Friday 5 August 2011

Austrian debut rings in crucial stage of season ADAC Masters Weekend starts for first time at the Red Bull Ring

Austrian debut rings in crucial stage of season

ADAC Masters Weekend starts for first time at the Red Bull Ring

The second-half of the ADAC Masters Weekend 2011 season starts with a double premiere. The fan friendly motorsport platform races for the first time in Austria and also around the 4.3-kilometre Red Bull Ring. The ADAC GT Masters super sports cars, the budding talents contesting the ATS Formula 3 Cup and Formula ADAC and the ADAC PROCAR touring cars compete in the shadow of the impressive Alpine panorama surrounding the circuit that reopened in May. The four championships stage no less than eleven races on this August weekend. Interest is high in the powerful top-flight event. And not only from the fans who can enjoy plenty of race action for 15 euros/day and get a look behind the scenes in the paddock. The number of media representatives expected is also high. Apart from additional reporters from Austria, journalists from Japan and Australia are also accredited. It is not only the double premiere in Austria that boosts attention, but also the fact that the crucial stage in the title fight starts for all participating championships. This guarantees ever more thrills and spills.

ADAC GT Masters: will the championship lead change hands again?
Four ADAC GT Masters 2011 race weekends are complete – the championship lead has changed hands four times. This is also a sign of how competitive the ‘league of super sports cars’ is. Alexandros Margaritis/Dino Lunardi (GR/F), currently second overall in their BMW Alpina, topped the leader board briefly as did Christer Jöns/Jens Klingmann (D/D). The ABT-Audi duo currently sits in fourth place behind team mates and fellow Audi R8 drivers Christopher Mies/Luca Ludwig (D/D). The Stuck brothers Johannes and Ferdinand travel from Tyrol to Styria as current leaders. The Reiter Lamborghini drivers are credited with three wins, each worth 25 points, others should follow. Obviously the competition aims to throw a spanner in the works. The two local matadors Dominik Baumann and Harald Proczyk are particularly motivated: on one hand the two Austrians compete in their home race at the Red Bull Ring, and on the other they underlined their potential recently at the Nürburgring with two podium places in the HEICO-Mercedes. Even more successful in the Eifel were their team mates Christiaan Frankenhout/Andreas Wirth (NL/D) who moved within striking distance of the top spot after giving the Mercedes SLS its first ADAC GT Masters race win. The Austrian turnout in the world’s highest ranked GT3 championship is increased by extra entries from the Alpine country.

ATS Formula 3 Cup: Stanaway aims to continue winning streak
From newcomer to high flyer: Richie Stanaway, Formula ADAC champion in 2010, has made quite a splash in the 2011 ATS Formula 3 Cup. The New Zealander celebrated at least one victory at each of the previous five Formula 3 event weekends. He aims to continue this winning streak at the Red Bull Ring. In spite of this impressive record the title is by no means a sure thing, because including the two races in Austria there are still eight races to go and, with 96 points still to be awarded, his closest rival Marco Sörensen is only 18 points behind. Third placed man Klaus Bachler from Austria could also still be in with a shot at the title if he comes up trumps at his home race. Rene Binder is another local matador. From the team side HS Engineering flies the Austrian colours and is represented by drivers Alon Day (IL) and Riccardo Brutschin (D).

Formula ADAC: attack on Formula ADAC leader Pascal Wehrlein
With five consecutive wins it appeared that ADAC Stiftung Sport supported driver Pascal Wehrlein (D) was leaving the competition in his wake, but went away empty handed last time out. Meanwhile closest rivals Emil Bernstorff (GB) and Sven Müller (D) claimed podium positions and in doing so put themselves in good positions to steal the championship lead in Austria. Both have topped the table this year, so know how it feels to be first. They also share the experience of winning races exclusively with Wehrlein this year. In 2011 no other driver has mounted the podium’s top step in the championship with the 145-hp Formula ADAC cars powered by Volkswagen. However, if a top-three finish is seen as recommendation for a possible victory then the circle of prospective candidates is large; because the Russian Artem Markelov, the Israeli Roy Nissany, the Dane Dennis Lind and Mario Farnbacher from Germany have already popped the champagne corks this year. Austrian drivers Kevin Friesacher and former karter David Griessner, who completes his learning year in single-seaters with the Zillertal team Neuhauser Racing, hope for a season best showing in their home race.

ADAC PROCAR: Leidinger arrives with WTCC invitation win
ADAC PROCAR used the two month break in the ADAC Masters Weekend calendar after the event at Zolder for a special purpose – an invitation entry for the World Touring Car Championship (WTCC) race at Oschersleben. BMW driver Johannes Leidinger (D) and Peter Rikli (CH) in a Honda shared the Division 1 victories. As a result Leidinger travels with a commanding lead to the Red Bull Ring. He knows, however, that his 22 point lead does not give him a free ride to the title. His rivals Jörg Weimann (BMW, D) and Peter Rikli aim to use the opportunity at the Red Bull Ring to turn the tide. In Division 2 championship leader Guido Thierfelder (Peugeot, D) and Jens Löhning (Ford, D) were also successful at the WTCC event and are correspondingly motivated for the race against time in the Alps.

Comprehensive TV coverage and live streaming in the web
‘kabel eins’ broadcasts every ADAC GT Masters race live (Saturday and Sunday from 11:45), the channel shows a highlight magazine programme of the Formula races shortly after midnight on race Sunday. ‘SPORT1’ broadcasts highlights of the events at the Red Bull Ring on 20 August from 13:00. ‘MotorsTV’ shows a recording of the all the ADAC GT Masters races in full length (16 August from 21:00, 17 August from 07:00 and 18 August from 14:00). The ATS Formula 3 Cup races, Formula ADAC and ADAC PROCAR are also accessible as live stream via the respective homepages.

ADAC GT Masters Press.

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