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Sachsenring Race 1, Maiden Win For Mercedes Duo Dienst & Frommenwiler

Engel and Stolz regain championship lead at halfway point of the season

In a commanding performance at the Sachsenring on Saturday, DLV team Schütz Motorsport Mercedes duo Marvin Dienst and Philipp Frommenwiler converted pole position into a maiden ADAC GT Masters win.

Runners-up on the spectacular rollercoaster track were Precote Herberth Motorsport Porsche pairing Robert Renauer and Sven Müller. The Toksport WRT Mercedes-AMG pairing of Luca Stolz and Maro Engel finished in third place, a result that was enough to take them back to the top of the Championship table at the halfway point of the campaign, with seven of the 14 races now complete.

“I really enjoyed the final laps,” said winner Philipp Frommenwiler at the finish. “We didn’t have the easiest of starts to the season and are now back on the road to success. Marvin already did a top job with the pole position in qualifying and the team gave us a sensational car for the race.”

Dienst and Frommenwiler dominated the action right from the start. Whilst pole-sitter Dienst was able to defend his lead from the start, SSR Performance Porsche driver Michael Ammermüller, who had also been on the front row, dropped back down to seventh over the opening lap.

Also in a Porsche, Robert Renauer took his place to become Dienst’s main challenger followed by Luca Stolz in the Mercedes-AMG and GRT Grasser Racing Team Lamborghini driver Steijn Schothorst.

Dienst continued to draw away from the field on the laps that followed. At the end of ten laps, he was two seconds up on Renauer, and the gap increased to 4.2 seconds after another five. Dienst had built up a lead of more than five seconds on the rest of the field when the pit stop window eventually opened. Frommenwiler then controlled the race from the front and was ultimately first to take the chequered flag by a margin of 3.5 seconds. For Frommenwiler and partner Dienst, this was their maiden victory and the eighth overall for Schütz Motorsport, the last one having come in 2015. Dienst also took the win in the Pirelli Junior classification.

At the end of 45 racing laps, Renauer and team-mate Sven Müller narrowly beat Mercedes drivers Luca Stolz and Maro Engel in the battle for second place, with 0.9 seconds separating the two cars at the finish. However, third place was still enough for Stolz and Engel to reclaim their place at the top of the championship table, where they are now level on points with defending champions, Rutronik Racing Audi’s Patric Niederhauser and Kelvin van der Linde who finished seventh.

Fourth place in Saturday’s race went to Steijn Schothorst and Tim Zimmermann. The Lamborghini pairing were the beneficiaries of a mishap that befell their GRT Grasser Racing Team team-mates Franck Perera and Albert Costa Balboa who were forced to retire with a puncture just before reaching the finish line while lying in fourth place.

Team Zakspeed BKK Mobil Oil Racing Mick Wishofer and Dorian Boccolacci fought their way up from tenth on the grid to fifth. Michael Ammermüller and Christian Engelhart in the Porsche followed them home in sixth place.

Callaway Corvette pair Markus Pommer and Jeffrey Schmidt gained no fewer than six places, moving up from 14th on the grid to finish eighth. Küs Team75 Bernhard’s Klaus Bachler and Simona De Silvestro were ninth in their Porsche 911 followed by the best of the BMW M6 GT3 finishers, MRS GT racing’s Eric Johansson and Jens Klingmann. Victory in the Pirelli Trophy classification for amateur drivers went to Team ISR’s Filip Salaquarda in an Audi.

Marvin Dienst: “We had some problems at Hockenheim last time and had to completely transform the car, so it’s obviously great to bounce back with a victory. The team has had to wait a long time for a win, and I’m really happy for them. We asserted our lead right from the start, and because we were leading the field with an open road in front of us, we were able to manage our tyres well. We also had good pace overall. The objective was to establish an early lead so as not to allow our opponents to benefit from slipstream and then to hang on to our position even after the tyres started to degrade, which is what we had been expecting to happen towards the end of the race.”

Philipp Frommenwiler: “This victory today goes some way towards compensating us for a few weekends where things didn’t go so well. It was important that we had a good pit stop, allowing me to drive at my own pace. Towards the end of the race, I realised that we had built a good lead, which meant we were able to remain fully in control. This is an important step forward for us. We certainly hadn’t been expecting things to go so well today. For the moment, we are happy about the victory, and we’ll try to keep it up.”