Aston Martin returns to the ADAC GT Masters after six years. As the official race partner of Aston Martin Racing (AMR), the PROpeak Performance team debuts at the season opener from 26 to 28 April in Oschersleben, Germany, in the “Super league of sports cars”. The two newly developed Aston Martin Vantage GT3 will be driven by record winner Daniel Keilwitz (Germany) and Aston Martin factory driver Maxime Martin (Belgium) in the two one-hour races on Saturday and Sunday, which will each be started at 13:00 and broadcast live by the German TV channel SPORT1 and by the two young talents Hugo de Sadeleer (21/Switzerland) and Valentin Hasse-Clot (22/France). In addition, the team from Wiesemscheid, Germany, near the Nürburgring enters two Vantage GT4s in the new ADAC GT4 Germany.
Team principal Christoph Esser: “We are looking forward to the kick-off and are curious how it will work for us. We still lack a few test kilometers, so we cannot assess where we are at all. Car, driver and team are new components. We still have a lot to learn, but we have ambitious goals for the season. For Oschersleben: If we have clean races and catch first points, then that would mean a good start.”
Already in the years 2007 and 2008 as well as in 2012 and 2013, Aston Martin participated in the ADAC GT Masters. From this time are two victories, achieved in 2012 at the Sachsenring. For Maxime Martin, too, the race at the Motorsport Arena Oschersleben means a comeback at the 3.667-kilometer circuit. The 33-year-old Belgian, who also spent four years in the DTM, drove in the 2012 ADAC GT Masters and scored a total of five victories, three of them in Oschersleben. His new team-mate Daniel Keilwitz is the undisputed record winner of ADAC racing series which was founded in 2006. With 22 victories, the 29-year-old leads the rankings clearly, he also conquered the 2013 championship title. In contrast, Oschersleben means new territory for Hugo de Sadeleer, who comes from LMP2, and Valentin Hasse-Clot, who recently competed in the French Porsche one-make cup, and a new entry into the hard-fought class of GT3 sports cars.
Aston Martin Racing (AMR), headquartered in Banbury, England, has developed three racing versions based on the new Vantage, alongside GT3, the GT4 and the GTE version for the WEC World Endurance Championship. The Vantage falls by its striking lines immediately in the eye, the power comes from a 4.0-liter V8 twin turbo, which in the GT3 version offers more over 550 bhp, depending on the classification.
Team manager Steve Buschmann: “We only had three tests, and only one week ago in Spa we were able to run both Vantage GT3s for the first time. Although our team has grown significantly for this season with our Aston Martin activities in four series – the ADAC GT Masters, the ADAC GT4 Germany, the GT4 European Series and the 24h Series – the processes are already working well.”
The technical director Andreas Lautner is also the car engineer of the #98 Vantage of de Sadeleer/Hasse-Clot, for the #99 Vantage of Keilwitz/Martin an AMR car engineer is available. In addition, Aston Martin Racing supports its official race partner at the season opener in Oschersleben with a service truck with spare parts.
The team of Christoph Esser, whose roots go back to the eighties, was already competing at the 2017 and 2018 ADAC GT Masters race weekends and won the 2018 rookie title in the ADAC TCR Germany. In addition, PROsport Performance won the team title in the 24h European Championship in its first GT3 season 2018 as well as the driver and team classification in the “Championship of the Continents” of the 24h GT Series. In the GT4 European Championship, the team achieved the driver title twice in 2013 and 2016 with Joerg Viebahn (Germany), and in 2016 also the team title. In addition, there are more than 50 class wins on their home track, the Nürburgring Nordschleife.
>> Driver Quotes
Hugo de Sadeleer (#98/Switzerland): “For Valentin (Hasse-Clot) and me, Oschersleben means getting into GT3. The level in the ADAC GT Masters is very high, but that’s why I chose this series. With Maxime (Martin) and Daniel (Keilwitz) we have two super-strong team-mates which help us in the best possible way. The cooperation is great, the team is working very professional and we have good engineers. I feel no pressure, but I want to develop from race to race.”
Valentin Hasse-Clot (#98/France): “I am very enthusiastic and looking forward to the kick-off. At the test in Spa, I felt very comfortable in the Vantage, that gives me a lot of confidence. I have a great teammate with Hugo (de Sadeleeer), we get along well and talk about many things. I am looking forward to my entry into GT3 and feel exactly in the right place.”
Maxime Martin (#99/Belgium): “I have very good memories of Oschersleben, because I have already won three races of the ADAC GT Masters at this place. This is a technical track where you need a lot of downforce and where top speed is not that important. Oschersleben is one of the most difficult tracks on the calendar. The new Vantage opens a new era for Aston Martin and all of us. It’s going to be exciting and I’m looking forward to do the sprint races of the ADAC GT Masters with Daniel (Keilwitz) and the team of Christoph Esser.”
Daniel Keilwitz (#99/Germany): “I feel a certain strain, after all, almost everything is new. But that’s exactly what I wanted. With Maxime (Martin) I have a great team-mate who also brings a lot of experience with the Vantage. As a team, we all pull together and cheer for the season together. Qualifying is very important in Oschersleben, and if we reach a good midfield position in the race, that would be good for the beginning.”
Further information: adac-gt-masters.de