Mercedes-AMG Motorsport keeps ADAC GT Masters title hopes alive with committed team effort

Oct 24, 2021
Hockenheim

Hockenheim. In the penultimate ADAC GT Masters race weekend at Hockenheimring, the Mercedes-AMG Customer Racing Teams have scored two podium finishes and three further top ten results. Maro Engel and Luca Stolz (both GER) with the #22 Mercedes-AMG Team Toksport WRT entry finished fourth on Saturday and were on the podium after coming home third the following day. As a result, they are fighting for the championship in the season finale at the Nürburgring the weekend after next. Maximilian Buhk (GER) und Raffaele Marciello (ITA) with the #70 MANN-FILTER Team LANDGRAF - HTP/WWR car concluded the race weekend in second place on the podium and also still have chances of winning the title.

  • Race 1: fourth place for Mercedes-AMG Team Toksport WRT #22
  • Race 2: double podium result for Mercedes-AMG Motorsport
  • Decision in the battle for the title in season finale at Nürburgring

Three Mercedes-AMG GT3s lined up on the first four rows on the grid for Sunday’s second race of the ADAC GT Masters weekend at Hockenheim, led by #70 MANN-FILTER Team LANDGRAF – HTP/WWR in third place. Just after the starting lights had been switched to green, the safety car had to be deployed already after an opponent had lost a tyre following contact. After the subsequent restart, there were further retirements in the field, but all the Mercedes-AMG GT3s survived the confusing opening minutes of the race unscathed and were even able to make up positions.

After a second early safety car intervention, the starting drivers Maximilian Buhk with the #70 car, Maro Engel with the #22 Mercedes-AMG Team Toksport WRT entry and Jules Gounon (FRA) with the #13 Team Zakspeed Mobil Krankenkasse Racing car were in second, third and fourth place. With the second Zakspeed car (#20), Constantin Schöll (AUT) temporarily made up ten positions, having started from P25.

As the first half of the race went on, the on-track action settled down a bit. Following the mandatory pit stops including driver changes, the three Mercedes-AMG GT3s held on to their positions in the hunting pack, but were unable to put the leader under decisive pressure. On the other hand, Raffaele Marciello and Luca Stolz, the final drivers, successfully withstood the attacks from the drivers behind them and concluded the Sunday race at the 4.574 kilometres long track in a seasoned way. Raffaele Marciello (#70) crossed the finish line in second place, securing a deserved podium finish for the MANN-FILTER Team LANDGRAF - HTP/WWR. Luca Stolz from Mercedes-AMG Team Toksport WRT completed the double podium result for Mercedes-AMG Motorsport with P3. Igor Walilko (POL) claimed fifth place for the #13 Team Zakspeed Mobil Krankenkasse Racing, the sister car with starting number 20 finished in P17.

Race 1: two top ten results for Mercedes-AMG Motorsport

In the hard-fought Saturday qualifying in which 21 of the 28 participants ended up within one second, Luca Stolz with the #22 Mercedes-AMG GT3 of Mercedes-AMG Team Toksport WRT had secured fifth place on the grid for the opening race of the weekend. Raffaele Marciello (#70) ended up ninth in qualifying followed by the two Zakspeed cars in P13 (#20) and P18 (#13).

The opening part of the race was a turbulent one with multiple contacts throughout the field in the first corners already. One of the drivers who benefited was Marciello with his #70 Mercedes-AMG GT3, who was able to make up two positions and slotted in right behind Luca Stolz in P6. One of the victims of the heated opening stage was Igor Walilko: his #13 car was tapped into a spin by an opponent and initially had to slot in at the back of the field.

As the race went on, Stolz and Marciello staged a long and thrilling duel for fifth place. As the window for the mandatory pit stop opened after 25 minutes of racing, Mercedes-AMG Team Toksport WRT opted for an early driver change. Marciello, meanwhile, stayed out on track for the moment, relied on an overcut strategy and was successful: having handed the #70 Mercedes-AMG GT3 to Maximilian Buhk, the latter was able to rejoin ahead of his fellow Mercedes-AMG driver Maro Engel, who had taken over the #22 car from Luca Stolz in the meantime.

