After a two-month break, the fourth round of the ADAC GT Masters took place at Zandvoort in the Netherlands over the weekend. The Ferrari 488 GT3 of HB Racing appeared in both races.
The Austrian team’s car, as usual, crewed by the experienced Luca Ludwig and Sebastian Asch, crossed the line in 16th in Race-1, with the repeated appearance of the Safety Car thwarting a possible top-ten finish.
Good start. After qualifying in 18th, Ludwig gained three places in the first turns before the Safety Car came on due to a collision involving the Audi of Drudi in the middle of the group. Once the race resumed, a track layout that made overtaking difficult plus the strong wind that blew on a lot of sand, provoked several driver errors. Ludwig’s Ferrari brought up the rear of the lead group, battling with the Audis of Ortmann and Salaquarda, before the Safety Car returned to the track with 38 minutes to go to recover Wishofer’s Mercedes, which had careered into the gravel due to a burst tyre. After the race resumed its course the ten-minute driver-change window opened.
Thwarted strategy. Many cars immediately returned to the pit lane, including Ludwig’s Ferrari, which found its place occupied by a rival, making for an unusual stop. The strategy, which could have allowed Asch, Ludwig’s replacement, to gain ground, was thwarted by the further entry of the Safety Car after Preining and Dontje both veered off track. When the Safety Car returned to the pit lane, there were only 21 minutes left before the chequered flag. Sebastian Asch was in 18th position, first attacked by Cairoli and then by Kelvin Van Der Linde, with whom he engaged in a duel that recalled – with some obvious differences – Gilles Villeneuve’s race at Jarama in 1981.
Like Gilles. Like the Canadian, the German driver used the speed of his Ferrari in the main straight to defend himself tenaciously from the attacks of his rivals around the corners. He crossed the finish line just six tenths ahead of his opponent, completing the 60-minute race in sixteenth position.
Race-2 was scheduled for Sunday at 1:05 pm.