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ADAC GT Masters 2012 - Final Round - Hockenheimring

 
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neil
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PostPosted: Wed Sep 26, 2012 6:09 pm    Post subject: ADAC GT Masters 2012 - Final Round - Hockenheimring Reply with quote

Big season finale at ADAC Masters Weekend:
Several championships to be decided at Hockenheimring


Final ADAC Masters Weekend of the 2012 season at Hockenheim Formula 1 circuit
Exciting ADAC GT Masters finale with seven championship contenders
Title deciders in ADAC GT Masters and in partner series: Formel ADAC, ATS Formel-3-Cup and MINI TROPHY
ADAC Sports President Hermann Tomczyk: "Exciting season with top-class racing"
Start of 2012 Carrera Challenge Tour during ADAC Masters Weekend



Hockenheim - The seventh and final ADAC Masters Weekend of the 2012 season is almost here. The most exciting ADAC GT Masters finale ever will take place at the Hockenheimring. Seven drivers representing four manufacturers have a chance of winning the title, and not until the final races at Hockenheim are over will new champions be crowned in the partner series: Formel ADAC, ATS Formel-3-Cup and MINI TROPHY. The ADAC PROCAR series is the only one in which the titles have already been decided ahead of the final weekend. Sunday's big championship celebrations will round off the ADAC Masters Weekend's successful fourth year in fitting style. ADAC sports president Hermann Tomczyk: "I believe we have had an extremely exciting season with top-class racing. The ADAC GT Masters has a very diverse field but also offers the excitement and variety that's needed. This has been an excellent season with spectacular racing and close finishes."


ADAC GT Masters

Seven drivers in title fight
Corvette, Porsche, Mercedes-Benz and BMW ALPINA with title hopes

The most exciting final races in the history of the ADAC GT Masters: who will win the title in the League of Super Sports Cars will not be finally resolved until the last two races of the season. Corvette, Porsche, Mercedes-Benz and BMW ALPINA - four manufacturers all fighting for top honours. Championship leaders Diego Alessi/Daniel Keilwitz are seven points clear in the run-up to the last two races of the year. Porsche driver Christian Engelhart lies ready to pounce behind the Corvette duo. Mercedes-Benz drivers Sebastian Asch and Maximilian Götz are just nine points down on the championship leaders. These two title contenders are already something of a novelty: for the first time ever in the ADAC GT Masters championship, a pair of drivers has a chance of success without having achieved a single outright victory this season. Reigning champion Dino Lunardi, who co-drives a BMW ALPINA B6 with Maxime Martin is 18 points behind Alessi/Keilwitz and is not yet out of contention in the title race. Lunardi could become the first driver in the history of the series to successfully defend his title. The battle for the team title is also still wide open at the Hockenheim finale. Heinz-Harald Frentzen's team, Callaway Competition from Leingarten near Heilbronn, travels to their home race at Hockenheim with a 16-point lead on Mercedes-Benz team, kfzteile24 MS RACING team.
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PostPosted: Fri Sep 28, 2012 11:48 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Here's ALPINA's pre race press release:

Smaller air-restrictor dampens championship hopes in last ADAC GT Master race for the ALPINA factory team

Showdown in the ADAC GT Masters: This weekend at the final round of the 2012 ADAC GT Masters at Hockenheim, the greatest challenge of the season awaits ALPINA, Dino Lunardi, Maxime Martin and the BMW ALPINA B6 GT3. On the German Formula 1 track, ALPINA has in theory a chance to claim a back-to-back championship win. Before the final two races of the season, Lunardi/Martin are fourth in the championship, 18 points behind the championship leaders Alessi/Keilwitz (Corvette) - 50 points are still up for the taking at Hockenheim.

Twelve months ago, ALPINA came to Hockenheim and claimed the 2011 ADAC GT Masters Championship with a flawless lights to flag victory after starting from pole. This year Lunardi/Martin are in a position to defend their title, but a recent tweak to the so-called ‘Balance of Performance’ dampens almost any championship hopes. Surprisingly, the Balance of Performance, which aims to even out the performance of all partaking cars, has been amended at the last moment by race organisers. Although the BMW ALPINA B6 GT3 was no faster in recent races – only claiming points in two out of the last six races - the power of the 5-litre ALPINA V8 engine has been reduced further by organisers through mandating an even smaller air restrictor. No other manufacturer has been so singularly targeted with restrictions. For the BMW ALPINA B6 GT3 it is the third power reduction in 2012 in addition to 50kg of success ballast – making a title defence an almost impossible feat.

Maxime Martin is nevertheless eager to fight to the last lap: “The first four cars in the championship with Corvette, Mercedes-Benz, Porsche and us are only separated by 18 points. So it’s very close, everybody has a chance for the title. But as the performance of our car has been reduced, any title hopes have faded significantly. Of course, we will fight until the end!“

"The amended Balance of Performance (BoP) destroys our hopes for the championship. For us it was unforeseeable that the BoP, which we considered to be fair in recent years, has been amended before the final round for all championship contenders” ALPINA`s Andreas Bovensiepen said.

