For the first time, the ADAC GT Masters raced at the new track configuration of Circuit Zandvoort that was reconstructed last year.
Following the weekend’s two races, a pair of second places and multiple top ten results were in the books for the Mercedes-AMG GT3. Maro Engel and Luca Stolz (both GER) of Mercedes-AMG Team Toksport WRT achieved the best result on Saturday, finishing in second place with starting number 22.
In the Sunday race, it was MANN-FILTER Team LANDGRAF HTP/WWR with Raffaele Marciello (ITA) and Maximilian Buhk (GER) that ran the best-placed Mercedes-AMG GT3 to second place. Driving the Team Zakspeed Mobil Krankenkasse Racing car with starting number #13, Jules Gounon (FRA) and Igor Walilko (POL) scored top ten results in both races. On the support package, there were race wins to celebrate for the Mercedes-AMG GT4: Team Zakspeed (#13) ended up in first place in both ADAC GT4 Germany races.
For the third race weekend of the year, there were again four Mercedes-AMG GT3s in the ADAC GT Masters field of 27 cars. In the process, Mercedes-AMG Team Toksport WRT (#22) secured the best grid position for the first 60-minute race on Saturday as Maro Engel and Luca Stolz started third.
In good track conditions, starting driver Engel maintained third place in the turbulent opening stages at the spectacular circuit in the dunes. Driving the MANN-FILTER Team LANDGRAF – HTP/WWR with starting number 70, Maximilian Buhk worked his way up through dense traffic in the early parts to improve from eleventh on the grid to seventh. The #13 Team Zakspeed Mobil Krankenkasse Racing Mercedes-AMG GT3 also made up five places from 13th on the grid with Igor Walilko behind the wheel until the first intervention of the safety car that was already deployed after the opening lap.
After the restart, the teams held on to their positions. After a second intervention of the safety car, only the car with starting number 13 lost one place before the ten-minute pit stop window opened. Buhk was among the first drivers in the pit lane, handing the #70 Mercedes-AMG GT3 to Raffaele Marciello.
Soon after that, Team Zakspeed (#13) also completed its driver change, putting Jules Gounon in for the second half of the race. Third-placed Engel, meanwhile, used the opportunity to change to Stolz at a late stage, which turned out to be a favourable timing. While the #22 Mercedes-AMG Team Toksport WRT remained in third place after the driver change, the #13 and #17 Mercedes-AMG GT3s slotted into ninth and tenth place respectively.
All three cars then moved one position further up following a drive-through penalty for the leading competitor. The second half of the race didn’t produce any further position changes until the chequered flag was out after 36 laps. By finishing in second place, Engel and Stolz secured the second podium result for the Mercedes-AMG GT3 this year. For the duos of Walilko/Gounon (#13) and Buhk/Marciello (#70), eighth and ninth place were the respective results at the 4.3 kilometres long track.
The fourth Mercedes-AMG GT3 in the field, the #20 Team Zakspeed Mobil Krankenkasse Racing car with Constantin Schröll (AUT) and Hendrik Still (GER), finished the first race in 20th place.
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