Phoenix Racing was forced to retire both of its cars at Sunday’s race at the Red Bull Ring due to collision damage, meaning that the team was unable to score a double points finish on this year’s return to Spielberg.
“After finishing well on Saturday with one eighth and one eleventh position, Sunday just wasn’t our day,” said Team Principal Ernst Moser at the end of the race weekend in Spielberg. “Given how close it is in this field, it’s no surprise when you have to start the race a little further down the grid. However, the retirements did not give us the opportunity to show our best performance. We are going to give it our all to make sure we’re back to our best for our home round at the Nürburgring next time out.”
Premature retirement after collateral damage
The two Phoenix Racing drivers Ivan Lukashevich and Philip Ellis qualified for Sunday’s race at the Red Bull Ring in 22nd (#6) and 27th (#5). The race would prove to be a tough challenge for both Audi drivers from this starting point.
In a chaotic opening few laps of the race, Philip Ellis made contact with another car after it had veered off the racing line to avoid another collision ahead. This damaged the #5 Audi R8 LMS GT3 to such an extent that the car was unable to re-join the race.
The other Phoenix Racing pair in the sister #6 car were also hit by bad luck in the Sunday race. The car suffered a tyre issue, which led to a problem with the suspension and made it undriveable beyond the halfway stage.
Happy fans and a rapid junior driver
Max Hofer may not have had the opportunity to get behind the wheel on Sunday due to the car’s early retirement, however the local hero was still on hand to give some of his fans an experience to remember. During the autograph session, the 19-year-old driver gave out special grid walk tickets for the upcoming ADAC GT Masters race. The fans couldn’t believe their good fortune and took the opportunity for a picture with the Phoenix Racing driver on the grid.
Another Phoenix Racing junior driver, Max Hesse, had reason to celebrate in the ADAC TCR Germany series. After performing well in qualifying, the young German driver finished his two races at the Red Bull Ring in the top ten in eighth and seventh place respectively. The 16-year-old is now second in the Rookie championship.
The next round of the ADAC GT Masters takes Phoenix Racing to the Nürburgring from 3 to 5 August. Ernst Moser’s squad will be doing everything they can to finish in the points at their home race.