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Christian Engelhart captures commanding victory in Zandvoort

Zandvoort, 08-10-2019

Christian Engelhart left the Zandvoort circuit by the North Sea coast in the Netherlands with a total haul of 36 points. He and his teammate Mirko Bortolotti were able to notch up the first win of this ADAC GT Masters season for the GRT Grasser Racing Team on the past weekend of racing and so his 10th personal victory in this fiercely contested series. As a result, the Lamborghini duo have closed the gap on the championship leaders.

Christian Engelhart / Mirko Bortolotti had an ideal starting position namely first place on the grid, for the first race on the course in the dunes at Zandvoort in the Netherlands. That was preceded by a rainy qualifying where Christian’s GRT teammate clocked a top time – despite the fact that the enormously strong field in the ADAC GT Masters was once again separated by just hundredths of a second. “We had already produced some great performances this year in the qualifying sessions. But it was important for us to replicate that in the race, too.”

First position on the grid was also the foundation for successful start on the tight course directly behind Zandvoort beach. The former Formula 1 track, which will again host races in motor sport’s top fight in the near future, soon showed just how intense and challenging it is – and how much driving skill and tactical nous it demands of pilots and teams.

“I think we simply got our act together best of all on the Saturday. Mirko was able to set a hell of a pace at the start in stormy weather conditions. The wind was so strong that it was extremely difficult just to keep the car on the track.” The duo’s lead was repeatedly nullified by safety car phases. Yet Christian, who was behind the wheel for the second half of race, held on to the lead. “Things got very intense again toward the end of the race in particular. I felt the pressure from the second-placed Porsche, but was always able to stave off the chasers thanks to our excellently tuned Lamborghini Huracan GT3 Evo.”

Christian took the checkered flag first to capture the first win of the season in the ADAC GT Masters for his team and a very important and significant victory in the battle for championship points. “Just the win here in Zandvoort on Saturday pushes us quite a bit up the standings.” That was followed by a further success in the Sunday race, where the duo in car number 63 started as the best Lamborghini from fourth place after another good display in qualifying and then, with a success ballast of 30 kg, added a further 11 points to their tally by crossing the line in fifth.

“The weekend went exceptionally well: pole position, a win and a further placement in the top 5. That does us good and naturally spurs us on. I wish to thank the whole team and our partners, and of course Mirko, for enabling us to produce a highlight like this in Zandvoort. We were in the lead a few times this year and turned in a strong performance, but then there were problems we weren’t able to influence directly. However, we’ve been ticking over really well in the last few races and have constantly been in contention for a place on the rostrum and victory – and we intend to keep things that way.”