At the penultimate event of the ADAC GT Masters season at the Sachsenring, the Car Collection Motorsport team managed to finish in the top 10 in both races. While on Saturday the #33 with drivers Thierry Vermeulen and Mattia Drudi finished the race in 10th place, on Sunday Markus Winkelhock and Florian Spengler ensured their best result of the season with fifth place.
On Saturday morning, both Thierry Vermeulen in the #33 Verstappen.com Audi and Florian Spengler in the #69 struggled during qualifying in the, as always, extremely tight ADAC GT Masters field. Despite very small time gaps, they only managed to finish 14th (Vermeulen) and 17th (Spengler).
Both made a good start and were able to make up some positions. The same was achieved by the two Audi Sport drivers Mattia Drudi and Markus Winkelhock who took over the two Audi R8 LMS evo II cars of Team Car Collection towards the middle of the race. They too put pressure on their front runners and were able to attack on the tight track. With positions 10 for the #33 with Vermeulen/Drudi and 12 for the duo Spengler/Winkelhock these efforts were rewarded in the end.
On Sunday, when traditionally the higher classified drivers do the qualifying and the race start, the two Audi Sport drivers Mattia Drudi and Markus Winkelhock climbed into the cockpits of their cars. With positions eight (Drudi) and 12 (Winkelhock) they were able to establish solid midfield positions.
The disadvantage of such positions in the middle of the field, however, is that you usually get involved in tough duels, especially at the start. This was unfortunately the case for Mattia Drudi, who suffered a puncture after just a few laps due to contact. The additional pit stop that this required threw him far back, something that even Thierry Vermeulen was unable to do much about despite a committed drive. At least the Dutchman fought his way up from the back of the field to 12th place, but also benefited from the retirements of other cars.
The race went much better for car number 69. Markus Winkelhock was very aggressive in the first half of the race and put a lot of pressure on the cars in front of him. By the time of the mandatory pit stop, he had already fought his way up to P7. Thanks to a perfect stop, Florian Spengler was able to take over this position but came under strong pressure from competitors behind him. Spengler easily withstood this pressure and even managed to move up to fifth place with clean and fast laps. He thus secured the best result so far this season for himself and his partner Markus Winkelhock.
Credit: Roland Hasenmüller und Michael Ehrensperger