ADAC GT Masters entering critical phase at the NürburgringSuper sports cars from five different manufacturers still in title raceChampionship leaders Hürtgen/Baumann aiming to repeat last year's victory in the BMW
From high-speed circuit in Slovakia to rush hour at the Nürburgring - after the race on the fastest track of the ADAC GT Masters calendar, the Super Sports Car League heads for the Nürburgring and the sixth of eight race weekends (August 29th-31st). The ADAC GT Masters will line up on the Nürburgring's 3,629-metre sprint circuit, one of the shortest tracks on the calendar, which means that there will be plenty of hard-fought scraps for every inch of track until the very last lap in both races on Saturday and Sunday (both broadcast live on kabel eins from 11:45 am onwards). Keyfacts: Nürburgring, sprint circuit, Nürburg, Rounds 11 und 12 Circuit length:3,629 metresLayout:10 turns (4 left turns, 6 right-handers), racing in a clockwise directionLast year's winners of Race 1:Maximilian Buhk/Maximilian Götz (Polarweiss Racing, Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG GT3)Last year's winners of Race 2:Claudia Hürtgen/Dominik Baumann (PIXUM Team Schubert, BMW Z4 GT3)ADAC GT Masters on TV:Both races from the Nürburgring will be broadcast live and in their entirety on Saturday and Sunday in 'ran Racing on kabel eins, commencing at 11:45 am. (see attachment for details of Nürburgring TV schedule)Hard-fought battle for lead in standings Racing will be extremely close at the Nürburgring in the fight for the two wins, as the battle for the top spot in the standings hots up with just three race weekends to go until the end of the season. Led by BMW, super sports cars from five different marques occupy the top five places in the championship standings. BMW, Porsche, Audi, Corvette and Mercedes-Benz are all jockeying for position in their bid to lift the ADAC GT Masters title in what is the most exciting phase of the season. Local driver Claudia Hürtgen (42, Aachen) and Dominik Baumann (21, Austria / both PIXUM Team Schubert) in the BMW Z4 head to the Nürburgring as championship leaders. Hürtgen/Baumann won one race last year in the Eifel. Hürtgen is expecting one of the toughest race weekends of the season: "The Nürburgring is one of the shortest tracks on the calendar, and every hundredth of a second will be vitally important, even in qualifying." Porsche and Audi are chasing BMW Chasing the BMW duo hard are Jaap van Lagen (37, Netherlands / GW IT Racing Team Schütz Motorsport) in the Porsche 911 and Kelvin van der Linde (18, South Africa) in the Audi R8, partnered by René Rast (27 / Frankfurt / both Prosperia C Abt Racing). Van Lagen, who is supported by Christian Engelhart (27, Kösching), and the two Audi drivers have already occupied the top position during the course of the season and are now four and five points behind Hürtgen / Baumann respectively. Racing at the Nürburgring is something special for Rast: "This will be my first start at the Nürburgring since I won the ADAC Zurich 24-hour race there in June. I'm looking forward to my return." Rast will receive back-up in the title fight from another 24-hour race winner. Ex-Formula 1 driver and FIA GT1 World Champion Markus Winkelhock (24, Berglen-Steinach), who emerged victorious along with Rast in the 24-hr Eifel marathon and at Spa towards the end of July, will line up with Christer Jöns (27, Ingelheim) in another Audi R8 fielded by the team led by former DTM driver and ADAC GT Masters champion Christian Abt. Corvette wins in three of the last four races Defending champion Daniel Keilwitz (25, Villingen / Callaway Competition) has had a dream summer so far. Keilwitz has won three of four races in the Corvette, keeping alive his chances of mounting a successful title defence. Keilwitz hopes to lift more trophies in the Eifel, after all, he will have Andreas Wirth (29, Heidelberg) at his side, who is the most successful ADAC GT Masters driver at the Nürburgring. Wirth has already clinched four victories in the Eifel. Mercedes-Benz teams BKK MOBIL OIL Zakspeed and ROWE Racing hope to secure their first podium finishes of the season in their respective SLS AMGs. The omens for a successful weekend are good with a gullwing taking the win at the Nürburgring last year. "However, given the highly competitive field in the ADAC GT Masters, that is still no guarantee that the SLS AMG will finish on top again this weekend," said local driver Luca Ludwig (25, Bonn), who lines up in a Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG prepared by Team BKK Mobil Oil Zakspeed along with Alon Day (22, Israel). Just like the son of Nürburgring legend Klaus Ludwig, ROWE Racing hope to secure their first ADAC GT Masters trophies in the Eifel with the Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG driven by ex-Formula driver Jaime Alguersuari (24, Spain) and Nico Bastian (24, Frankfurt), plus former DTM driver Maro Engel (28, Munich) and Jan Seyffarth (28, Querfurt). The Nürburgring is a home race for ROWE Racing. After achieving many successes at the Nürburgring-Nordschleife, the Eifel has become the Mercedes-Benz team's second home. Porsche versus Corvette in the Gentlemen class Herbert Handlos (31, Austria / TONINO Team Herberth) in the Porsche 911 has a comfortable lead at the top of the Gentlemen class on fellow Porsche drivers Dominic Jöst (35, Absteinach / TONINO Herberth) and Wolf Nathan (45, Netherlands) / Anton Wossos (48, Greece / IT both GW IT Racing Team Schütz Motorsport), who are separated from one another in the standings by only one point. With a good result at the Nürburgring, Handlos can take a decisive step to wrapping up the title. Out to prevent that happening are the Corvette teams of Remo Lips (32 Switzerland) / Lennart Marioneck (25, Bamberg) and Toni Seiler (56 Switzerland) / Jeroen Bleekemolen (32 / Netherlands, all Callaway Compettition). Although the drivers of the American muscle cars only have a chance of lifting the title on paper, they are the only ones who have been able to beat Handlos so far. Support programme with STT and classic single-seater racing cars The ADAC GT Masters will put on an exciting programme at the two races in the Eifel. In addition to the junior open-wheel Formel ADAC series and the ATS Formula 3 Cup, plus the DTC's DMSB - ADAC Procar touring cars, the Special Touring Car Trophy (STT) and the ADAC Graf Berghe von Trips Cup will also be contested at the Nürburgring. The STT features a superb mix of high-performance GT and touring racing cars. The ADAC Graf Berghe von Trips Cup, Germany's longest running motor racing series for classic cars, gives single-seater racing cars from the 1960s and 1970s another chance to take centre stage back on the race track.