Sheldon (19, ZA) and Kelvin van der Linde (22, ZA, both Montaplast by Land-Motorsport), who are currently third in the standings, threw down the gauntlet in the fight for the title during FP1 at the finale in Hockenheim. Driving the Audi R8, the brothers set the fastest time in first practice, finishing 0.254 seconds up on their nearest rivals. SPORT1 will broadcast the races from the grand finale live and in full on Saturday at 2:30 pm and Sunday at 1:00. Racing can also be watched online as live stream at sport1.de, adac.de/motorsport and youtube.com/adac.
The van der Linde brothers dominated the 50-minute session right from the start. Kelvin van der Linde set the first benchmark figure of 1:40.074 minutes which remained unbeaten until the dying minutes of the session. The title contenders lost the top spot shortly before the end, but Sheldon van der Linde finally took best time, covering the circuit in 1:39.471 minutes. “I got in an excellent lap on old tyres at quite an early stage,” said Kelvin van der Linde. “In the end, we decided to try out our qualifying setup for tomorrow, as it will probably start to rain during the day. We’re well prepared. There are a few things still left to do, but we’re all set for Saturday.”
Coming home 0.254 seconds behind the Audi drivers, Luca Stolz (23, GER) and Sebastian Asch (32, GER, both Team Zakspeed BKK Mobil Oil Racing) in the Mercedes AMG took second place from Mirko Bortolotti (28, ITA) and Andrea Caldarelli (28, ITA, both ORANGE1 by GRT Grasser) in the fastest Lamborghini Huracán GT3. Indy Dontje (25, NL) and Maximilian Buhk (25, GER, both Mann-Filter Team HTP) and Mike David Ortmann (18, GER) and Markus Winkelhock (38, GER, both BWT Mücke Motorsport) completed the Top Five.
Championship leaders Robert Renauer (33, GER) and Mathieu Jaminet (23, F, both Precote Herberth Motorsport) finished in 14th place after posting best time of the day during testing on Thursday.
Change of drivers at AutoArenA Motorsport and GRT Grasser Racing Team
Eight-time race winner Dominik Baumann (25, A) is making his comeback in the ADAC GT Masters at Hockenheim. The Austrian is partnering Patrick Assenheimer (26, GER) in the finale, driving the Mercedes-AMG prepared by AutoArenA Motorsport. There is also a new face at GRT Grasser Racing Team for the last race of the season as Dutch driver Carlo van Dam (32, NL) makes his Super Sports Car League debut alongside team-mate Ezequiel Perez Companc (24, RA). “My drive was arranged at very short notice,” said the former German and Japanese Formula 3 champion. “I competed at the Nürburgring last weekend and then flew back to Asia where I live. After getting the team’s call, I had just three hours to get another flight back to Europe. The last time I drove at Hockenheim was in 2007 in Formula 3.”