Markus Winkelhock not only set the fastest time of the second free practice session, but also the day’s best time on Friday in Zandvoort.
The 41-year-old Audi Sport driver, who lines up alongside Florian Spengler for Car Collection Motorsport, moved to the top of the timing sheet in the final few minutes of the one-hour session. The former Formula 1 driver’s time of 1:34.067 minutes was 0.9 seconds faster than the best time from FP1, set by championship leader Mathieu Jaminet in his Porsche.
“We did not use any new tyres in the first practice session, but we did so in FP2,” said Winkelhock. “That allowed us to improve significantly. We can be happy with first place, but it is ultimately what you do in qualifying that counts. I hope the balance will be similar, as the car felt good. If so, we will have a good chance of securing a position towards the front of the grid. I find the new track cool. Turn 3 is particularly impressive. As you enter it, the banking appears even steeper than it does from the outside. The new layout is great fun and should lead to better racing.”
Second-placed Mercedes-AMG driver Maro Engel narrowly missed out on the fastest time of the day by just 62 thousandths of a second. The German shares the GT3 Evo run by Mercedes-AMG Team Tksport WRT with fellow works driver Luca Stolz. “The mechanics really had to get stuck in to assemble the new chassis after the crash at the Red Bull Ring,” praised Engel. “They really did a great job. We had a completely problem-free day. The start to the season was a little unfortunate for us, so we are hungry to finally finish on the podium – hopefully on both days.”
Third place on Friday afternoon went to BMW drivers Nick Yelloly and Jesse Krohn in the Schubert Motorsport M6 GT3. They were followed in fourth place by Jeffrey Schmidt and Marvin Kirchhöfer in the Callaway Corvette. Simon Reicher/Norbert Siedler were fifth in the Yaco Racing Audi R8 LMS. The morning’s fastest pairing of championship leader Jaminet and Michael Ammermüller were eleventh in the SSR Porsche.
The next ADAC GT Masters session is the first qualifying at 11:00 on Saturday morning.