- Pressemitteilung BoxID 157165
Ups and downs for rhino's Leipert Motorsport at the start of racing season 2010
Team rhino's Leipert (Wegberg)
Like last year, the Team relied on their Ascari KZ1R-GT3 at the ADAC GT Masters; a car that has been continually advanced during the winter. Drivers Roland Rehfeld (Berlin) and Norman Knop (Willich) were highly motivated during both their first free training sessions of the year and reached a 6th place during the second free training at first go.
After some modifications to the chassis, the Team took part in both qualifying sessions on Saturday morning. Norman Knop reached sixth place in qualifying for race 1 whilst Roland Rehfeld qualified for the second race reaching in tenth place.
At lunchtime on Saturday, the field comprising of 22 racing cars started the 1 hour-race. Norman Knop, the starting driver, had a dream start and catapulted himself from sixth to second place defending the same impressively until the end of his stint against a "task force" of five cars. When Knop had his obligatory pit stop and handed over the car to Roland Rehfeld, the latter was henceforth in second place until the Team was hit with a stop-and-go penalty due to irregularities during the pit stop killing all hopes for a podium position or even victory. After the penalty, Roland Rehfeld raced like a maniac driving fastest laps of the entire field at times but finishing the race quite disappointingly in 11th place.
The second race on Sunday turned into a poker game for everybody. Since it had rained heavily at times during the morning, the track was mostly wet, and so it was difficult to choose the right tyres for the start. Roland Rehfeld, the starting driver, took slicks after a brief discussion with his team. Having started from 10th place, Rehfeld had a strong race and worked himself forward to 6th place. The first half of the race was dominated by many hard duels and drizzle which did not work in favour of cars on slicks. Hence, the Ascari had a small collision with a Corvette partially damaging the driver's side of the Ascari.
At half time, Rehfeld handed over the Ascari to Knop. The Team took the advantage to change to wet tyres since the weather was worsening. The pit stop was very fast, but the driver's door of the Ascari would not close easily after the collision and so they lost precious time in the fight for a podium position. With a delay, Knop left the pit-lane and re-entered the race in eighth place. In stirring duels, he made up three places and finished fifth.
"I have mixed feelings when I think about this first racing event of the ADAC GT Masters 2010. We were very competitive in both races. This builds up my hopes for this brand new season. However, it is a pity that we could not leave Oschersleben with a top 3 ranking. The penalty in race 1 really hurt; we were our worst enemies. Roland and Norman did a great job all weekend, and I am sure we are still to have a lot of fun with them this year."
The private TV channel Kabel Eins will show all races of the ADAC GT Masters series live. Both starting races of the season 2010 were extremely exciting and perfect promotion for the series.
In the ADAC Procar series, Benedikt Boeckels (Willich) started his fourth season with Leipert Motorsport in his Ford Fiesta ST with starting number 42. Thierfelder and Boeckels - both favourites for the title - dominated the free training sessions per gusto and finished qualifying in positions 1 and 2. Boeckels was slower by only 6 hundredth of a second.
Both races started on Sunday afternoon and did not take a favourable ending for the 22 year-old Boeckels. The Ford Fiesta got so badly damaged during a collision with a competitor during the starting phase of race 1 that the race had to be finished there and then. Boeckels was lucky still - he escaped the wreck unhurt.
The next ADAC GT Masters and ADAC Procar events take place on the famous Sachsenring at the beginning of May.
ADAC GT Masters racing dates 2010 09-11 April Oschersleben (Germany)
07-09 May Sachsenring (Germany)
28-30 May Hockenheim (Germany)
16-18 July Assen (NL)
13-15 August EuroSpeedway (Germany)
27-29 August Nürburgring (Germany)
01-03 October Oschersleben (Germany)
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