Hendrik Still (GER) showed a strong performance with the #20 Team Zakspeed Mobil Krankenkasse Racing car: having started from 13th place, he had made up several positions, final driver Constantin Schöll starting the second half of the race in tenth position as a result. A few minutes later, however, the Austrian had to park his car due to a technical failure, prompting the first of two safety car interventions in the final third of the race. That bunched up the field and intense position fights followed.

Among the drivers who benefited was Maro Engel, who put his #22 car in P4 and was able to defend this position until the chequered flag was out. Maximilian Buhk followed in P5 with the #70 MANN-FILTER Team LANDGRAF - HTP/WWR car, but was given a 30-second penalty post-race due to contact with an opponent, making the team drop back to P20. Jules Gounon showed a strong stint in his GT3 with starting number 13: after he had taken over the car, he still secured a top ten result for Team Zakspeed Mobil Krankenkasse Racing by virtue of a spectacular performance.

Decision in the battle for the title in Nürburgring season finale

The final race weekend of the 2021 ADAC GT Masters will be held at Nürburgring from 5th–7th November. Maro Engel and Luca Stolz with the #22 Mercedes-AMG Team Toksport WRT entry will go into the two races only four points down on the championship leaders. The duos Maximilian Buhk/Raffaele Marciello of #70 MANN-FILTER Team LANDGRAF - HTP/WWR #70 as well as Jules Gounon and Igor Walilko of #13 Team Zakspeed Mobil Krankenkasse Racing also still have title chances.

Luca Stolz, Mercedes-AMG Team Toksport WRT #22: “The weekend got off to a difficult start with first free practice on Friday. The team then did a god job and things went much better in the second session. In qualifying, we then made yet another step forward and eventually scored valuable points. All in all, we are very happy with the way the weekend went. Now, we are four points down on the leaders in the championship standings and we are confident going into the final two races.”

Maximilian Buhk, MANN-FILTER Team LANDGRAF - HTP/WWR #70: “Today, the leader was a bit too fast, but we were in control of the hunters at any time. The ‘mamba’ was running faultlessly again and after the frenzy on the opening laps, things got a bit quieter in the field as well. As far as the championship is concerned, we aren’t giving up. Today, after all, we have made up twelve points on the leaders. Had we been allowed to keep the eleven points from yesterday, we would be in full contention. Anything can happen in the finale, and even more so when racing in the Eifel at the beginning of November. We simply will be giving it our all and then we will see what comes out.”

Jules Gounon, Team Zakspeed Mobil Krankenkasse Racing #13: “It was a difficult weekend for us. We were tapped into a spin in the first race and had to work our way up from 28th place. That we still ended up in tenth place was an excellent result. Today, it really was fun and we have scored important points. Now, there is Nürburgring still to go and we will see what we can achieve there.”

Stefan Wendl, head of Mercedes-AMG Customer Racing: “After the racing luck wasn’t on our side on Saturday, we are even happier with the double podium result in the second race thanks to the great attitude of our teams and drivers. At the same time, this success is making us optimistic for the final two races of the season. It is a great story that the battle for the title in this hard-fought GT3 series will be decided at Nürburgring. I am certain that our customer teams will be excellently prepared heading to the Eifel and competing for the championship.”

Result Race 1, ADAC GT Masters, Hockenheimring*:

POS

 

Nr.

Car

Team

Drivers

1.

63

Lamborghini Huracán GT3 EVO

GRT GRASSER RACING TEAM

Mirko Bortolotti (ITA), Marco Mapelli (ITA)

2.

29

Audi R8 LMS GT3

Montaplast by Land Motorsport

Ricardo Feller (SUI), Christopher Mies (GER)

3.

92

Porsche 911 GT3 R

SSR Performance

Michael Ammermüller (GER), Mathieu Jaminet (FRA)

 

 

 

 

4.

22

Mercedes-AMG GT3

Mercedes-AMG Team

Toksport WRT

Maro Engel (GER), Luca Stolz (GER)

10.

