Superb charge by Dennis Marschall at Sachsenring
Dennis Marschall and BMW Team Schnitzer are preparing to head down the home straight as the 2018 ADAC GT Masters draws to a close. The penultimate meeting of the Super Sports Car League at the Sachsenring last weekend attracted more than 20,000 fans, who watched the usual racing action and one of the strangest races in the history of the race series on Sunday. Marschall and team-mate Victor Bouveng went on an impressive charge from grid position 32 to finish 16th in the second round on Sunday. The two of them were forced to retire on Saturday.
The team had to battle with the weather in particular on Friday. Rain prevented Marschall and his team from finding the best setup for their BMW M6 GT3 to suit qualifying and the races. As a result, the German and his Swedish team-mate had to struggle on the technically demanding track. The fast turns especially proved problematic for the two juniors.
The 68 drivers showed once again on Saturday precisely why the ADAC GT Masters is one of the strongest GT racing series in the world. Marschall qualified 20th with a deficit of just over six tenths of a second on pole position. Very close indeed! He got caught up in the middle of a group of drivers at the start, and had to ease off to avoid a contact, resulting in the loss of several positions. However, he was able to move back up and handed the car over in tenth place. Bad luck was to follow. Marschall’s team-mate had a contact, setting in motion a whole train of events. The resulting puncture forced the BMW M6 GT3 with start number 43 to retire before the end of the race.
Things did not look good for the second race on Sunday, as Marschall’s team-mate was only 32nd on the grid. The start was chaotic, but BMW Team Schnitzer’s driver managed to stay out of trouble and got his reward on the re-start when the BMW M6 GT3 moved up into P20. Unfortunately, the duo had some bad luck during the driver handover when Marschall’s car got hemmed in by several other vehicles, preventing a speedy exit from the pits. The duo lost a lot of time and dropped back, but by the end of the race, the two of them had made an impressive charge up the field and crossed the finish line in 16th place. Marschall also secured more points in the Junior classification of the ADAC GT Masters.
He will turn his attention next to the grand finale and his home fixture at the Hockenheimring (21st – 23rd September).
Dennis talking about…
… his strong charge on Sunday: “The race was incredibly chaotic. It was like the dodgems. In the end, it was just sheer luck and good pit strategy that got us through. We were completely boxed in during the driver handover and couldn’t extricate ourselves which meant we exceeded the minimum time for being stationary in the pits by three seconds. The race had gone well up until that point. We made an excellent start and were already 20th after the first lap. We then got lucky, as some of the other cars began to drop out of the race. We finished 16th ultimately, which is pretty good considering our initial position. The race was just extremely chaotic. So many unforeseen things happened that anyone could have won in the end. The eventual winner was the car that had been in front of us before the pit stop.”
… setup problems on Saturday: “We had problems with the car’s balance in the first quali, but that actually kicked off on Friday, as we didn’t really get the chance to do much testing because of the rain. We had to contend with bad understeer especially in the fast turns, which lost us more than three tenths of a second just on the second sector alone – basically in the space of two corners.”
… the grand finale and his home fixture: “I’m really looking forward to the Hockenheimring. I’m very familiar with the track, and of course, feel really at home there. I expect a lot of family and friends will come along again to cheer me on. The track’s layout should suit our BMW a bit better than was the case just now at the Sachsenring. Things won’t go as well as they did at the Red Bull Ring, but it should definitely be possible to secure points. It would be nice to end the season with a top-ten finish.”