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Lausitzring: Ford best time in warm-up

01 Sep 2013 / 0 Comments / in ADAC GT Masters

Ford GT of Frank Kechele/Dominik Schwager on top in warm-up for the second ADAC GT Masters race at the Lausitzring.

Frank Kechele and Dominik Schwager (Lambda Performance) got off to a good start on Sunday after their fourth place in Saturday’s race. The two Ford GT drivers posted fastest time in the warm-up, finishing ahead of the Audi R8 LMS ultra of Aditya Patel and Daniel Dobitsch (MS RACING). The Porsche 911 GT3 R of Tonino powered by Herberth Motorsport with Martin Ragginger/Robert Renauer and the PIXUM Team Schubert BMW Z4 GT3 driven by Claudia Hürtgen/Dominik Baumann also did very well with the Porsche taking third fastest time in the warm-up from the BMW. The Porsche and the BMW head up the front row in Sunday´s race.

There was good news from Farnbacher Racing this Sunday morning. Working through the night, Horst Farnbacher’s team successfully repaired the Porsche 911 GT3 R of Mario Farnbacher and Philip Frommenwiler that was badly damaged in the first race. Farnbacher/Frommenwiler were 13th in the warm-up and will be in grid position eleven for the start of Sunday’s race.

Red Bull Ring: Ford and Corvette in front

09 Aug 2013 / 0 Comments / in ADAC GT Masters

First pole position for Dominik Schwager in ADAC GT Masters since 2008.

U.S. sports cars dominated qualifying as the second half of the ADAC GT Masters season got under way at Austria’s Red Bull Ring. Corvette and Ford secured the top positions on the grid during qualifying sessions for the two ADAC GT Masters races on Saturday and Sunday in Styria. Diego Alessi (41, Italy / Callaway Competition) took pole position for Saturday’s race in his Corvette Z06 and is on pole for the second time in a row. Dominik Schwager (36, Germany / Lambda Performance) in his Ford GT was fastest in the second qualifying session for Sunday’s race. “The Red Bull Ring is probably the best track on the calendar for our Corvette, so I expected to secure pole position here,” said Alessi.

Dark clouds and the threat of rain engulfing the Red Bull Ring produced plenty of track action right at the start of the first qualifying session. Diego Alessi went straight into P1 on his first flying lap, but then Frank Kechele (26, Germany / Lambda Performance) hit back in the Ford GT, beating the Italian’s time. However, Alessi was not going to give up and launched a successful counterattack to reclaim pole position. Shortly before the end of the session, Andreas Wirth also overtook Kechele, producing a front-row lock-out for Corvette in Saturday’s race. Kechele shares the second row of the grid with ADAC GT Masters defending champion Maximilian Götz in the Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG.

“Qualifying was tough today, because, although our car is very fast here, it is not easy to keep it in check through some of the turns here and it’s difficult to post a perfect lap,” said Alessi. “Second on the grid for my team-mate Daniel Keilwitz and my pole position make us feel very optimistic about both races. I was very impressed today by the fast times posted by the Ford GT. The Ford will be tricky opposition for us in the race.”

Third ADAC GT Masters pole position this season for Ford GT

The duel between Corvette and Ford continued in the second qualifying session. This time, it was Dominik Schwager in the Ford GT who won through in a hard-fought scrap against Corvette driver Daniel Keilwitz (24, Germany / Callaway Competition) and who went on to achieve his third pole position in the ADAC GT Masters.

“My team-mate Frank Kechele was very fast in the first qualifying session. When I saw that, I knew that pole position was possible,” said Dominik Schwager. “We improved the car’s performance even more as compared to practice, and I’m pleased with the pole for me and the team. Pole position is nice, but the race is more important, and we have to secure points.”

Nürburgring: Kechele/Schwager quickest early risers

04 Aug 2013 / 0 Comments / in Uncategorized

Frank Kechele and Dominik Schwager showed in the warm-up that they are well prepared for the second race at the Nürburgring.

Frank Kechele and Dominik Schwager (Lambda Performance) got off to a cracking start in the race Sunday at the Nürburgring, ready to face all-comers. The two Ford drivers in their GT posted the fastest lap (1:25.940 minutes) in the morning warm-up as the thermometer hit 24 degrees in bright sunshine, holding the promise of a great day’s racing. After a lot of bad luck in Saturday’s race, when, after putting up a strong fight, Kechele/Schwager had to drop out during the first half of the race with clutch problems, the Lambda pair aim to go on the offensive in Race 2.

Sachsenring: Extremely close free practice session

07 Jun 2013 / 0 Comments / in ADAC GT Masters

Kechele/Schwager kicked off the ADAC GT Masters weekend at the Sachsenring with a best time in the Ford GT.

