Lucas Auer and Sebastian Asch secure first win of season for Mercedes-AMG
Second place for Porsche duo of Jaminet and Ammermüller
Pole-sitters Stolz and Ludwig third in another Mercedes-AMG
Sebastian Asch (31, DEU) and DTM star Lucas Auer (22, AUT, both BWT Mücke Motorsport) secured a comfortable win in the ninth race of the 2017 ADAC GT Masters at the Nürburgring. It was also a first triumph for Mercedes-AMG in the Super Sports Car League since April 2016. The runner-up spot went to the Porsche duo of Mathieu Jaminet (22, FRA) and Michael Ammermüller (31, DEU, both KÜS Team75 Bernhard), while pole-sitters Luca Stolz (22, DEU) and Luca Ludwig (28, DEU, both Mercedes-AMG Team ZAKSPEED) took third place in another Mercedes AMG. "Unbelievable," said race winner Lucas Auer. "This is only my second weekend in the ADAC GT Masters, and here we are on the top rung of the podium. I had a lot of fun in the race."
Asch laid the foundations for the tenth win of his ADAC GT Masters career early on. Having started from P3, the two-time ADAC GT Masters champion seized the lead in the first turn, followed through by the Corvette of championship leader Jules Gounon (22, FRA Callaway Competition), with pole-sitter Luca Stolz in hot pursuit and Mathieu Jaminet not far behind. The lead quartet maintained their dominance until the round of pit stops, despite being held back by two safety car deployments. After the driver handover, Asch's partner Lucas Auer defended the lead in the pink Mercedes-AMG and gradually extended it further. Auer, who is currently placed second in the DTM standings, had a 7.2-second advantage at the finish line and so took his maiden victory in the ADAC GT Masters on only his second appearance. It was also a maiden win for BWT Mücke Motorsport, the Berlin-based outfit who are contesting their first year in the Super Sports Car League.
The Porsche duo of Jaminet and Ammermüller, who drive for the Le Mans-winning team managed by Timo Bernhard, came second thanks to a successful pit stop strategy. This was their best result of the season since a win in the season opener. In this home fixture for Mercedes-AMG Team ZAKSPEED, Luca Stolz won the Junior classification for drivers under 25 years for a second time and, together with Luca Ludwig, took third place overall ahead of the fourth-placed Audi R8 pairing Dennis Marschall (20, DEU) and Patric Niederhauser (25, CH, both Aust Motorsport) in their best result of the season so far.
Championship leader Jules Gounon and his new co-driver Albert Costa crossed the finish line in fifth place in their Corvette C7, enabling Gounon to further extend his lead in the standings. After the driver handover, Costa had an exciting scrap with the second Aust Audi driven by Markus Pommer (26, DEU) and Kelvin van der Linde (21, ZA) who ultimately had to settle for sixth place. Mercedes-AMG drivers Patrick Assenheimer (25, DEU) and Maximilian Götz (31, DEU, both Mercedes-AMG Team HTP Motorsport) were seventh, followed by Jeffrey Schmidt (23, CH) and Christopher Haase (29, DEU, both Montaplast by Land-Motorsport) in another of the Audi R8 contingent.
Nick Catsburg (29, NL) and Philipp Eng (27, AUT, both BMW Team Schnitzer) mounted a strong charge to finish ninth after starting from P16. Ezequiel Perez Companc (23, RA) and Mirko Bortolotti (27, ITA, both GRT Grasser Racing Team) in a Lamborghini Huracán picked up the one remaining championship point.
Eleventh place went to the Lamborghini of Rolf Ineichen (39, CH) and Christian Engelhart (30, DEU, both GRT Grasser Racing Team). Ineichen took his sixth win of the season in the Trophy class for amateur drivers.
Comments from the winners
Sebastian Asch (BWT Mücke Motorsport, Mercedes-AMG GT3): "I got off to an explosive start. Clearly, I also benefited from the mistakes made by the drivers ahead of me. The pace and the restarts were superb. The team gave us a great car, and Lucas Auer drove a perfect stint. I am absolutely delighted. We've also made a big step forward in the championship and moved up by several positions. Even though Jules Gounon has built up a big lead, we aim to stay in touch. Who knows what might happen next?"
Lucas Auer (BWT Mücke Motorsport, Mercedes-AMG GT3): "Congratulations to Mercedes-AMG and to BWT Mücke Motorsport on this win. I am very happy. Sebastian drove fantastically well. He had a great start and two magnificent restarts. The car was very easy to drive. Even on my first lap, I clocked a time of 1:29.1 minutes, which shows how much confidence I have in the car."