“We achieved three wins this season thanks to perfect teamwork, excellent technical preparation, the right choice of tyres at Oschersleben, the fastest pit stop at the Nürburgring and with two drivers, who didn’t put a foot wrong. Naturally, we have also profited from minor mistakes of competing teams. We think that after our championship win in 2011 and 15 wins with the BMW ALPINA B6 GT3, including twelve in the ADAC GT Masters, it is a good time to look forward to new challenges” explains Bovensiepen.

ALPINA will withdraw their factory entry in the ADAC GT Masters at the end of this season. ALPINA will however continue to support customer teams. “We are open to discuss opportunities with any team, that plan to run a BMW ALPINA in the 2013 season”, Bovensiepen said.

ALPINA was involved in the ADAC GT Masters as a factory team in 2009 and 2012. In the 2011 season, in cooperation with the customer team LIQUI MOLY Team Engstler, ALPINA won the drivers championship and finished runner-up in the team championship. Since 2009, the BMW ALPINA B6 GT3 has started in 50 ADAC GT Masters races, took eleven pole positions and won twelve races.

At the final round at Hockenheim, a second BMW ALPINA B6 GT3 is entered by the ALPINA customer team LIQUI MOLY Team Engstler and driven by Florian Spengler and Johannes Leidinger.
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PostPosted: Fri Sep 28, 2012 11:50 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

So not great news....

An against the odds assault on the 2012 Championship thanks to the changes outlined above

and no plan to compete next year as a factory team ...

Regardless - Let's hope for a great result this weekend !!
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PostPosted: Fri Sep 28, 2012 1:15 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Here's another official press release from ADAC


Drivers to watch: Main title contenders in the ADAC GT Masters

Seven drivers in championship battle ahead of finale
Who are the main contenders?


Seven drivers are in the frame to lift the ADAC GT Masters title at the finale in Hockenheim (28th to 30th September). With the final two races of the season still to be contested, Corvette, Porsche, Mercedes-Benz and BMW ALPINA all have a chance of cracking the title. Diego Alessi and Daniel Keilwitz top the table in a Corvette. Hard on the heels of the championship leaders follow: Porsche driver Christian Engelhart, Mercedes-Benz pair Sebastian Asch/Maximilian Götz and defending champion Dino Lunardi along with co-driver Maxime Martin in the BMW ALPINA B6. But who exactly are the championship contenders in the title race?

Championship leaders in a Corvette: Diego Alessi (40, Italy) and Daniel Keilwitz (23, Villingen), Callaway Competition, Corvette, 151 points

Diego Alessi translates words into deeds: the Italian lawyer announced before the season began that he was in it to win it. Diego is one of the best kept secrets in the sports car scene and has long been active in GT racing. Last year, his first season in the ADAC GT Masters, Alessi was quick but lacked consistency and luck in races. Alessi has been on pole in three races so far in 2012. Who is your favourite to take the title, Diego? "Porsche will be very competitive in Hockenheim. In view of the track's characteristics, the Porsche 911 should be our biggest competitor for the title and the car to beat at Hockenheim."

Daniel Keilwitz did not follow the classic racing car driver route into the ADAC GT Masters via open-wheel racing but learned his craft in ADAC PROCAR and the MINI CHALLENGE. Keilwitz, the quiet but fast driver from the Black Forest already knows how to win championships from the 2010 season: he won the FIA GT3 European Championship two years ago with Callaway. Now the 23-year-old has the chance of adding a second title to his tally. Who is your favourite to secure the title, Daniel? "All the drivers who are currently in the title race are extremely strong and have been quick throughout the entire season. The one who does the best job in Hockenheim will end up champion. It's difficult to say who I favour."

The Lone Ranger in the Porsche: Christian Engelhart (25, Kösching) Team Geyer & Weinig - Schütz Motorsport, Porsche 911, 144 points

The Porsche specialist is in his first full season in the ADAC GT Masters this 2012 and is already chasing titles. Engelhart's debut race in the 2011 ADAC GT Masters caused a sensation; he won his first race at his first attempt. Engelhart is very busy because he is contesting both the ADAC GT Masters and the Porsche Supercup. Since Engelhart has shared the Porsche with the two British drivers Nick Tandy (27) and Sean Edwards (25) during the course of the season, the 25 year old is the Lone Ranger in the battle for the championship and will be aided by Edwards at Hockenheim. Engelhart learned his motor racing craft during two years in Formula BMW ADAC. Who is your favourite for the title, Christian? "My money is on the Corvette. Firstly, Alessi/Keilwitz are currently top of the table, and I believe that the Corvette will run very well at Hockenheim."

