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Zakspeed Mercedes Fastest In Pre-Season ADAC GT Test

GRT Lamborghini quick on Day 1

After two days of ADAC GT Masters testing at Motorsport Arena Oschersleben, it was Mercedes which posted the fastest times, the top three teams in the combined rankings all running with AMG GT3s.

All 23 teams set to compete this season were present (totalling 35 cars) for the five test sessions on-track at the German circuit, which will host the season opener once again.

Nicolai Sylvest proved to be the quickest driver in the #20 Zakspeed AMG GT3, the Danish driver, who has moved up from Formula 4 into ADAC GT this year, posted his best time, a 1:23.320, in the fifth and final session of the test.

“We struggled with set-up in the first few sessions,” said Sylvest. “But we made some more adjustments to the car before the final session, and then it was fine. I went out on fresh tyres towards the end, which is reflected in the result.”

The second-fastest lap time in testing was posted by the HTP Mercedes Markus Pommer & Maximilian Götz in another Mercedes-AMG. Pommer was the faster of the duo, and set a 1:23.548, which was good enough to go quickest in the fourth session.

“The tests went really well,” he said. “I had a couple of problems on the first day, getting used to the Mercedes-AMG which I was driving for the first time this year. We went through the data again in the evening and I was much better sorted for day two. I was quick even on used tires, and things were better still on fresh boots. I now feel quite at home in the car and am confident about the season opener.”

Zakspeed’s second car meanwhile, driven by Luca Stolz and Sebastian Asch completed the top three, with a time just 0.256 off the top time. The remaining pair of spots in the top five meanwhile were taken by two Audi R8 LMS GT3s, the Phoenix example of Nicolas Moller Madsen and Jake Dennis ahead of the EFP by TECE R8 of Florian Spengler and Dries Vanthoor. The two Audis were also under three tenths off the best time.

Prior to the Mercedes dominance at the top on the second day, it was the Grasser Racing Team which set the pace early, the ORANGE1-backed Huracan GT3 driven by Andrea Caldarelli and Mirko Bortolotti running fastest in Tests 1 and 2; Bortolotti setting the team’s top time, a 1:23.592 in Test 1.

Elsewhere in the field, the test marked the ADAC GT debut for the Honda NSX GT3, Team Schubert Motorsport bringing a single car for Giorgio Maggi (who DSC readers may remember from his Asian Le Mans Series LMP2 campaign in 2016/17) and Christopher Dreyspring. The car’s best time came in Test 3 and was a 1:24.786.

A Ferrari also took part in an ADAC GT Masters event for the first time since 2012 at the test. HB Racing has switched from racing with Lamborghini to Ferrari for this season and is set to campaign a 488 GT3 with Dominik Schwager and Luca Ludwig.

The opening round of the 2018 ADAC GT season is set to take place at Oschersleben next month, the teams and drivers returning to the circuit on April 13-15.

Results from testing in Oschersleben

Test 1 (Monday)
1. Andrea Caldarelli & Mirko Bortolotti, ORANGE1 by GRT Grasser-Lamborghini, 1:23.592 minutes
2. Rolf Ineichen & Christian Engelhart, GRT Grasser Racing Team-Lamborghini, 1:23.646 minutes
3. Luca Stolz & Sebastian Asch, Team Zakspeed BKK Mobil Oil Racing-Mercedes, 1:23.947 minutes
4. Ezequiel Perez Companc & Franck Perera, GRT Grasser Racing Team-Lamborghini, 1:24.204 minutes
5. Robert Renauer, Precote Herberth Motorsport-Porsche, 1:24.396 minutes

Test 2 (Monday)
1. Andrea Caldarelli & Mirko Bortolotti, ORANGE1 by GRT Grasser-Lamborghini, 1:23.742 minutes
2. Ivan Lukashevich & Nicolaj Møller Madsen & Jake Dennis, Phoenix Racing-Audi, 1:24.095 minutes
3. Mikkel Jensen & Timo Scheider, BMW Team Schnitzer-BMW, 1:24.184 minutes
4. Indy Dontje & Maximilian Buhk, HTP Motorsport-Mercedes, 1:24.212 minutes
5. Philip Ellis & Max Hofer, Phoenix Racing-Audi, 1:24.323 minutes

Test 3 (Monday)
1. Sheldon van der Linde & Kelvin van der Linde, Montaplast by Land-Motorsport-Audi, 1:23.682 minutes
2. Nicolaj Rogivue & Frédéric Vervisch, Aust Motorsport-Audi, 1:24.008 minutes
3. Markus Pommer & Maximilian Götz, HTP Motorsport-Mercedes, 1:24.080 minutes
4. Andrea Caldarelli & Mirko Bortolotti, ORANGE1 by GRT Grasser-Lamborghini, 1:24.139 minutes
5. Adrien de Leener & Klaus Bachler, KÜS Team75 Bernhard, 1:24.262 minutes

Test 4 (Tuesday)
1. Markus Pommer & Maximilian Götz, HTP Motorsport-Mercedes, 1:23.548 minutes
2. Ivan Lukashevich & Jake Dennis, Phoenix Racing-Audi, 1:23.580 minutes
3. Florian Spengler & Dries Vanthoor, EFP by TECE-Audi, 1:23.589 minutes
4. Indy Dontje & Maximilian Buhk, HTP Motorsport-Mercedes, 1:23.720 minutes
5. Philip Ellis & Max Hofer, Phoenix Racing-Audi, 1:23.769 minutes

Test 5 (Tuesday)
1. Kim-Luis Schramm & Nicolai Sylvest, Team Zakspeed BKK Mobil Oil Racing-Mercedes, 1:23.320 minutes
2. Luca Stolz & Sebastian Asch, Team Zakspeed BKK Mobil Oil Racing-Mercedes, 1:23.576 minutes
3. Rolf Ineichen & Christian Engelhart, GRT Grasser Racing Team-Lamborghini, 1:23.619 minutes
4. Ezequiel Perez Companc & Franck Perera, GRT Grasser Racing Team-Lamborghini, 1:23.974 minutes
5. Mikkel Jensen & Timo Scheider, BMW Team Schnitzer-BMW, 1:24.032 minutes

Combined best times, Monday and Tuesday
1. Kim-Luis Schramm & Nicolai Sylvest, Team Zakspeed BKK Mobil Oil Racing-Mercedes, 1:23.320 minutes
2. Markus Pommer & Maximilian Götz, HTP Motorsport-Mercedes, 1:23.548 minutes
3. Luca Stolz & Sebastian Asch, Team Zakspeed BKK Mobil Oil Racing-Mercedes, 1:23.576 minutes
4. Ivan Lukashevich & Jake Dennis, Phoenix Racing-Audi, 1:23.580 minutes
5. Florian Spengler & Dries Vanthoor, EFP by TECE-Audi, 1:23.589 minutes

Photos courtesy of ADAC GT Masters