set-up. The new Yokohama tyres were perfect and worked well over the race distance right up to the last lap." Swen Dolenc (#16 FACH AUTO TECH-Porsche 911), Amateur class winner: "There was a bit of a hairy moment at the start of the race when my team mate Martin Ragginger was hit by a BMW. The car escaped relatively unscathed from the incident. I had to use all of my tricks to play to the strength of the Porsche and found myself in a good position." Media Section, ADAC GT Masters Web site: For access to our new (provisional) Media Section, please click on 'Press' in the upper menu bar of the ADAC GT Masters website. You can log on there using your existing account details. As in previous seasons, all 16 races in the ADAC GT Masters are broadcast live on the free-to-air channel kabel eins. Viewers in Germany, Austria and Switzerland can tune in at 12.15pm on Saturday and Sunday. For continuous updates on completed laps and times during free practice and races, check out the Live Timing page at adac.de/motorsport.