Huge stunner at Oschersleben: In their first ever race in their GT3 machinery, Max Hofer and Philip Ellis leave the rest of the ADAC GT Masters grid in their wake and secure victory at the first round of the season. Max Hofer now leads the Rookie championship following his win.
With a grid of 36 cars and numerous experienced GT drivers in the field, ADAC GT Masters is one of the toughest GT series in the world. The fact that the pair of rookies from the Phoenix Racing junior programme took the race victory even came as a surprise to Team Principal Ernst Moser.
“The guys’ performance was unbelievable,” Moser said proudly. “Our aim was to improve continuously over the course of the season and fight for top positions on a consistent basis. Our drivers proved today that they can keep their nerve and took a fully deserved victory as a result.”
Max Hofer laid the foundations for the sensational win at Oscherslebens in the qualifying. Faced by challenging conditions on track, the young Austrian recorded the quickest time of the session and gave the Meuspath-based team the first pole position of the season. The youngster put in a stand-out performance in the race, too, and soon pulled away from the rest of the field. “I made a good start and was able to keep the Lamborghini behind me,” said Hofer. “The second-place car put me under a lot of pressure, but he couldn’t find a way past.”
The atmosphere on the Phoenix Racing pit wall was unbelievably tense when Philip Ellis took over the leading car from his Austrian teammate. “Max put us in a fantastic position,” Ellis said. “I had to fight hard right up to the last lap to defend first position. I was so relieved to see the chequered flag.”
Jake Dennis and Oscar Tunjo also put in an impressive performance in Oschersleben in the sister car. The British-Colombian driver pairing started in sixth position and were fighting for the leading positions. Despite a penalty, the two Phoenix Racing drivers secured tenth place and thereby one point for the championship. Tunjo finished fourth in the junior ranking.
The second race in Oschersleben takes place on Sunday at 1:00 pm and is live on Sport1.