Three Top Ten Finishes for GRT Grasser Racing at ADAC GT Masters at Nürburgring

08.08.2017

“If everything goes well we could make it into the Top Five, even with the Nürburgring Sprint Circuit being a rather difficult track for us”, GRT team principal Gottfried Grasser stated before the weekend of the ADAC GT Masters in the Eifel mountains – and he was proven right: Christian Engelhart and Rolf Ineichen in their Lamborghini Huracán number 63 made it to a very satisfying P4 on Sunday, additionally GRT scored two further Top Ten positions. “In general we can be really content with the weekend”, said Grasser, “especially considering that we were carrying around a bit too much weight for this kind of track.”

Things did not go too well on Saturday in qualifying: Rain during the last minutes of the session prevented any improvements, so Ezequiel Perez Companc had to put up with P 14 and Rolf Ineichen with P 21 on the grid. But in the race the Swiss immediately made up a lot of ground with a strong first stint – teammate Engelhart war impressed as well: “Rolf did a great stint and left some cars behind. I came to the pits in a good position already, but then in the second half of the race we could not improve much further. I was able to overtake one more car, then had a close fight with Mirco Bortolotti, who was stuck in a huge group if cars fighting each other. Unfortunately, it just did not work out to get into the Top Ten.” But it did for Bortolotti und Perez Companc, who finished in P10 in car number 19 and scored the last point. “That was similar to Stock Car racing, but it was good fun”, the Italian was laughing after the race. Gottfried Grasser was not unhappy as well: “Taking into consideration our grid positions more was simply not possible. But we were really fast in the race ans we also had the best pitstops.”

On Sunday things took a turn for the better from the beginning: P8 in qualifying for Mirko Bortolotti, who claimed that “there was nothing to criticize about my lap, more was just not possible. So I am really happy to start from fourth row here. The team also gave me a great car again.” Christian Engelhart lined up just behind him in P9. But in the race the German together with Rolf Ineichen should even classify ahead of his teammate. P4 and the seventh victory in the Trophy category for the Swiss meant a perfect result, as Engelhart confirmed: “We got out the maximum, as the circuit is not ideal for our Lambo, due to the fact that the aerodynamic does not play such an important role here. Strategy was decisive today. I stayed out longer before the pitstop and pushed very hard for two laps. After the stop we improved a few places.” Ineichen was more than content as well: “This race was really great fun. Christian put in the basis with a very strong stint and then we had a great pitstop. It was a great job of the team once more with a good strategy being the key factor for our success.”

At first it had looked like as if the number 19 Lamborghini should bring in the best result of the weekend for GRT Grasser Racing, after Mirko Bortolotti improved to P5 in his first stint after a good start. But after the mandatory driver change Ezequiel Perez Companc was a bit unlucky being slightly blocked and pushed into the grass on his out lap. As a consequence he lot a few places and finally finished in P9. Nevertheless the Argentinian was still quite happy after the last race before the short summer break: “I learned a lot about being fast at GRT Grasser Racing, it´s really a top team. The combination with Mirko works perfectly well, and I enjoyed the two races at the Ring a lot.”

Gottfried Grasser wanted to express a sincere “thank you to our whole crew after three intense weeks of racing. Now we have some less stressful days ahead of us before the season continues end of August at the Hungaroring with the Blancpain GT Series.”

GRT Grasser Program - next races

Budapest / 8. Blancpain GT Sprint Cup
25.08. - 27.08.

24h Portimao / 6. Creventic Series
25.08. - 27.08.

Nürburgring / 3. Blancpain GT Sprint Cup
15.09. - 17.09.

Sachsenring / 2. ADAC GT Masters
15.09. - 17.09.