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GRT secures first podium of the ADAC GT Masters season on Saturday at Zandvoort

The race weekend at Zandvoort from 7th to 9th June proved to be a rollercoaster ride for GRT. On the dune circuit on the Dutch North Sea coast, the Lamborghini Team was on double duty for the second time this year in the DTM and the ADAC GT Masters. Tim Zimmermann and Benjamin Hites at the wheel of the #63 Lamborghini Huracán GT3 EVO2 provided the sporting highlight of the weekend with second place in the first race of the ADAC GT Masters. In the DTM, a points-scoring result for Luca Engstler in Sunday's race was the highest of feelings this time after an unfortunate incident in the pits in the first race. The entire GRT crew wishes chief mechanic Noah Folie a speedy recovery.

The Lamborghini Squadra Corse supported outfit from Austria will continue its DTM campaign at the Norisring from 5 to 7 July. The following week, the ADAC GT Masters will make a guest appearance at the Nürburgring. Before that, however, GRT will face the highlight of the Fanatec GT World Challenge Europe Powered by AWS. The prestigious CrowdStrike 24 Hours of Spa takes place from 26 to 30 June, where Gottfried Grasser's squad will be on the grid with two Lamborghini Huracán GT3 EVO2s.

Saturday did not go according to plan for the two GRT drivers. After a challenging qualifying session, they were making progress towards the points in the first race. During Engstler's pit stop on lap 13, there was an incident in which GRT mechanic Noah Folie injured his foot. Engstler initially resumed the race. Three laps later, however, the Lamborghini Young Driver had to pit again and retire. Engelhart also lacked the necessary luck in the sister car. The 37-year-old suffered a puncture on the left rear tyre on lap 14, forcing him to end his race.

The GRT duo had a better starting position for the second race. Engstler took the #19 Lamborghini Huracán GT3 EVO2 from Lamborghini Team LIQUI MOLY by GRT to a hard-earned points-scoring result in twelfth place. The 24-year-old had dropped back to 17th position at times in an eventful race and fought back with a lot of grit to secure his fifth points finish out of six races. Engelhart did not get the reward he deserved on Sunday either. The Lamborghini Factory Driver had to end his race in ninth place on the 14th lap with a technical issue.

Luca Engstler (GER)
#19 Lamborghini Team Liqui Moly by GRT
Qualifying 1: P19 - Race 1: DNF
Qualifying 2: P13 - Race 2: P12

Luca Engstler:
"It was obviously a weekend of highs and lows, especially after the incident on Saturday. The most important thing is that Noah gets back on his feet quickly. It really was a jinxed day, but we bounced back well on Sunday. It looked difficult at the start, but then we had a good pace. The guys delivered a great pit stop and we had some great racing on the track. We have to improve in qualifying, because our Lamborghini always performs well in the race. We know that we have some homework to do and now we are focussing on the Norisring."

Christian Engelhart (GER)
#63 Lamborghini Team TGI by GRT
Qualifying 1: P20 - Race 1: DNF
Qualifying 2: P11 - Race 2: DNF

ADAC GT Masters

Benjamin Hites and Tim Zimmermann got off to a perfect start at the 4.259-kilometre Circuit Zandvoort. Hites secured second place on the grid in qualifying on Saturday and maintained this position in the first stint of the race. In the second half of the race, Zimmermann successfully defended his position against his rivals and took second place to secure the first podium for GRT in this year's ADAC GT Masters. The German set the fastest lap time in the second qualifying session on Sunday morning, but received a three-place grid penalty due to an infringement of the rules. At the start of the race, there was some confusion in the grid formation, which caused several cars to leave their corridor in contravention of the rules. As a result, Zimmermann also received a penalty lap, which set the number 63 car back a long way in this early stage. After a hard-fought race, Hites saw the chequered flag for the duo in tenth place.

In the sister car, rookie Jannik Julius-Bernhart was supported this time by an old acquaintance of the Grasser Racing Team. Due to a clash of dates, Taylor Hagler left her seat in the golden #19 Lamborghini Huracán GT3 EVO2 to Gerhard Tweraser this time. The 35-year-old Austrian last competed with GRT in the ADAC GT Masters in 2016 and made an unexpected comeback as a stand-in. On Saturday, he and Julius-Bernhart finished in the points from ninth on the grid despite a number of obstacles. The driver pairing showed a positive form curve in the second race. After a strong performance in the midfield, the pair finished eleventh.

Benjamin Hites (CHI) / Tim Zimmermann (GER)
#63 GRT Grasser Racing Team
Qualifying 1: P3 - Race 1: P2
Qualifying 2: P4 - Race 2: P10

Tim Zimmermann:
"We can definitely be happy with our pace this weekend. Unfortunately, we didn't maximise our potential. It was a great pity that we lost pole position on Sunday. Ultimately, we made too many mistakes. The penalties were not always understandable, but the mistake at the start of the second race was obviously my fault. I orientated myself to the car in front and you can't do that in this situation. That was very annoying and will teach me a lesson. Apart from that, we scored important points with the podium on Saturday. The season is still long and I'm looking forward to the upcoming races. Many thanks to the whole crew for the good teamwork."

Gerhard Tweraser (AUT) / Jannik Julius-Bernhart (GER)
#19 GRT Grasser Racing Team
Qualifying 1: P10 - Race 1: P1
Qualifying 2: P13 - Race 2: P11

Gerhard Tweraser: "In the whole it was a relatively good weekend. Of course, it didn't help that we missed the first practice session. That put us on the back foot a bit, but the races went well. I was particularly pleased with my stint on Sunday. I had a lot of fun, there were some nice battles and I think we got the maximum out of it. I was pleased to be back in the ADAC GT Masters with GRT after all these years."

Jannik Julius-Bernhart: "Overall, the weekend was satisfactory. We had a few problems with the ABS at the beginning. It would have been an advantage for me to drive the first session on Friday to get used to the car and familiarise myself with the track. That's why I found it a bit difficult to get into the rhythm in the first race. However, I learnt with every lap and the lap times got better and better. There was still room for improvement in qualifying on Sunday, but then everything fell into place in the race. The pace was right, especially towards the end."

Gottfried Grasser, Team Principal of GRT: "The weekend had more downs than ups. For me as team principal, the worst thing is when someone from the crew gets injured. That's the last thing you want to see. It was a chain of very unfortunate events. Fortunately, nothing more happened. Noah is having an operation on his foot and we wish him the speediest of recoveries so that he can be back with us soon. In sporting terms, it was very tricky for us in the qualifying sessions in the DTM. We simply didn't realise the performance there and with this level of competition, you immediately get punished. Luca's race on Sunday was very good and definitely a small ray of hope after nothing had worked out for us before. Christian has had bad luck this season, this time in both races. We very much hope that the tide will turn for him soon. In the ADAC GT Masters, we've put things together better. Benja and Tim's podium was strong. It is therefore all the more regrettable that we lost pole on Sunday. Our rookie Jannik continues to make good progress and, together with Gerhard, has improved a lot over the weekend. We are on the right track and will roll up our sleeves. It's going to be an intense few weeks and we're really looking forward to Spa and the next round of the DTM at the Norisring."