With grid positions 6, 11, 14, 21 and 22, the five Mercedes-AMG GT3s were facing a difficult task in Saturday’s first race in the super sports car league. After a turbulent start with many collisions, the two Mercedes-AMG GT3 of the MANN-FILTER Team HTP Motorsport with starting numbers 47 and 48 established themselves in the top ten. For the Götz/Pommer duo in particular, the goal was to make it to the finish unscathed and to score as many championship points as possible compared to their rivals. After one hour of racing, they not only scored the best result of the Mercedes-AMG GT3 by finishing sixth, but also moved up into the lead of the drivers’ standings with a margin of seven points. Their teammates Buhk/Dontje were unlucky as they spun in an attempt to overtake while in a promising position in the race. This prevented them from scoring another top ten result. From 21st place on the grid, Raffaele Marciello and Patrick Assenheimer showed good progress that saw them finish in 13th place.
In qualifying on Sunday morning, things went considerably better: Mercedes-AMG Driver Maximilian Buhk placed the #48 Mercedes-AMG GT3 on the front row of the grid by qualifying in second position. Marciello and Götz also managed to secure good grid positions with fifth and seventh place. After the rolling start had to be repeated, the Mercedes-AMG drivers showed strong nerves and got themselves into good positions in the battle for the podium slots in third, fourth and fifth place. There were few opportunities for overtaking at the track in Zandvoort, so position changes didn’t occurred until the mandatory pit stops around the halfway point.
Driving the AutoArena Motorsport Mercedes-AMG GT3, Marciello had the best pit stop. Initially, he had been running behind the two MANN-FILTER Team HTP Motorsport cars and came in for his pit stop two laps later. After the stop, his teammate Patrick Assenheimer rejoined the race in third ahead of his fellow Mercedes-AMG drivers. After that, Assenheimer showed a strong performance, slightly pulled away and closed the gap to second place. After a strong overtaking move, he eventually secured second place. With their fourth-place finish, Maximilian Götz and Markus Pommer also scored valuable points in the second race and, together with Maximilian Buhk and Indy Dontje in fifth, they secured a good team result for the MANN-FILTER Team HTP Motorsport. With this achievement, Marciello/Assenheimer and Buhk/Dontje also scored a 1-2 in the junior classification.
After the Zandvoort round, Maximilian Götz and Markus Pommer now have an eight points’ lead in the drivers’ standings going into the next race weekend at the Sachsenring (7-9 September). The MANN-FILTER Team HTP Motorsport also remains in the lead of the teams’ standings.
Maximilian Götz, MANN-FILTER Team HTP Motorsport #47: “We are happy with the weekend. On Saturday, we took over the championship lead and managed to extend it on Sunday. The race on Saturday wasn’t particularly easy for us. We had a difficult qualifying, had to work our way up in the race and then still made the most of it and scored quite a few points, unlike our rivals. Qualifying on Sunday wasn’t perfect with seventh place, but compared to our opponents in the championship, we were in a good position again. At the start, I managed to move up into fourth place right away and Markus then brought this position home. It is so close in the championship that every point matters for us, so sixth and fourth place this weekend are really good. The next round at the Sachsenring should suit us and our Mercedes-AMG GT3 quite well. There, we want to continue to score points and extend our lead to ensure that we have the biggest possible margin prior to the season finale at Hockenheim.”
Source: Mercedes-AMG Customer Racing