The youngsters are aiming to defend their championship lead at the North Sea dune circuit. Five wins makes Audi most successful brand at the ADAC GT Masters in Zandvoort. Home race for two Dutch drivers - return for champion Maximilian Götz.
High tension ahead of the third stop on the German GT Championship tour in Zandvoort this coming weekend. Niklas Krütten (19/Trier) and Ben Green (24/GB) travel to the Netherlands as the surprise championship leaders. On the dune circuit with two spectacular banked turns, the youngsters will have to show whether they can produce an impressive performance to rival their display at the Red Bull Ring, where they won both races in the second ADAC GT Masters event to launch themselves to the top of the standings. Their rivals are not far behind. The top five supercars are all within ten points of one another, underlining the balanced nature of the top-quality German GT Championship. “The situation has changed now, the hunters have become the hunted.” But we are happy to assume this role. We hope that we can build on our superb performance in Austria and be really competitive again. I am particularly looking forward to this circuit after the reconstruction. The two banked turns are just extraordinary,” says the 19-year-old Niklas Krütten. TV partner NITRO will broadcast the ADAC GT Masters races live on Saturday and Sunday, both at 12:30.
Key facts, Circuit Zandvoort, Zandvoort, races 5 and 6 of 14
Track length: 4,259 metres
Layout: 14 turns (ten right, four left), clockwise driving direction
Winners 2021, race 1: Ricardo Feller/Christopher Mies (Montaplast by Land-Motorsport, Audi R8 LMS Evo)
Winners 2021, race 2: Charles Weerts/Dries Vanthoor (Team WRT, Audi R8 LMS Evo)
The youngsters are the hunted
The table-topping Krütten/Green duo in the BMW M4 GT3 #10 from the Schubert Motorsport team have become the hunted, and now have to prove that they can deal with the pressure in Zandvoort. Jusuf Owega (20/Cologne), driving again for Montaplast by Land-Motorsport with Ricardo Feller (22/CH) in the Audi R8 LMS GT3 Evo II #29, is just three points behind. Last year, the reigning champion from Switzerland won race one in Zandvoort with Christopher Mies (33/ Düsseldorf) and is aiming to repeat this success with his new, young partner. Five wins have made Audi the most successful brand in Zandvoort, topping the podium in the last four races. In third place in the championship, Jonathan Aberdein (24/ZA) and Raffaele Marciello (27/I) from the Mann-Filter Team Landgraf are still waiting for their first win of the season with the Mercedes-AMG GT3 Evo #48, but they remain just four points behind and within striking distance of the leaders. The chasing pack also includes Nicky Catsburg (34/NL) and Jesse Krohn (31/FIN) from Schubert Motorsport in fourth place. Local hero Catsburg is planning to produce a good performance with the BMW M4 GT3 #20 in his home race. In fifth position overall, Christian Engelhart (35/Starnberg) and Ayhancan Güven (24/TR) in the #91 Porsche 911 GT3 R from the Joos Sportwagentechnik team hope to continue their improved form in Zandvoort after reaching the rostrum twice at the Red Bull Ring.
Cult circuit on the North Sea coast
Reconstruction work in 2020 produced a more fluid track layout and enabled higher speeds, but Zandvoort remains an old-school circuit. The drivers are punished mercilessly as the track has no wide run-off zones. Going wide almost always sees them end up in the gravel trap or hitting a wall, often in race-ending fashion. Two particularly spectacular features are the 18-degree banked turns, “Hugenholtzbocht” behind the paddock and “Arie Luyendykbocht” before the start-finish straight. The changes made to the circuit mean that drivers can now enter the start-finish straight at significantly higher speed, enabling more overtaking manoeuvres. Spectators can look forward to some spectacular driving duels.
Two local heroes and a well-known returnee
Two local heroes with differing expectations will be competing in Zandvoort. Nicky Catsburg is aiming for a podium finish in his home race. Together with his team-mate Jesse Krohn, the Dutch driver is focused on claiming overall victory in the German GT Championship and finishing well in front of home support would move him closer to the top of the standings. His young compatriot Thierry Vermeulen (19) from Car Collection Motorsport would be more than satisfied with a top-ten finish in the Audi R8 LMS GT3 Evo II. He will be able to rely on firm support from his friend Max Verstappen. The Formula 1 world champion will be keeping his fingers crossed for his buddy Vermeulen in his home race. A well-known driver will be making a return to the ADAC GT Masters at the Dutch North Sea circuit. Maximilian Götz (36/Uffenheim), champion in 2012, will be driving a Mercedes-AMG GT3 Evo for Madpanda Motorsport. The 36-year-old will be hoping to help the new entrants with his extensive experience and, just like the fans, he is looking forward to competing in the German GT Championship.
Varied supporting programme
Fans and spectators have thrilling, non-stop motor racing action to look forward to from 24th to 26th June. In addition to the ADAC GT Masters, the North Sea circuit will also be hosting ADAC GT4 Germany races and the talented young drivers of the ADAC Formula 4. Concentrated Porsche power will also be on display in two more race series: more than 50 911s will be battling for wins, podiums and points in the Porsche Carrera Cup Germany and the Porsche Carrera Cup Benelux.
All ADAC GT Masters races start at 13:00. International viewers can watch the qualifying and the races live on adac.de/motorsport, the new ADAC Motorsports YouTube channel youtube.com/ADACMotorsports and motorsport.tv.