Top Ten finish for Dennis Marschall in race debut on the legendary circuit of Brands Hatch
After two race weekends in the ADAC GT Masters, there was a brief change of scenery for Dennis Marschall. The 21-year-old from Eggenstein-Leopoldshafen in Baden-Württemberg was making a guest appearance in the GT4 European Series for Team RN Vision STS at Brands Hatch in England, sharing a cockpit with regular driver Beitske Visser. The BMW Motorsport Junior put in an impeccable performance, especially in the second race. Thanks to clever strategy and some daring overtaking, Marschall and his co-driver progressed through the field from P12 on the grid to finish sixth. They had less luck in the first race when a premature end to the event left them way down the finishing order in 31st.
Dennis talking about …
… the charge through the field in the second race: “I got a superb start and promptly moved up two places on the first lap. It then got a bit difficult, because overtaking is not so easy at Brands Hatch. I was in the main bunch, and we decided to make our play at the pit stop. As in the first race, the safety car came out on the track, and we seized our opportunity to go for an aggressive pit strategy. This paid off, and Beitske emerged in fifth place. She then drove a good stint but had to surrender one position shortly before the end of the race. The main thing, though, is that we finished the race in a respectable sixth place.”
… his first ever laps of Brands Hatch: “The anticipation a driver feels before any new track is always tremendous. But this time, it was even more special, because Brands Hatch is one of the most historic racetracks in the world and counts as one of the few remaining ‘old school’ circuits. There are not many run-off zones, it meanders uphill and downhill, and any mistake is instantly punished – doubly so because of the extremely tight timetable in the GT4 European Series, which means that, in the worst-case scenario, you are not able to compete in the next session.”
… the quali for the second race: “Obviously, I am not entirely satisfied with starting from 12th. As in the ADAC GT Masters, it’s incredibly difficult in the GT4 European Series to get a free lap without traffic. My last GT4 race was some time ago and last weekend my first outing in a BMW M4 GT4 in ages, but I quickly got used to it. P12 in a field of over 40 cars and with the number 1 drivers in my quali group was OK, I suppose.”
… the difficult first race: “Beitske took the first stint for Race 1 and did a really good job. She started from 17th place and quickly moved up to eleventh. Shortly before the pit stop, the safety car came out on the track, and it was very tense on the pit wall, because everyone wanted to exploit the situation to their own advantage. Unfortunately, we pitted too late and were unable to benefit from the safety car. That dropped us back down the running order again. We were then hit with an additional time penalty for having gone under the minimum pit stop time, which put us near the end of the field. That was a pity, because the car that was behind us just before the safety car deployment finished on the podium with an aggressive pit strategy. That might have been possible for us as well.”
… the next race at the Red Bull Ring: “Apart from the fact that the Red Bull Ring is one of my favourite tracks, it also suits our BMW M6 GT3. The tyre wear there is very low, and on the fast corners, our car cuts a fine figure. Our objective is very clear, namely to finish in the Top Ten and score vital points towards the championship. With a little more luck than we had at Most, we should be successful.”