13

Mercedes-AMG GT3

Team Zakspeed Mobil Krankenkasse Racing

Jules Gounon (FRA), Igor Walilko (POL)

20.

70

Mercedes-AMG GT3

MANN-FILTER Team LANDGRAF - HTP/WWR

Maximilian Buhk (GER), Raffaele Marciello (ITA)

DNF

20

Mercedes-AMG GT3

Team Zakspeed Mobil Krankenkasse Racing

Constantin Schöll (AUT), Hendrik Still (GER)

* excerpt subject to confirmation by the organiser

Result Race 2, ADAC GT Masters, Hockenheimring*:

POS

 

Nr.

Car

Team

Drivers

1.

19

Lamborghini Huracán GT3 EVO

GRT GRASSER RACING TEAM

Rolf Ineichen (SUI), Franck Perera (FRA)

2.

70

Mercedes-AMG GT3

MANN-FILTER Team LANDGRAF - HTP/WWR

Maximilian Buhk (GER), Raffaele Marciello (ITA)

3.

22

Mercedes-AMG GT3

Mercedes-AMG Team

Toksport WRT

Maro Engel (GER), Luca Stolz (GER)

 

 

 

 

5.

13

Mercedes-AMG GT3

Team Zakspeed Mobil Krankenkasse Racing

Jules Gounon (FRA), Igor Walilko (POL)

17.

20

Mercedes-AMG GT3

Team Zakspeed Mobil Krankenkasse Racing

Constantin Schöll (AUT), Hendrik Still (GER)

* excerpt subject to confirmation by the organiser

ADAC GT Masters Hockenheim 2021 - #20 Mercedes-AMG GT3 Team Zakspeed Mobil Krankenkasse Racing
GTM621_221516395272MS_MS
ADAC GT Masters Hockenheim 2021 - #22 Mercedes-AMG GT3 Mercedes-AMG Team Toksport WRT
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ADAC GT Masters Hockenheim 2021 - #20 Mercedes-AMG GT3 Team Zakspeed Mobil Krankenkasse Racing
GTM621_221524025405MS_MS
ADAC GT Masters Hockenheim 2021 - #70 Mercedes-AMG GT3 MANN-FILTER Team LANDGRAF - HTP/WWR
GTM621_2316363400760TU_BU
ADAC GT Masters Hockenheim 2021 - #20 Mercedes-AMG GT3 Team Zakspeed Mobil Krankenkasse Racing
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ADAC GT Masters Hockenheim 2021 - #22 Mercedes-AMG GT3 Mercedes-AMG Team
Toksport WRT
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ADAC GT Masters Hockenheim 2021 - #22 Mercedes-AMG GT3 Mercedes-AMG Team Toksport WRT
GTM621_2417015614772MS_MS
ADAC GT Masters Hockenheim 2021 - #70 Mercedes-AMG GT3 MANN-FILTER Team LANDGRAF - HTP/WWR
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ADAC GT Masters Hockenheim 2021 - #13 Mercedes-AMG GT3 Team Zakspeed Mobil Krankenkasse Racing
GTM621_2417061206577LS_LS
ADAC GT Masters Hockenheim 2021 - #70 Mercedes-AMG GT3 MANN-FILTER Team LANDGRAF - HTP/WWR
GTM621_2417330708629JS_JS
ADAC GT Masters Hockenheim 2021 - #22 Mercedes-AMG GT3 Mercedes-AMG Team Toksport WRT
GTM621_2417330808641JS_JS
ADAC GT Masters Hockenheim 2021 - Parc fermé
GTM621_2417402103050TU_TU
ADAC GT Masters Hockenheim 2021 - Podium
GTM621_2417465208769JS_JS
ADAC GT Masters Hockenheim 2021 - Raffaele Marciello, Maximilian Buhk, #70 MANN-FILTER Team LANDGRAF - HTP/WWR
GTM621_2417471103108TU_TU
ADAC GT Masters Hockenheim 2021 - Maro Engel, Luca Stolz, #22 Mercedes-AMG Team Toksport WRT
GTM621_2417474303123TU_TU


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