V a year and a half ago, this issue contained the following comment about the ADAC GT Masters series: The best indicator for the liveliness of a racing series is the number of grills in the paddock. At that time the sausages were still sizzling on the grill in the GT Masters paddock, today the picture has shifted slightly on this front as well: In the middle of the 2012 season, the rumor of a barbecue ban spread. A protest by militant vegetarians? Or seriously? Nothing like that. According to the organizers from ADAC, barbecues can still be used in the paddock. However, within reasonable limits.
The barbecue anecdote may seem absurd, but it is representative of the smoke signals some see rising in the sky. This creates clouds of letters which, when put together, quickly result in the keywords professionalization or DTM.
The ADAC GT Masters is booming with 40 cars. But the question that is being discussed everywhere in the paddock is: where is the journey going? The series in which beer benches once dominated the paddock is becoming more and more professional.
We don't need a second DTM
The organizational regulations say, for example: “Tents that are set up must meet the professional standards of the series and must be approved by the ADAC.” Some see such developments as an effort to create a second DTM. Those in charge at ADAC have a different opinion: “We don't want or need a second DTM, both platforms currently have their own raison d'être,” said Sports President Hermann Tomczyk.
But have the teams also found their place? At the moment the field of participants is as colorful as the jar full of sweets at the bakery. There are teams like MS Racing, where grandma and grandpa are still involved, and who currently spit in the soup of the big players in the business like Heico with their sporting achievements. A welcome refreshment. But the little ones shouldn't be left behind.
Ernst Wöhr and his Callaway Competition team are something like the godfather of the series. The man in the beret has been with us since the 2007 premiere season. “The regulations are getting stricter and the concessions are getting less and less,” he says. “It's no longer a series for tuners, but for factory-supported teams or professional teams. It's not all bad, but some things may be toorethink. “
Sometimes the only problem is communication.
The banishment of the tire tents between the box and the trucks some took it as a chicane. However, the ADAC was forced to keep the escape routes clear. The topic of testing bans also creates different views: four weeks before a GT Masters event, it is not allowed to test with a registered vehicle on the respective race track. This also applies to identical vehicles with a different chassis number. However, participation in other racing events is permitted. Actually a clear regulation.
Except for the special case of the Nürburgring. A week before the run as part of the Truck Grand Prix, several teams are said to have taken part in the test drives to the VLN on Friday on the Grand Prix track. Although these are organized by the VLN, they are not part of the one-day racing event. A gray area that is not clearly clarified in the regulations. And a loophole that is already causing discussions before the next GT Masters round at the Nürburgring in mid-August.
On the other hand, some teams have shown the courage to change. The Franconian Farnbacher troop switched from the jumping horse from Maranello to the jumping horse in the Porsche crest. At the third GT Masters round at the Sachsenring, team principal Horst Farnbacher gasped after free practice. He packed up the Ferrari and drove home with bag and baggage. He reappeared at the Nürburgring in a Porsche 911 GT3 R. “It didn't make any sense that way”, explains Farnbacher.
Tire mess in the GT Masters
Twelfth place in Zandvoort was the best result after four races. It couldn't have been because of the Ferrari jockeys Niklas Kentenich and Mario Farnbacher - they are no nose pickers. The team lacked the support of Ferrari. In addition, the Yokohama tires did not want to tie in with the Ferrari. “Ferrari never tested these tires,” says Farnbacher. While the other 18-inchers drove, the Ferrari ran on 19-inchers - a fact that did not make the tire mess any easier.
The little tree-changing game was not only played with cars, but also with drivers and teams . Gemballa Racing parted ways with partner Zakspeed before halftime at the Nürburgring. Peter Zakowski acted as a kind of recruitment agency, because Gemballa Racing around team founder and investment banker Steffen Korbach initially didn't want to employ its own people. 'We have already planned an independent team, but we have now moved the whole thing forward', is the explanation of Gemballa driver and team boss Sascha Bert.
The McLaren MP4-12C GT3 is still not a rocket - before the season highly traded, spurned as a cucumber during the season. And again the interaction between tires and car is suspected, at least at Gemballa Racing. 'With theThe car works with Michelin tires, but Yokohama doesn't, ”says Bert. The McLaren doesn't heat the Yokohama enough. “The slicks look like a baby's bottom.” Bert sees one reason in the chassis. Apparently the technicians have not yet been able to elicit all of the secrets of the homologated Dynamic Suspensions suspension. Although they had difficulties starting, they now seem to see through the sensitive soul of the McLaren. “In the beginning we only had shelf life problems,” says Molitor. “It felt like the car was knitted with a hot needle.”
The parts were sloppily assembled, the cables chafed, and the engine management was also poor. Molitor then sought a conversation with McLaren Formula 1 team boss Martin Whitmarsh. A wake-up call for the Woking team.
Apparently suppliers had been overestimated. Therefore, the project should now also be moved to the Formula 1 department. Since then, McLaren has been constantly innovating, traction control works, and engineers take care of the teams on the track.
'The support is now sensational, but only now can we work on perfecting the package,' says Molitor. Curiously, the Molitor squad doesn't have the problems with the Yokohama tires. “They work brilliantly,” he says. 'If things continue like this, the car will be able to make it into the top five or onto the podium.'
This is also what Uwe Geipel and his Yaco Racing team dream of. The former GDR rally champion drives the two Chevrolet Camaro built by Hans Reiter. With the beefy stature and a sound that the ears ring, the American is one of the crowd's favorites. “I didn't feel like using the eleventh Mercedes or the seventh Porsche,” says Geipel. He is the perfect partner for riders who want to prove to everyone that an affordable car can be competitive. You could also call them the two Robin Hoods of the GT Masters.
Fight for more justice
The fight for more justice is more difficult than thought. “We have too much steam in the box,” says Geipel. The difficulty is to bring the brute force of the Camaro onto the road. For once, the task is not to find more power, but to reduce it. In the second and third sectors at the Nürburgring, the bumpy drums hardly lost on the competition - instead, the wheels in the first sector kept spinning in the slow corners.