Rast and Bergmeister win race 2, Estre and Schmickler second in race 1 Muhlner Motorsport lead the team points in the ADAC GT Masters Francorchamps / Oschersleben. The Spa-Francorchamps, Belgium based Muhlner Motorsport Team ran three ...
Rast and Bergmeister win race 2, Estre and Schmickler second in race 1
Muhlner Motorsport lead the team points in the ADAC GT Masters
Francorchamps / Oschersleben. The Spa-Francorchamps, Belgium based Muhlner Motorsport Team ran three Porsches in the opening meeting of the ADAC GT Masters in Oschersleben. The team were running two of the new 2010 model GT3 R and one of last year's Cup S cars.
The WEG Cup S (car number 10) was driven by Tim Bergmeister, who was champion in 2008 in the ADAC GT Masters for Muhlner Motorsport, and the successful Porsche cup specialist Rene Rast, who had already won a round of the UAE GT Championship for Muhlner Motorsport in Abu Dhabi in February.
The number 12 Porsche GT3 R was driven by Dr. Jurgen Haring and Taki Konstantinou. Both drove last season for Muhlner Motorsport in the ADAC GT Masters, the European FIA GT3 Championship and in the Spa 24 hours.
A last minute deal saw a further entry for a Porsche GT3 R. Kevin Estre and Frank Schmickler, who will lead the Muhlner team assault on the European FIA GT3 Championship which kicks off in three weeks time in Silverstone, travelled to the Magdeburger Borde for what was effectively a pre-season test.
The two one-hour test sessions on Friday showed that all three Muhlner Porsches would be a force in both races. Kevin Estre, who had not been to Oschersleben before and thus had to learn the circuit, posted the third quickest time of the day in the WEG GT3 R.
The two qualifying sessions on Saturday produced the following grid results for the two races: Schmickler 8th, Haring 9th and Bergmeister 11th and then Estre 3rd, Rast 8th and Konstantinou 15th. Not a fantastic result but also not too bad as basis for two one-hour races on Saturday and Sunday afternoon, both of which were for the first time being shown live on free TV by the Kabel 1 channel.
The first race of the 2010 ADAC GT Masters season was a cracker. The spectators both at the circuit and TV viewers were treated to great motorsport action. Schmickler came into the pits in 8th place and Estre returned to the action in 4th. He then picked off two opponents in short order to get up to 2nd place which he held until the flag. Rast also made up time from the pit stop to be able to catch the battle for third place.
Rast showed his talent in working through the group to attack third place. Unfortunately, the wheel to wheel battle as he tried to overtake for third place saw him damage the valve on his left front wheel which forced him to pit with a flat tyre. The team then spotted that he had also damaged the radiator in the tight battle so unfortunately that was the end for Bergmeister and Rast. Haring and Konstantinou also failed to reach the end, carbon fibre debris on the circuit cut a tyre and Konstantinou had to park the car.
The second race was a tyre lottery -- it had rained before the race but as the grid formed, the rain had stopped and the circuit dried more and more. Just before the mechanics cleared the grid, it began to drizzle again. Nevertheless nearly all cars started on slicks, including all three Muhlner Porsches. Estre got away well from his 3rd grid position to take second immediately and challenge the leading Callaway Corvette. Rast again drove like a man possessed and after a few laps was up to third behind his teammate. He soon overtook for second, then passed the Corvette to take the lead and proceeded to draw away. Estre also had the Corvette in his sights when the number 12 WEG GT3 R suddenly slowed with no drive.
As Konstantinou brought the number 11 GT3 R into the pits for the driver change it has just started to rain heavily so the mechanics quickly put the car on rain tyres, as did most of the opposition.
By the time Rast pitted, it had already stopped raining and the sky was looking brighter so the decision was made to stay on slicks. Initially Bergmeister was slower than the following cars, most of who were now on wets. His lead reduced from 29 to 13 seconds before the track dried again and slicks were once again the much quicker option. An Audi worked its way up through the field to second, having also opted to stay on slicks. Had the WEG Cup S also taken on wets as most of the competition, the Audi would have passed him as well but as it was, Bergmeister took the win with a 26 second margin in the older, race proven Cup S.
Haring had a chance at victory in the amateur rankings until a problem with fuel pick-up slowed him -- he lost 20 seconds and three places. By switching all fuel pump switches off and on again he was lucky enough to get fuel pressure again and thus he and Konstantinou were able to celebrate a third podium position in the amateur rankings.
"All in all a successful weekend" summarized Bernhard Muhlner, continuing "we leave here as team points leader and were able to celebrate a second on Saturday and a win today. Oschersleben has always been a good circuit for Porsche but the result today was heavily influenced by the pit and tyre tactics which my wife Renate-Carola adopted. In both races we made up time on the pit stops and in the second race made big gains with the tyre decisions. That the new GT3 R no huge advantage over other GT3 cars has evident by the fact that last year's Cup S is able to run at the same level as the new GT3 Rs and even win."
-source: muehlner motorsport
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