Impressive Weekend for ALPINA & Andreas Wirth at the ADAC GT Masters Season Finale Looking to build on past successes and continue improving the first year BMW APINA B6 GT3's, the ALPINA team took to the track this past weekend at the ADAC GT...
Impressive Weekend for ALPINA & Andreas Wirth at the ADAC GT Masters Season Finale
Looking to build on past successes and continue improving the first year BMW APINA B6 GT3's, the ALPINA team took to the track this past weekend at the ADAC GT Masters Season Finale at Oschersleben with two cars - Andreas Wirth and Jens Klingmann were paired for the third time in the #33 car alongside the #34 sister car co-piloted by Claudia Hurtgen and Maxime Martin.
The double header weekend was off to a promising start as the team of Wirth and Klingmann led the first practice, followed up by their securing pole position for race one. With the #33 running exceptionally well in the wet, qualifying for race two didn't go quite as well as the track began to dry. With the rain tires beginning to fade, grip quickly disappeared, leaving the duo in 4th place on the starting grid, just 8/10th's of a second off pole, for the second event.
Sadly, the #33's strength continued to fade throughout the weekend as they struggled with minor mechanical issues that seriously hampered performance. Wirth explained, "In Saturday's race the car started cutting out again on Jens, and it only got worse after I took over. Even though the car wasn't 100% we were still way faster than the P3 car, but with Claudia leading, it really didn't make sense for us to push. We were really just very happy to drive it home 1, 2 with our stronger sister car."
Race two proved only to bring further frustration to the team of Wirth and Klingmann as the #33 continued to deteriorate. "The engine really wasn't running right," began Wirth. "We had a power issue which cost us about 1 -- 1.5 seconds on the straights and they just kept getting by. The team managed to fix the problem during our driver change, and after that the car was really strong -- it was running 3 to 5/10th's of a second faster than our sister car who ended up winning the race! I'm sure that Jens and I would have taken the win if the car had been right from the start -- so it's pretty frustrating that we only finished in 11th place."
Summing up the weekend Wirth said, "Overall it was a strong weekend for ALPINA. It was really important for us to win the last two races, and it's been so important for us to continue improving the car - obviously with these results we're on the right track. It's been exciting to be a part of ALPINA's return to racing, and the whole team has been working really hard. I'm sure all of the efforts and hard work will pay off next year -- we're going to be serious contenders in the championship fight."
While the GT Masters season ended this past weekend, Wirth and the ALPINA team prepare now to contest yet another round of competition in the VLN Series on October 31st, 2009.