Aust Motorsport driver Dennis Marschall awarded Top Ten place after difficult Sachsenring weekend
The penultimate fixture of the 2017 ADAC GT Masters was hosted by the Sachsenring last weekend. Aust Motorsport driver Dennis Marschall completed the sixth event of his first season in GT racing. In front of the 15,000 spectators who came through the gates of the Sachsenring from Friday to Sunday, the Economics student and his team-mate Patric Niederhauser had a third successive weekend on which they secured a points finish. Marschall originally crossed the finish line in the second race in P12, but with another team being subsequently disqualified, he and Niederhauser were promoted by two positions, taking them into the Top Ten.
Dennis Marschall talking about …
… the unexpected promotion into the Top Ten: “Motor racing is all about speed and consistency. But even when things get tough, you have to stay on the ball. You never know what might happen. In the second race, we were lacking straight-line speed. Patric didn’t get off to his usual strong start and lost a position. After finding his rhythm again, he was very fast – at times, we were the fastest Audi in the entire field. Our pit stop was not quite perfect. It took 1.6 seconds longer this time. In such a tight field, that has consequences and you lose places. Consequently, I emerged onto the track down in twelfth. Like Patric, I needed some time to get into my rhythm. But anyway, I kept pushing to the end, and our reward came later in the form of a retrospective promotion to tenth.”
… the difficult start to the weekend: “Friday was really tough for us. We were struggling with the setup and the balance of our Audi in free practice. This was a bit frustrating, especially considering that we had actually participated in the test sessions at the Sachsenring. The track conditions changed over time, and that caused us difficulties at first. The prospects were therefore anything but rosy. Nevertheless, I did a decent lap in qualifying, which was something we hadn’t really expected on Friday.”
… the magnificent start to the first race: “Our objective was clearly a Top Ten finish. At the beginning, it looked as if our master plan was going to work. I got off to a really strong start and immediately moved up four positions to eighth place. The pace on those first few laps was really good, and I gradually pulled away from the pursuing bunch. But around the sixth lap, the rear tyres started to degrade badly. The comfortable gap which I had established between me and the cars behind started to diminish. Consequently, I focused on getting through the stint without any errors and holding on to my position. I managed to do that quite well, despite the rear of my car getting twitchy.”
… the retirement in the second half of the race: “After the pit stop, Patric came back out in the tenth place. This time too, the pit stop did not go perfectly. My team-mate had an extremely difficult stint ahead of him. Frankly, I wouldn’t have wanted to be in his shoes. He got stuck behind a slow car but was unable to get past due to our straight-line speed deficit. As a result, he came under pressure from the cars behind, including the Corvette driven by the championship leader. Despite that, Patric kept a cool head and held on to his position. But unfortunately, there was a collision which sent Patric into the gravel bed, and that was the end of our race.”
… the impending grand finale to the season in front of a home crowd: “Racing at the Hockenheimring is always a special occasion for me. Although it is not necessarily getting any easier for us, our objective remains to round off the season with two Top Ten places. We’re expecting changeable weather conditions which, at the Hockenheimring, always make for exciting race action. Whenever the track gets wet, it can turn a race completely upside down. I’m really looking forward to the season finale, because I’ve put in some really good performances there. Obviously, a lot of my friends and family will be coming along to the track, so I hope we can lay on a good show for them.”