Last year’s champion Robert Renauer and his new co-driver Thomas Preining won the second race of the opening weekend of the ADAC GT Masters season at Oschersleben in their #1 Precote Herberth Motorsport Porsche 911 GT3R ahead of #28 Montaplast by Land-Motorsport Audi pairing Ricardo Feller and Dries Vanthoor
#82 Orange1 by GRT Grasser Lamborghini Huracán GT3 Evo crew Rolf Ineichen and Franck Perera completed the podium finishers.
Renauer and Preining laid the foundations for their victory at the start when Preining, who had been on the second row, overtook #18 Küs Team75 Bernhard Porsche driver Matteo Cairoli to move up into second place.
Meanwhile, pole-sitter Mirko Bortolotti (#63 Orange1 by GRT Grasser Lamborghini Huracán GT3 Evo) hung on to the lead. The Lamborghini and the two 911s stayed in close formation but were unable to pull out much of a gap on the rest of the field.
Just 0.6 seconds covered the Top Three as they came in for the mandatory pit stops towards the middle of the race.
While the change of drivers at Herberth from Thomas Preining to Robert Renauer went smoothly, enabling them to take the lead, their rivals suffered setbacks. Race leader Bortolotti had to change a damaged tyre, and partner Christian Engelhart was handed a drive-through penalty for a pit stop that was too short.
The alleged infringement later turned out to be a timekeeping error. However, the penalty could not be withdrawn, as it had already been served by the time the mistake was discovered.
Adrien de Leener, co-driver to Matteo Cairoli, incurred a five-second penalty on his pit stop as the Italian had strayed from the correct grid position at the start. They ultimately finished seventh.
At the front, Renauer had a battle on his hands at the start of the second stint with #28 Audi driver Ricardo Feller who had taken over from Dries Vanthoor. In the final stages, however, defending champion Renauer drew away slightly and was first over the line with a lead of 1.5 seconds.
Pirelli Trophy winner Rolf Ineichen and Franck Perera finished third behind Feller, winner in the Pirelli Junior classification, and Vanthoor. The Lamborghini pairing benefited from good timing for their pit stop, enabling them to move up three positions.
Fourth place went to #31 HCB-Rutronik Racing Audi pairing Patric Niederhauser and Kelvin van der Linde after their second-place finish in Saturday’s race.
#19 Orange1 by GRT Grasser Lamborghini drivers Michele Beretta and Marco Mapelli took P5 ahead of #14 MRS GT-Racing crew Nicolai Sylvest and Jens Klingmann, who had battled their way up the field eight places from P14 in their BMW M6 GT3.
De Leener and Cairoli took the chequered flag in seventh followed by #47 Mann-Filter Team HTP Mercedes drivers Indy Dontje and Maximilian Götz in eighth.
Completing the Top Ten were two Audi pairings: #11 EFP by Tece’s Elia Erhart and Pierre Kaffer in ninth and #24 BWT Mücke Motorsport’s Mike David Ortmann and Markus Winkelhock in tenth.
Robert Renauer: “After the two free practice sessions, I would never have expected this. So thanks are due to my team, and many thanks also to my partner Thomas Preining, who has really settled in very well and delivered a great performance all weekend. But of course, we still have work ahead of us. The track at Most was very good for us in the previous year, so we’re obviously hoping that we’ll be up there on the podium twice again like we were last time.”
Thomas Preining: “I had obviously been hoping for a debut in the ADAC GT Masters as good as this, but I didn’t really expect it. This morning was the first time I’ve driven a Porsche in a wet qualifying session, but it went superbly well with third place. My stint was excellent, and the car was great. Mirko Bortolotti did a magnificent job at the front and wasn’t making any mistakes. I could have tried something, but only by taking risks, and on the first race weekend of the season, it’s important just to score points. Robert then took the lead after the pit stop and sealed the victory. I am mega happy.”