|Review:||Victory and third place for the BMW ALPINA B6 GT3 in the opening round of the ADAC GT Masters season in Oschersleben |
On the sunny Easter weekend, 40 dream sports cars, such as the Ferrari 458, Lamborghini Gallardo, Mercedes SLS and the Audi R8, came together at the Motorsport Arena in Oschersleben for the first showdown in the extremely popular GT3 sports car racing series.
This year, for the first time at the ADAC GT Masters, the LIQUI MOLY Team Engstler from Allgäu was bolstered by ALPINA with two BMW ALPINA B6 GT3 cars. The debutants Dino Lunardi (France) and ex-Mercedes DTM driver Alex Margaritis (Greece) made a brilliant introduction. The pole position gained in the first qualifying session paved the way for an impressive start-finish victory for the team of drivers in the first race on Sunday. This was “no easy task” said Margaritis. “The ABT Audi with Christer Jöns (Germany) und Jens Klingmann (Germany) really piled on the pressure. But the mandatory pit-stop with a change of driver that our team carried out to perfection halfway through the race actually enabled us to extend our lead from one second to nine seconds.” After 60 minutes, Dino Lunardi ultimately crossed the finishing line at the wheel of the BMW ALPINA B6 GT3 (car number 41) ahead of the Callaway Competition Corvette and the ABT Audi driven by Klingmann.
“In recent months our committed team, as well as our outstanding suppliers, really have worked tirelessly on making the B6 GT3 even more competitive for our customers. The first run-out of the reworked car clearly showed that it was worthwhile – the BMW ALPINA B6 GT3 Evo 2011 was immediately rewarded with a brilliant victory in the first race” rejoiced ALPINA General Manager Andreas Bovensiepen.
The Mercedes SLS AMG, which were highly rated prior to the race, took places 5 to 7.
The second LIQUI MOLY Team Engstler BMW ALPINA B6 GT3 with car number 40 and the young hotspurs Florian Spengler (Germany) and Alex Plenagl (Germany) came in 21st place and thus 3rd place in the amateur rankings.
Following the victory on Easter Sunday, the green racing powerhouse started the second race on Easter Monday with a 30kg success ballast. In qualifying, Lunardi was able to secure seventh place on the starting grid. Right at the first corner, there were various impacts between cars, particularly between the two Audi R8s, which the Frenchman was forced to avoid. Lunardi fell seven places due to the subsequent acceleration on the slippery outer edge of the track. He managed to fight his way up to eleventh place but then got caught up in the group. As a result of this, the team decided to take an early mandatory pit-stop to enable Margaritis to have a clear path after the change of driver. This strategy worked like a charm and Margaritis quickly caught up, climbing to fourth place. He was then caught up eight laps behind the Corvette, but was able to pass it following a small mistake by the Corvette driver. Next he prepared to overtake the ABT Audi driven by Jöns and then already had the leader Ferdinand Stuck in the Lamborghini Gallardo in sight. A little later, however, after precisely one hour, the first-placed brothers Ferdinand and Johannes Stuck, sons of the touring car legend Hans Stuck, were safe as they passed the chequered flag after starting together for the first time and secured victory for Reiter Engineering.
Magaritis/Lunardi achieved another podium position, in third place behind Klingmann and Jöns of the ABT Sportsline team. The second LIQUI MOLY B6 GT3 took 13th place and third position in the amateur rankings. Total success for the Engstler Motorsport and ABT Sportsline teams from Allgäu: Margaritis and Lunardi lead the championship with 40 points, ahead of the ABT Audi driven by Klingmann/Jöns, who have 33 points.
The two youngsters Spengler and Plenagl in the BMW ALPINA B6 GT3 (car number 40) are right among the leaders of the amateur rankings, occupying second place after the first race weekend.
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