A worthy visit to Oschersleben for the Aston Martin Racing teams at ADAC GT4 Germany opener

Sunday, April 24, 2022


Two sensational races from the opening round of the 2022 ADAC GT4 Germany Series from Oschersleben proved to provide multiple worthy podia finishes for many of the seven Aston Martin Racing Vantage GT4 crews although a double – double was only snatched at the very last minute in Sunday’s second race.

Opening the weekend with a front row lockout for Saturday’s opening one hour race had brothers Phil and Ben Dorr occupy the front row of the grid with their two, family team prepared cars with only the Prosport Racing AMR of Mike David Ortmann and Hugo Sasse joining them within the top 10.

Still under bright skies and warm sunshine, the Dorr brothers were able to hold position during the opening corners of the Race 1 before the #007 of Ben Dorr finally succumbed to the pressure from the Toyota behind to drop to P3.

On only the second lap, two spinning Mercedes AMG GT4’s came close to collected Ortmann’s #24 car but did bring out the Safety Car losing them all nearly ten minutes of race time. Going back to green, Ortmann was able to move up to P5 overall to round out a healthy AMR top five just as the pit window opened.

After the prescribed minimum pit stop timed window had passed, the #007 Dorr car with Romain Leroux now aboard had jumped the Toyota for position to reclaim its original P2 place behind Indy Dontjie who was now in the #69 car.

The #6 Racing One AMR of Euan McKay and Tom Wood would have a quieter introduction into the series from their P15 starting position as Wood would elevate them up to an opening P11 finish by the end.

Whilst the #69 and #007 Dorr cars would confirm the top two steps of the podium after their 1-2 finish, the #24 Prosport car of Ortmann and Sasse would also claim a P5 overall finish but also P3 in the Junior Class for Sasse.

The remaining Aston Martin’s of Nico Hantke/Simon Connor Primm, Sandro and Juliano Holzem and Yevgen Sokolovskiy and Christopher Rohner would all finish their opening race of the season in P8 overall/P4 in Junior, P21 overall/P10 Junior and P24 overall/P4 Trophy class respectively.

Sunday was however a much colder morning for Qualifying and this time it was the #6 Racing One Aston Martin of Tom Wood who secured pole position for race 2, ahead of the #69 Dorr car of Dontjie in second (for another AMR front row lock out), Leroux in P5 in his #007 with Hantke P8 in his #95 car and Sasse rounding out the top ten for AMR runners in tenth in his #24 Prosport car.

A lightning start form the young Englishman saw his quickly establish a healthy lead to any of those chasing as earlier as the end of the opening lap with only Dontjie hanging on to second as the pack formed into two or three packs of competing cars behind with both Leroux and Hantke amid the first.

Just approaching the opening of the pit window, a lunge up the inside at turn 12 from Leroux spun the #20 Mercedes which then stopped at the side of the track. With the pit window then opening, and with cars already in pit lap, any Safety Car now would ruin people’s races so for a time, it was dealt with via double waved yellows.

With three more cars tangling and getting stuck in the gravel another Safety Car was inevitable as soon as the final car had pitted. A good outlap from McKay had preserved their lead position with Phil Dorr again immediately behind as the next time around, a Porsche would then split the two Astons for position as the Safety Car was eventually deployed.

A drive through penalty (for the earlier contact with the #20 car) and further contact for Ben Dorr in the #007 would put any podium hopes that they may have had to bed as McKay pulled away again from the pack behind.

What happened next was simply unbelievable as the #22 Porsche of Vincent Andronaco simply scythed through the field from sixth as the race finally went back to green with little over twelve-minute remaining. Up to P5, P4, P3 and then onto the rear of Dorr’s #69 car saw no one stopping the progress of the Porsche.

Up to P2 and then into the lead on the last timed lap as the race clock had counted down as the cars entered their + 1 lap to the chequered flag.

Having led all but the last one and a half laps of the race, the #6 racing One crew of Wood and McKay had to settle for their first podium of the season down in second overall with Dorr and Dontjie completing the overall podium in third.

This time, the #24 Prosport car of Ortmann and Sasse would finish P4 overall but this time second in Junior for Sasse with Hantke and Connor Primm finishing just outside of the top 10 this time.

Next round of the season will be from the Red Bull Ring in Austria in mid-May.

Photo credits – ADAC GT4 / Teams
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