The Men in Black in the Mercedes-Benz: Sebastian Asch (26, Ammerbuch) / Maximilian Götz (26, Uffenheim) kfzteile24 MS RACING Team, Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG, 142 points

Sebastian Asch, son of touring car legend Roland Asch is an integral part of the ADAC GT Masters scene. Asch moved in his fourth ADAC GT Masters season to Mercedes-Benz, the manufacturer with whom his father enjoyed great DTM success in the nineties. Asch junior is preparing to continue the successful family tradition with the three-pointed star and in 2012 is in the title race at the finale for the first time. Asch is the most experienced driver of the seven candidates in the running for the ADAC GT Masters title; at Hockenheim, he will be lining up on the grid for races 59 and 60 in the ADAC GT Masters. Who is your favourite for the title, Sebastian? "Of course, we will take the title, so you ought to ask who will be runner-up. But seriously, the Corvettes are the strongest opponents in my opinion, but the Porsche is not to be underestimated, as I know from experience. The Corvette has not always been the most reliable and has already shown some shortcomings in the wet this season. If the race is affected by rain, however, the Porsche is the car to watch."

Maximilian Götz is one of many drivers to have come up through an ADAC development programme. In 2002, Götz was runner-up to Nico Rosberg in the Formula BMW ADAC. One year later, 26-year-old Sebastian Vettel arrived on the scene at the ADAC motor racing academy and clinched the title. In Formula 3 too, Götz has also competed with another exceptionally talented driver: his team-mate then, Lewis Hamilton. This is his second consecutive ADAC GT Masters season in the Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG. Along with team-mate Asch, Götz has driven with skill and consistency in the title race but is still without a win in the ADAC GT Masters. Maximilian, who is your favourite for the title? "A tricky question. Porsche and Corvette have good top speed and therefore the best chance of overtaking successfully. On the other hand, our Mercedes and the BMW ALPINA should come into their own in the Motodrom, where it is certainly much more difficult to overtake. I really rate the Corvette's chances. If it rains, though, then I think the BMW ALPINA will do well."

The outsiders in the BMW ALPINA B6: Dino Lunardi (33, France) / Maxime Martin (26, Belgium), ALPINA BMW, ALPINA B6, 133 points

As reigning ADAC GT Masters Champion, Dino Lunardi has the chance to become the first driver in the League of Super Sports Cars to successfully defend his title. With seven wins under his belt, the GT specialist from Nimes in the south of France is now approaching the end of his second full season in the ADAC GT Masters and has proved to be one of the most successful drivers so far. Who is your favourite to secure the title, Dino? "Asch and Götz will be up there with the leaders. Both have appreciated what it takes to be consistently among the front-runners throughout the season and at every track. These two have yet to put a foot wrong, otherwise they would not have been in the points so consistently. What's more, I think that the Mercedes-Benz will prove very capable at Hockenheim."

Maxime Martin is currently Belgium's hottest export item in terms of racing and is showing exactly why he is considered to be one of the fastest GT drivers on the grid in this season's ADAC GT Masters. Martin joined the ADAC GT Masters after two years competing in the FIA GT1 World Championship and can boast an impressive record: Martin has won five of the 16 ADAC GT Masters he has contested so far. Just like Sebastian Asch, Martin is the son of a racing driver and grew up surrounded by the sights and sounds of the paddock: his father is Belgian motor racing legend Jean-Michel Martin. BMW has also noticed the 26-year-old's talents and has invited Martin to test drive the BMW M3 DTM at the end of the season. Who is your favourite to secure the title, Maxime? "We all have a good chance still at Hockenheim in the title race, since anything can happen. If I have to pick a favourite, though, then I'm going for Mercedes-Benz drivers Asch and Götz."

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PostPosted: Fri Sep 28, 2012 1:28 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Results are in from first free practice and ALPINA were down in 21st - its doesn't necessarily reflect anything - qualifying later this afternoon 15:45 Germany time / 14:45 UK Time.

As always ALPINA's results are here:

http://www.thealpinaregister.com/racing/2012/adac
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PostPosted: Fri Sep 28, 2012 1:30 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Results from 2nd Free Practice


ALPINA 26th


Liqui Moly Team Engstler faired better in first practice and were 17th fastest but were slower in the second practice finishing 29th.

Hope things better in qualifying 15:45 DE / 14:45 UK time
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PostPosted: Sat Sep 29, 2012 12:36 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Result from 1st Qualifying

ALPINA 15th

Liqui Moly Team Engstler 18th


Results from 2nd Qualifying

ALPINA 22nd

Liqui Moly Team Engstler 24th
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PostPosted: Sat Sep 29, 2012 1:57 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

ALPINA finished 18th in the first race Sad
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PostPosted: Mon Oct 01, 2012 9:44 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

So...

ALPINA finished in 10th in the second race - not bad considering the air restriction, winning weight penalty and the qualifying position.

The outcome was that the 2 drivers came 4th in the driver championship and ALPINA themselves came 4th in the constructor championship.

Not bad when you consider who they were up against - I can't help feeling politics came into play and that the last minute Balance of Power changes were a little questionable and harsh.

For a small manufacturer you have to admire the fight and results for ALPINA Smile

Pity they are withdrawing from the Championship but given the age of the B6 and the fact they have a new road car I guess it was inevitable.

Here's hoping the racing bug hasn't gone completely - Given Andy's at the helm I'm sure it won't be.
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PostPosted: Sat Oct 06, 2012 11:24 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Added the official photos from the last round at Hockenheim


Click for photos from Round 8

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