Champions! In the final race of the ADAC GT Masters, Christian Engelhart and Michael Ammermüller captured the title in a challenging and definitely an exceptional 2020 season. The Bavarian trio of Christian, Michael and the Munich-based Porsche team SSR Performance thus put the icing on a perfect debut season in one of the world’s strongest GT series.
Oschersleben near Magdeburg was the host to the big finale of the ADAC GT Masters last weekend. In cool, yet sunny autumnal conditions, it was in particular the standings in the title battle that warmed the spirits of the participants and motor racing fans. Drivers in cars from three different brands – Audi, Mercedes and Porsche – were in contention for overall victory on the final weekend and went into it separated by seven points.
Michael Ammermüller produced a sensational lap in the first qualifying on the Saturday, capturing pole position directly and so giving the team the ideal starting position on the grid. In the race itself, Michael then got off to a very good start and was able to maintain first place before the obligatory handover of the SSR Performance Porsche to Christian. Summoning up all his experience, Christian managed the situation and, despite a further safety car phase, captured the third win of the season for SSR Performance with an around four-second lead. The Porsche with the number 92 thus chalked up pole position, a start-to-finish victory and the fastest lap.
“It wasn’t all as easy as it looked, since various incidents meant the track was really slippery in some places. You had to be extremely careful not to lose control of the car,” said a radiant and over-the-moon Christian after winning race one on the Saturday.
That victory also meant Christian and Michael took the lead in the championship and so were in the position of being the ones to beat in the final race on the Sunday. Christian captured third in qualifying and so another very good spot on the grid – and, what was more, the best of the remaining title candidates. “This qualifying was a real nail-biter for me. We were always on the track when a red flag was displayed, so the qualifying didn’t go quite so perfectly, but I finally managed to clock a very good lap right at the end and that was enough to finish third,” said Christian Engelhart after qualifying on the Sunday.
The final race of the season was then also highly dramatic. It began with a severe crash at the start – caused of all cars by the Audi that was the title leader coming to Oschersleben. Its driver had tried to make up ground after starting from 11th on the grid. When the race was restarted, Christian was able to slot himself into third and then held on to that spot until the handover. And after the pit stop, the Porsche with the number 92 with Michael behind the wheel defended that position until shortly before the finishing line, when he allowed Robert Renauer to pass and so avoid any further risks on the final meters as he glided securely toward the title.
He took the checkered flag being waved by ADAC Motorsport President Hermann Tomczyk personally – Engelhart/Ammermüller and SSR had sealed their first joint title and so crowned a successful debut season by winning the championship trophy.
Christian’s words about the championship and the ADAC GT Masters 2020 season with SSR Performance:
“I would like to thank Porsche Motorsport, my outfit SSR Performance led by Stefan Schlund and his entire team. Stefan has done an outstanding job and assembled an unbeatable team of mechanics, engineers and management. We worked together excellently, and everyone did their bit. It was truly a great pleasure to share the cockpit with my teammate and excellent Porsche specialist Michael Ammermüller. I think you can see that we had a very, very good training platform in the Porsche Carrera Cup that was the springboard for us to capture the ADAC GT Masters 2020 title together. I would also like to express my special thanks to my partners from ZF, Brose and La Biosthétique for continuing their cooperation in this challenging time and supporting me the whole season. That isn’t something you can take for granted. It makes me proud and is testimony to a trusted partnership. I wish to pay a particular compliment to the ADAC Motorsport team, which has created this outstanding motor racing platform and has managed to stage a high-class competition in 2020, a year dominated by the coronavirus, and to keep on developing it further. A big thanks for that!”
However, Christian’s season is not over with the title victory in the ADAC GT Masters. The pilot from Starnberg lines up for the next season finale this weekend with Dinamic Motorsport on the Circuit Paul Ricard in France from November 13 through 15, 2020. Christian is again in contention for a further title there: The Italian Porsche team is currently first in the overall standings in the Endurance Cup in the GT World Challenge Europe. An exciting race awaits us.