Four podium positions, a fourth and a fifth place in the "water games" at Zandvoort are the result for the team of Prosperia C. Abt Racing after the second racing weekend of the ADAC GT Masters. It is an astounding team result in light of the detrimental conditions on the traditional track at the North Sea coast. Continuous rain and, at times, water on the track required full focus from all pilots and extreme dexterity in handling the GT racing cars with more than 500 PS.
It was a true trial by fire for the two young team members of Prosperia C. Abt Racing as well: Kelvin van der Linde (17) and Florian Hamprecht (18) turned out to be perfectly rain-proof. Always close to the limit but never going beyond, the two completed a weekend without mistakes by the side of their experienced team colleagues René Rast and Nicky Thiim. The Rast/van der Linde combination in the Audi R8 LMS ultra with starting number ten made the podium twice with a second and a third rank. Thiim/Hamprecht brought their Audi #11 to fifth place in Saturday's race and to third place in Sunday's. Markus Winkelhock and Christer Jöns, returning to GT-Masters, came in second on Saturday and fourth on Sunday with their Prosperia-Audi with starting number 12.
"Unfortunately, the victory was missing to top it all off. Still, I am happy with our results. Great praise goes to our young team members, who did a great job under very bad conditions," Christian Abt, the team leader, praises his youngsters van der Linde and Hamprecht. "It paid off that we worked with the boys a lot in preparation, and that we already drove in rain during the tests in Spain. Still, no one could hope that the two would be able to put what they learned into practice so perfectly under the stress of the race," Abt explains.
"Those were two extremely difficult races and I am happy that we were able to achieve such good results and that we have gained many important points. The conditions were really hard, particularly during my stint in the second race. Sometimes, I couldn't see anything at all in the spray, and it was hard to find the proper balance between vehicle control and speed due to aquaplaning. I am happy that everything worked well and without incidents, and I am already looking forward to the next races," Kelvin van der Linde said also satisfied.
Team leader Christian Abt also had a special word of praise for Nicky Thiim, who was racing again in Zandvoort apparently unfazed by his awful accident in Oschersleben. "I am happy that Nicky was able to show his speed in Zandvoort. He was at times the fastest driver in the second race here in Zandvoort, proving his mettle impressively."
The third racing weekend of the ADAC GT Masters takes place from 23 – 25 May on the Eurospeedway Lausitz near Klettwitz – not exactly an Audi track in the past. "These will be hard races for us. We will just have to try to collect as many points as possible for the championship there," Abt says about the next race.