Team rhino's Leipert without luck at the ADAC GT Masters The final weekend of the ADAC GT Masters took place at Oschersleben between 16 and 18 October 2009. Team rhino's Leipert started both races with two Ascari KZ1 R GT3. The driver duos ...
Team rhino's Leipert without luck at the ADAC GT Masters
The final weekend of the ADAC GT Masters took place at Oschersleben between 16 and 18 October 2009. Team rhino's Leipert started both races with two Ascari KZ1 R GT3.
The driver duos remained the same. Marcel Leipert and Daniel Keilwitz started once again in Ascari no. 21 whilst Norman Knop and Ronnie Bremer (the latter being from Denmark) started in Ascari no. 22. In the first free training on Friday, the man from Copenhagen had his first rounds ever at Oschersleben and had no problems with the track. During the second free training, Ascari no. 22 finished 6th after a very good performance; only 3/10 behind the lead. Leipert and Keilwitz could only take part in the second free training due to a defect generator. On wet grounds, they had some problems with the tyres during the free training so that they could only finish on one of the last positions.
Thus, Marcel Leipert and Daniel Keilwitz never managed to show their full potential during qualifying with positions 13 and 17. "We couldn't get the tyres to the right temperature during the rain and hence had a bad starting position for the races", explained Team Manager Ingo Leipert.
Norman Knop from Willich hat more luck. He finished his qualifying with a fabulous 5th place and confirmed the good performance he had shown during free training. The additional 9th position of Ronnie Bremer held up hopes for points.
The wet and clammy weather with wintry temperatures didn't make it an easy race on the 3.696 km long track in the Magdeburger Borde. Daniel Keilwitz started the 60 minute-race from position 13 and was already on position 10 after just 4 laps. In round 5, guest driver Diego Alessi missed the breaking point in his Corvette and pushed Keilwitz off track. The Ascari got badly damaged and had to be parked along the track.
Norman Knop was in 5th place and was fighting a duel for rounds with a bunch of Audi R8 cars. The 5 vehicles seemed equally strong, and after a very good first half of the race, Knop was on 7th place when he handed the car over to Bremer. The latter was stuck behind the Audi of Henri Moser and tried to overtake him round after round. 5 minutes before the end of the race, both cars touched each other in the Shell-S bend. The Ascari finished 6th but was then penalized shortly after with an additional 30 seconds fine by the Stewards due to said incident pushing the duo back to 11th place.
Race 2 on Sunday was started in dry conditions. Marcel Leipert had a rocket start from 17th place and was already on 11th place after the first lap. "During the following 4 laps, I also overtook a Ford GT and an Alpina-BMW and caught up with the Audi R8 of the new Champion Christian Abt." At half-time, Leipert handed over the Ascari to Keilwitz whilst being on 8th place. Keilwitz was also faster than his direct competitors. Then, 15 minutes before the end of the race, it had to happen - Keilwitz had to leave the car due to a gearbox damage, so, all hopes for points in the last race of the season were gone!
Ascari no. 22 wasn't much luckier. Ronnie Bremer started the race from 9th position and leapt forward to position 6 after only one lap. He could hold this position until the pit stop. Norman Knop took over the car but reported problems with the power steering shortly afterwards. After a short pit stop, Knop had to park the car a few laps later due to a defect power steering.
Team Manager Ingo Leipert's resume was as follows: "It was a devastating weekend for us. Bremer and Knop had a promising free training and qualifying whilst Daniel Keilwitz and Marcel Leipert had already had bad luck during the free training. We showed that we had the speed which makes it all the harder for us to leave Oschersleben without a point. We have one more chance for points next weekend at the FIA GT3 EM in Zolder. Norman Knop and Ronnie Bremer are competing there. This is the first use of an Ascari KZ1 R GT3 at the European Championships 2009, so we are very curious to see where we are on an international level."