ADAC GT Masters: Lee Pepper and Thiim leanest at Nurburgring
Second half of ADAC GT Masters season started at Nurburgring with a victory of C.Abt Racing’s Jordan Lee Pepper and Nicki Thiim. This is first victory in the season for South African and Dane, while on top of the championshp standings remains Team Zakspeed’s pair Sebastian Asch and Luca Ludwig.
Start of the race didn’t went smoothly for the championship leader Sebastian Asch as Team Zakspeed’s driver slided out of track just after collision with Dominic Jost (MRS GT-Racing), but managed to get back on the track. Martin Ragginger kept leading position and was followed by Clemens Schmid (Bentley Team HTP) and Rachel Frey (YACO Racing).
In a meantime, Diego Alessi get 5-seconds pit-stop penalty after causing accident with C.Abt Racing’s Andreas Weishaupt. After ten minutes of racing, started to rain and that caused early tyres change and some shuffle in the standings and minor accidents. RWT Racing’s Remo Lips lost control and slided out of track, badly damaging his Corvette, so he was forced to retire.
Safety car was employed after that, and Clemens Schmid was on top in front of Rachel Frey and Florian Stoll (kfzteile24 MS Racing), while Ragginger dropped to 11th. One to watch was Callaway Competiton’s Corvette #66 with Andreas Wirth as he moved up to fifth.
Pit window was opened under safety car and it was clear that we will see almost completely new race after drivers change. With 25 minutes to go, Nicki Thiim took the lead in C.Abt Racing’s Audi, Luca Ludwig (Team Zakspeed #21) moved up to second, leaving Stef Dusseldorp third and Bernd Schneider (HP Racing) fourth. Schutz Motorsport’s Klaus Bachler, who will start from pole position on Sunday, dropped to disastrous 16th place what was disastrous as his partner Ragginger also started from pole position. With some 14 minutes to go, Bachler finally decided to retire due to mechanical problems.
Schneider soon dropped three positions as Edward Sandstrom, Jens Klingmann and Philip Geipel overtook him. Wet track caused few more collisions after which Daniel Keilwitz and Jens Klingmann lost their chances to finish high.
Nicki Thiim had clear road to victory with an advantage of more than 13 seconds ahead of Luca Ludwig and more than 17 ahead of Edward Sandstrom. By the end, Sandstrom managed to overtake Ludwig who finished fourth after small accident in the last lap when Uwe Alzen slided out, while Geipel jumped to third place. Fifth place won C.Abt Racing’s pair Stefan Wackerbauer and Kelvin van der Linde.