Most'ly nothing to show for PROsport Performances efforts in GT Masters

Tuesday, May 21, 2019

Despite the smiles and hopeful anticipation from the drivers and team, the second round of the German ADAC GT Masters Series from the Most Autodrom in the Czech Republic brought German team PROsport Performance back down to the ground for another reality check after another difficult double header at the weekend.

Despite finishing the races at the opening round at Oschersleben, continuing technical infringements of one description or another left the team's two Aston Martin Racing V8 Vantage GT3 cars with zero points heading into the weekend. Testing at the Czech circuit earlier in the month had left the team certainly hopeful of a good showing at the second round as performance gains had been made.

Slow compared to their peers during Fee Practice on Saturday, the team's two cars Qualified even lower down the grid for race 1 - down in P23 for the Daniel Keilwitz/Maxime Martin #99 car and P29 for the Hugo de Sadeleer/Valentin Hasse-Clot #98 car.

A thirty one car grid and a very tight left-right chicane acting as turn 1 and 2 would always going to lead to incident on the opening lap and that was certainly the case as over half a dozen cars took to the shortest route across the gravel trap to avoid a stranded car on track. A Safety Car was immediately deployed costing the hour long race nearly 10 minutes of running around what was commented to be a very technical - balance critical circuit. Opening drivers, Keilwitz (#99) and de Sadeleer (#98) had very little running time before they handed over to their respective co-drivers as the pit window opening after just 26 minutes.

For the #99 car, now with AMR Factory driver Martin behind the wheel, the steady progress of cars in front getting penalties or suffering from early tyre degradation allowed him to slowly pick off cars to finish P10 by the end of the hour albeit 26 seconds behind the leader but six points is six points at the end of the day. The #98 car of Hasse-Clot was unable to replicate this and finished P23.

With the two cars again Qualifying down in P24 for the #98 and P28 for the #99, there was still an optimistic chance that some opportunist points could come their way again for Sundays race.

Another T1 incident on the opening lap again produced another Safety Car to recover another stranded car but the restart quickly lead to an early red flag as a spinning Porsche caused barrier damage on the outside of a fast swapping corner that needed repairing. By the time repairs were made and the remaining pack was let go by the controlling Safety car only 38 minutes remained.

The trouble was, just like whats being seen in other ACO and SRO sanctioned series, the new V8 Vantage GT3's simply couldn't get out of the slower, more technical corners quick enough and were losing seconds per lap to that problem. In race 2, there was to be no repeat of Martins rise through the field at the end and both cars would finish P19 and P20 respectively - some 40 seconds down - even after a fragmented red flag influenced race.

Martin put on his social media that the results were 'embarrassing' and in some regards he is right - the fact that AMR's new fleet of race cars are not seemingly able to compete on the world stage consistently is something to be concerned about. The teams and the drivers are all doing what they can but it just looks as if AMR have taken a massive backward step which clearly they haven't as nobody would release a new product obviously slower than the one its replacing. It must be a case of BoP?!?

Hopefully the series can do something to help out before the next round at the Rd Bull Ring in three weeks time.

Photo credits - PROpeak Performance / ADAC GT Masters
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