Porsche Young Professional Mathieu Jaminet and Robert Renauer crossed the finish line in their Porsche 911 GT3 R in fourth place and now travel to the final race weekend at Hockenheim as the points’ leaders. In the second-best customer sport racer, the two Porsche works drivers Timo Bernhard and Kévin Estre from the KÜS Team75 Bernhard squad came fifth. Many collisions, twelve retirements and about a half-hour interruption threw the field into disarray.
In qualifying, Jaminet from France had posted the fourth best time. The Porsche-supported driver, however, had to take up the race from the ninth grid spot when the team was relegated five positions down the starting grid after a collision on Saturday. When the lights went out, Jaminet immediately launched a pursuit and made up five positions in the first lap before the race was stopped for 30 minutes due to several collisions. After 14 laps, the Porsche Young Professional handed the 911 GT3 R off to his teammate Renauer while running in fourth place. Because of a safety car phase during the driver change, the 911 racer fell back to position seven, however the German managed to work his way up the field by three places. This result puts the international duo first in the drivers’ classification in the lead-up to the season finale at the Hockenheimring. “The race was incredibly chaotic. Luckily I managed to avoid the collisions after the start and gain several places. We lost three places during the pit stop, but Robert did a great job and worked his way back up again. We’ll do everything we can to secure the overall win at Hockenheim,” said Jaminet.
Bernhard from Germany and Frenchman Estre gave a courageous performance at Sunday’s race. Taking up the one-hour race from P7, start driver Estre made up one position before handing the 911 GT3 R to his teammate. Bernhard took the wheel after 13 laps, but fell back to position eight due to a safety car phase that happened simultaneously. The two-time world endurance champion gradually improved his position and was running fifth when the flag came out. “Our start was good, but there were a lot of collisions in front of me. I managed to stay out of trouble, and after the first restart I was in sixth. We experienced a bit of bad luck with the strategy, as the safety car was out on the track during the pit-stop window – otherwise we could have done better,” explained Estre.
For IronForce by Ring Police, the Sunday race did not go to plan. The newcomer team took up round twelve from 20th on the grid. In the hectic initial phase, start driver Lucas Luhr from Germany initially managed to reach twelfth place before the former Porsche works driver handed the 911 GT3 R over to Jan-Erik Slooten after 13 laps. The German, however, had to complete a drive-through penalty for not observing the obligatory pit stop duration and crossed the finish line in position 22. “It was pretty turbulent at the start. We were a little too quick during the driver change and the penalty cost us a lot of time. That’s particularly annoying, because we’d made such progress up to that point,” said Slooten.
Lady Luck was not on the side of the second customer sport racer fielded by KÜS Team75 Bernhard on Sunday. After Klaus Bachler (Austria) posted pole position in qualifying, the former Porsche Junior managed to defend his spot after two restarts and eke out an advantage of over two seconds. While in the lead, Bachler came into the pits after 16 laps for the mandatory driver change. His teammate Adrien de Leener (Belgium) had to park the 911 GT3 R after 24 rounds due to an accident. “I was able to control the pace well at the head of the field. At the restart after the fourth safety car phase there was a collision, which brought an end to our race. After setting pole position, it’s such a pity to end the weekend like this,” explained Bachler.
1. Erhart/Kaffer (D/D), Audi R8 LMS
2. van der Linde/van der Linde (ZA/ZA), Audi R8 LMS
3. Schmidt/Mücke (CH/D), Audi R8 LMS
4. Jaminet/Renauer (F/D), Porsche 911 GT3 R
5. Bernhard/Estre (D/F), Porsche 911 GT3 R
22. Luhr/Slooten (D/D), Porsche 911 GT3 R
Bachler/de Leener (A/B), Porsche 911 GT3 R
The two Porsche works drivers Timo Bernhard and Kévin Estre crossed the finish line at the Sachsenring on Saturday in first place. After the international driver pair planted the Porsche 911 GT3 R fielded by the KÜS Team75 Bernhard customer team on pole position in qualifying, they went on to score a lights-to-flag victory. However, the stewards of the meeting decided to defer this win after a technical deviation to the regulations was found at a scrutineering check after the qualifying. The KÜS Team75 Bernhard has appealed this decision. The number 18 sister car fought its way through the field by 16 places to finish on 17th. In the Trophy class, IronForce by Ring Police scored victory for the third time in the amateur category.
In the morning qualifying, Bernhard from Germany laid the groundwork for P1. In a gripping session, the two-time sports car world champion turned the fastest time in the 911 GT3 R and secured the team’s first pole position in the “super sports car league”. In the race, Bernhard got away well off the line and pulled clear of the field. After 16 laps, he handed the car off to Estre with a comfortable advantage. The Frenchman crossed the finish line after 41 laps with a 4.8-second lead over his rival in second place. “I’m proud of the whole crew. The team worked incredibly hard. We saw a significant improvement in performance at the previous race. We’ve often experienced bad luck in the decisive moments, but today everything came together perfectly. The Sachsenring is known to be tough on tyres, so tyre management was particularly important. As far as the appeal is concerned, I don’t want to say too much. Let’s see what the decision is,” said Bernhard.
As the second-best customer sport racer, the sister car of the team from Rhineland-Palatinate took the flag in 17th place. The qualifying result of start driver Adrien de Leener (Belgium) was annulled due to a violation of the technical regulations and thus the car was relegated to the 33rd grid spot. Putting in a determined drive, de Leener worked his way through the field and after 19 laps handed the 911 GT3 R over to his teammate Klaus Bachler (Austria), who continued the charge. The number 18 Porsche 911 GT3 R gained a total of 16 places. “Our goal was to get through the race as cleanly as possible so that we can go all out again at Sunday’s qualifying. This worked. There are perhaps only two places on the racetrack where you can overtake, which made it even more difficult to move up the field,” said de Leener.
The IronForce by Ring Police squad continues its winning streak in the trophy category: Scoring 18th overall, the newcomer team earned its third victory in the class for amateur drivers. Jan-Erik Slooten and Lucas Luhr from Germany made up nine places during the race on the Sachsenring, after Slooten was unable to achieve a quick time in qualifying and had to start from 27th on the grid. “We again saw that the 911 GT3 R is competitive. However, when you start from the back third of such a large field, it’s difficult to get ahead. There were a few close calls on the racetrack and we had to avoid several accidents. I’m pleased for the team that we’re amongst the leaders of the trophy category,” declared Luhr.
Robert Renauer from Germany retired with the 911 GT3 R after an accident in lap seven. The Precote Herberth Motorsport driver had put in a spirited charge through the field in the No. 99 customer sport racer from Weissach. However, a collision with another vehicle while running in position 21 threw the car out of contention. On Sunday, the Porsche Young Professional Mathieu Jaminet will contest the qualifying session and be the start driver. “After scoring third and sixth in the test on Friday, this was definitely not our day. In qualifying I couldn’t get a good lap in. We managed to make up some ground in the race but then a collision put a stop to that,” explained Renauer.
The season finale of the ADAC GT Masters will be contested on the Hockenheimring Baden-Württemberg from 21 to 23 September. The winner of the “super sports car league” has been crowned at the tradition-steeped 4.574-kilometre racetrack since 2011. In addition to Porsche, Audi, BMW, Corvette, Ferrari, Honda, Lamborghini and Mercedes-AMG also contest the international race series.