Rowe Racing won the 53. Adenauer ADAC Rundstrecken-Trophy after an exciting battle with the BMW Junior Team. In an all-BMW podium, it was the veteran Augusto Farfus who retook the lead with minutes remaining to keep youngster Max Hesse behind for the first European victory of the brand new BMW M4 GT3.
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After the last pitstop, Augusto Farfus made up 15 seconds to the leading M4 GT3 of Max Hesse. With two wheels on the grass on the run down Schwedenkreuz the Brazilian got past Hesse on the penultimate lap, as Hesse had to avoid slower cars in front. However the 20-year-old BMW Junior driver managed to stay with Farfus and got his chance for victory on the last sprint down Döttinger Höhe.
With lapped cars in front, Farfus had to lift coming out of Galgenkopf allowing Hesse to use the slip stream to draw alongside the Rowe BMW. Farfus however was able to defend his position into Tiergarten and got away with victory while Hesse had to settle for second.
BMW dominated the race with the #34 Walkenhorst Motorsport M4 GT3 of Christian Krognes, Andy Soucek and Sami-Matti Trogen finishing third after 28 laps.
Connor De Phillippi started the #99 Rowe BMW after qualifying the car in first place. The American was able to defend his lead against BMW Junior Niel Verhagen in the opening stint of the race. A race long battle between the to BMWs unfolded as they were able to build a gap over Kévin Estre in third and Tim Heinemann in fourth.
The #53 True Racing KTM X-Bow GT2 surprised everyone at the start of the race, having already done do during qualifying where it placed sixth on the grid. Tim Heinemann was running in the top five overall for his first stint, even managing to briefly overtake Estre’s #911 Manthey Racing Porsche 991.2 GT3R for third. However, the mood for the team darkened after the pitstop. Mads Siljehaug lost the entire right rear wheel coming out of Schwalbenschwanz. He drove the car back to the pits but the race was over after eleven laps.
After running in third position for the opening hour, the race came to an dramatic end on lap 12 for the Manthey Porsche when Fred Makowiecki tried to overtake two cars around the outside of Galgenkopf. Unfortunately for the French driver, the gap closed and he made contact with the #440 QTQ-Raceperformance Porsche Cayman, sending both cars into the guard rails. Josh Burdon in the KCMG Porsche was also involved in the accident. The Australian managed to get the car back to the pits for repairs but lost one lap in the process.
The #44 BMW crew opted for a shorter first stint, coming in to the pits after six laps. The shorter mandatory pitstop time allowed Dan Harper to jump ahead of #99 Rowe Racing BMW which came in a lap later. Harper however had to make yet another visit to the pits to serve a stop-and-go penalty as the first pit stop was 1 second too short.
Just off the podium, Toksport WRT debuted its new #27 Porsche 991.2 GT3R with a fourth place, just ahead of the #98 Rowe Racing BMW M4 GT3.
Before the race had even started, Falken Motorsports had to withdraw both of their Porsche 911 GT3Rs due to an insufficient supply of dry tires. Falken’s tire production has been significantly affected by a global shortage of raw materials making it impossible for the Japanese manufacturer to supply enough tires for the GT3 effort in the run-up to the 24 Hours of the Nürburgring.
Preparations for the 24 Hours of the Nürburgring are now in full swing. NLS takes a break until late June, with in the meanwhile the 24 Hours Qualifying Race and the 24-hour race itself taking place in May.
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