Instructive debut in ADAC GT Masters for Patric Niederhauser

Patric Niederhauser had a tricky start to his first season in the ADAC GT Masters. The official Lamborghini GT3 Junior secured P16 on Saturday after going on a spirited charge up the field. He moved up 16 positions during the one-hour race. The second race on Sunday did not go quite so well, unfortunately. The Lamborghini Huracán GT3 sustained considerable damage in a no-fault collision at the start, so the Swiss driver was unable to continue the race.

Patric, what conclusions have you reached after your first race weekend in the ADAC GT Masters?
Nothing went right, starting with the first qualifying. Actually, I should have been in grid position twelve at the beginning of the race, but unfortunately, our fastest lap was declared null and void. We then had to tackle the race from last place on the grid. Nevertheless, we still moved up the field to P16. I performed plenty of overtaking manoeuvres out on track, despite the fact that it’s generally tricky to get past an opponent at Oschersleben, so I can be satisfied with my performance.

What exactly happened in the second race on Sunday?
My bad luck started in qualifying when I got stuck in heavy traffic and couldn’t get away. That’s why it was impossible to do better than P14. Too bad, because I could have finished further up front. I got round the first turn in the race and suddenly saw another car that was stationary. I slammed on the brakes and tried to avoid it. There was enough room, but unfortunately, another car shunted me from behind. I had no chance and my race was over. It was obviously very annoying but was outside of our control.

These were your first two races in the ADAC GT Masters. What differences have you found compared to other race series like the Blancpain GT series, for example?
Put simply, it’s just a matter of pointing the car and stepping on the throttle in both series, but it’s actually quite a bit different. The level of competitiveness both in the Blancpain GT Series and also here in the ADAC GT Masters is extremely high. It’s great fun to scrap with so many excellent drivers. It’s all about hundredths of a second in the ADAC GT Masters. You’re not fighting wheel-to-wheel any more, but scrapping door-to-door! And that’s what makes it such huge fun and a great challenge for me.

Your next outing will be in the Blancpain Endurance Cup in Monza, another new experience for you. What are your expectations in the race?
Monza certainly won’t be easy for us, because our car is a little down on power compared to the competition. That’s quite noticeable on some sections. We found it tricky even in testing to compete with the top times. But we have three good drivers, have a great team behind us and are consistently fast. The race will be a real challenge, but we’ll definitely do our best. And anyway, anything can happen in such a long race.