Christian Engelhart and his teammates Sven Müller and Matteo Cairoli from the Dinamic Motorsport outfit celebrated an impressive victory in their Porsche in the 6-hour race on the Nürburgring. Focused teamwork was the key to their joint success in a fiercely contested race featuring 47 GT3 cars from 11 different brands.
The race got off to a dramatic start, as several cars came in contact with each other in the first bend. Starting from second on the grid, Christian was able to capitalize on that and take the lead. However, the pilot from Starnberg had to spend the first laps behind the safety car that came out immediately.
“It was obvious to me at the start that things could be tight in the first turn. When I saw the crash coming, I briefly braked a little harder and so was able to keep out of everything without touching anyone else. That was a crucial situation.”
After the restart Christian was able to pull away from the field by clocking constantly fast laps. His rivals behind him were involved in tussles, with the result that the Porsche with the number 54 managed to open up a gap of about 15 seconds gap in the first hour of the race.
“It wasn’t as easy as it looked. Our Porsche was excellently tuned and my teammates also did a great job. The gap dwindled as a result of the race being interrupted by various safety car phases and we had to keep on fighting to hold on to our lead. But we managed to do that thanks to our teamwork and a strong performance by every single member of the team.”
The Porsche trio surrendered the lead just one, shortly after a pit stop toward the middle of the race. Yet all misgivings in the Dinamic garage were soon dispelled when Christian began an attack at the restart, overtook the Mercedes number 88 coming out of turn 1 and thus recaptured the lead.
“That was a key moment for our victory. I knew that it was all or nothing at the restart. I positioned my Porsche in the slipstream and first wanted to dart inside, but then went on the outside and was able to overtake coming out of the bend from P2 onto P1. That was very important to ensure I wasn’t later stuck in a bunch of cars fighting each other.”
Matteo Cairoli finally crossed the line first after six hours in an action-packed race. While Porsche celebrated its fifth win in a row, Christian notched up his fourth Endurance Cup victory and took top spot on the rostrum at the Nürburgring for the second time in the space of a few days following his win in the ADAC GT Masters.
“It was a perfect weekend. Things were already ticking over nicely in qualifying. I was first in the second qualifying section and the average time of all three drivers meant we captured second spot on the grid. As a result, we were able to move into first place early in the race and held onto it. My teammates were fast and didn’t make a mistake. The team always had the right strategy and its pit stops were immaculate. It was a great team success and we’re very happy to have won this race for Porsche together. I’m personally also very pleased about my good start to the season after returning to the Porsche 911 GT3 R. I’d like to thank my partners and everyone who supported me in this move. Now I’m fully focused on the second half of the season.”
Christian Engelhart’s next race is at Hockenheim on September 18 through 20, 2020, this time in the ADAC GT Masters again.