Gran Finale for GRT! The Lamborghini Squadra Corse supported outfit from Austria will be revving up the engines of their Lamborghini Huracán GT3 EVO2s for one last time in the 2023 season this coming weekend from 20 to 22 October. At the Hockenheimring, the DTM and the ADAC GT Masters will enter the final round. In the DTM, the team is looking forward to the reunion with an old friend. Christian Engelhart returns to Grasser Racing in the cockpit of the number 19 entry. The DTM race winner will drive the GGMT Revolution Lamborghini Huracán GT3 EVO2 as Clemens Schmid's teammate at the eighth and final event of the season, replacing Andrea Caldarelli. The Lamborghini factory driver was unavailable for the DTM finale due to his commitments for the manufacturer's LMDh prototype programme.
For Engelhart, it is not only a reunion with GRT, but also with the DTM. The 36-year-old German competed for Porsche on the first four race weekends of the prestigious championship in 2023 and did so with success. At the season opener in Oschersleben, he celebrated an impressive victory in Sunday’s race. Engelhart looks back on a long relationship with Grasser Racing. Between 2016 and 2019, he was a winning force in the Lamborghini cars of Gottfried Grasser's racing team for several years and was part of the factory driver line-up of the Italian sports car manufacturer at times.
Engelhart celebrated a total of 14 victories sporting the GRT colours, including a triumph at the legendary 24 Hours of Daytona in 2019. In the 2017 season, he was also part of the GRT crew that claimed overall victory in the Blancpain GT Series, which consists of the Sprint Cup and Endurance Cup and is now known as the Fanatec GT World Challenge Europe. Four years after their last race together, he will be back behind the wheel for Grasser Racing in the golden Lamborghini Huracán GT3 EVO2 in the DTM at the Hockenheimring this weekend.
The former Formula 1 circuit in Germany brings back good memories for GRT. In the ADAC GT Masters, four wins, six podiums, six fastest laps and four pole positions went to the Austrians and their Lamborghini Huracán GT3. Last year, in their debut season in the DTM, the team arrived to the finale at the Hockenheimring with a shot at the title. However, the team's strong performance went unrewarded back then. On a jinxed weekend, Lamborghini factory driver Mirko Bortolotti and GRT eluded the overall victory and Clemens Schmid his first podium.
Both drivers have the opportunity to settle the unfinished business with the 4.574 km long Grand Prix circuit at Hockenheim this weekend. In 2022, Clemens Schmid presented himself in stellar form on Sunday with second place on the grid and was on course for a podium finish in the race until he was stopped by a puncture. The 33-year-old Austrian will travel to the finale with great confidence after a strong performance with sixth place in Sunday's race at the Red Bull Ring, while former GRT driver Mirko Bortolotti is fighting for the championship again as one of the title contenders.
Christian Engelhart: "Returning to my Grasser Racing family for Hockenheim is a great feeling! We have already celebrated great successes together in the past. Now to compete together in the DTM is a highlight for us. At the same time, my special thanks go to Porsche, who gave me the green light for this project. The challenge to get used to the new Lamborghini Huracán GT3 EVO2 in a very short time is enormous, so I’m now fully focused on the job ahead."
Marco Mapelli and Benjamin Hites are out for redemption in the ADAC GT Masters
Benjamin Hites and Marco Mapelli also want to build on GRT's success story at Hockenheim. For the Lamborghini Junior and the Lamborghini factory driver, the season in the ADAC GT Masters comes to an end with the sixth and final stop. The duo also showed impressive form at the Red Bull Ring. On Saturday, they crossed the finish line first at the GRT home race in Styria, only to lose the victory shortly after due to an unfortunate rule violation. But this is not the only reason why the 36-year-old Italian and the 24-year-old Chilean are out to make amends.
The season opener of the ADAC GT Masters took place at the Hockenheimring as well. On Saturday, Benjamin Hites drove to a sensational pole position on his debut in GRT's Lamborghini Huracán GT3 EVO2, at the time beating the lap record. In the race, he and Marco Mapelli were robbed of a possible victory while in the lead by a puncture. At the last round of the calendar they have the chance for revenge. In the overall standings, the runner-up position is still up for grabs. In fourth place, they are only eleven points behind second place.
Gottfried Grasser, Team Principal of GRT: "We are very happy to contest the season finale with Christian and it means a lot to us to have GGMT Revolution on board again as a partner at Hockenheim. We have achieved fantastic milestones with Christian and he had been part of the Lamborghini family for a long time. We have always maintained a friendly relationship even after our years together and it is great to see him back in our car. We are definitely optimistic about the weekend because we know that our drivers are strong at Hockenheim. With Christian, we won there several times in the ADAC GT Masters and Clemens did really well in the DTM last year. In the ADAC GT Masters we are also in a great position with Benja and Marco, as we saw recently in Spielberg. The goal is, of course, to finish the season on the top step of the podium with them. After our title win in the Silver Cup of the Fanatec GT World Challenge Europe, we are highly motivated to go into the winter break with a strong weekend in the DTM and the ADAC GT Masters."