If this first free practice at the Sachsenring is anything to go by, then we are certainly in for a cracking third race weekend in the ADAC GT Masters. Just 1.036 seconds covered the 19 fastest super sports cars representing all eight manufacturers in the field early this Friday morning during the 60-minute free practice session. Frank Kechele and Dominik Schwager, now back in the ADAC GT Masters racing a Ford GT (Lambda Performance), took best time (1:21.865 min) from the BMW Z4 GT3 (PIXUM Team Schubert) driven by Max Sandritter and Jens Klingmann, who is standing in for Jörg Müller at the Sachsenring. Less than a blink of an eye separated the Ford and the fastest BMW; Kechele/Schwager were 0.002 seconds up on Sandritter/Haase.

Development work on Ford GT

26 May 2013 / 0 Comments / in ADAC GT Masters

Lambda Performance is using the break until the next ADAC GT Masters race at the Sachsenring to optimise the Ford GT.

Wiesbaden-based team Lambda Performance is taking advantage of the gap between races (next ADAC GT Masters race: 7th-9th June at the Sachsenring) to try out different combinations of setups for the Ford GT. Their goal during tests last week in Hockenheim was to optimise the driving characteristics of the newly developed Ford GT for the 2013 season. Working with the team’s engineers, the two Lambda drivers Frank Kechele and Dominik Schwager, who drove the Lambda Ford GT during pre-season testing at Oschersleben, focused in particular on the car’s braking system and balance through slow turns.

At the Belgium leg of the ADAC GT Masters recently, local driver Nico Verdonck and Frank Kechele secured the first ADAC GT Masters win in five years for a Ford GT. The Ford team has now tried a number of different setups in order to be well prepared for the next race in the Super Sports Car League.

Oscar Fiorinotto, Technical Director at Lambda Performance: “We focused on improving brakes and balance in slow turns during testing, and hopefully, if we get it right, that will make us more competitive at circuits other than Spa-Francorchamps.”

Frank Kechele: End of long lean spell

21 May 2013 / 0 Comments / in ADAC GT Masters

Frank Kechele secured his maiden victory at his 61st ADAC GT Masters race in Belgium.

Frank Kechele has had to wait a long time for this first ADAC GT Masters victory: The Ulm-based driver initially lined up in the Super Sports Car League back in 2008. Kechele has fielded a variety of cars in recent years – Lamborghini Gallardo, Audi R8, and Corvette Z06.R – but this year for the first time, the 26-year-old is in a Ford GT prepared by Lambda Performance. Up until now, six pole positions had been Kechele’s best showing in the ADAC GT Masters, making the Lambda driver one of the fastest drivers in the series. Kechele claimed his maiden victory in Race 1 at Spa Francorchamps along with Belgian team-mate Nico Verdonck during his 61st ADAC GT Masters race.

“Taking this maiden win was great, but I didn’t realise at the time that it was my first race victory in the ADAC GT Masters.” said Kechele, looking back on his success in Belgium. The Ardennes Rollercoaster at Spa-Francorchamps has always really suited Kechele; in 2010, the Ford driver achieved a win in the FIA GT1 World Championship along with ex-Formula 1 driver Ricardo Zonta driving a Lamborghini. Kechele: “I’ve always liked Spa; it’s where I won the Formula Renault title.”

Kechele and Nico Verdonck make a formidable combination in the new Lambda Performance Ford GT: “Nico is a great team-mate, I know him from when we teamed up together back in 2011. He is perhaps not all that well known in Germany but is a real motor racing icon in Belgium. I think we make a really good team, as we proved just now at Spa-Francorchamps. However, you must not forget that Spa is a circuit where our car can really play to its strengths.”

The next ADAC GT Masters race is set to take place at the Sachsenring (7th-9th June), a track where mid-engine sports car like the Ford GT have always done well.

Kechele: “I am certain that we will again be quick at the Sachsenring, although as is usually the case, many different factors will play a part, for sure. At any rate, we will have to secure some decent points there because the Nürburgring, the Red Bull Ring and the Lausitzring come next. We will probably not be as strong on those circuits, and must therefore try to build up a small points cushion at the Sachsenring.”

Verdonck and Kechele win at rain-soaked Spa

11 May 2013 / 0 Comments / in ADAC GT Masters

Difficult weather conditions with persistent rain at Spa. 

Spa-Francorchamps lived up to its reputation for capricious weather as the Belgian Formula 1 track staged its first ever ADAC GT Masters weekend. Race 1 started on a dry surface, but after the first twenty minutes, there was a heavy downpour, which made for difficult conditions on one of the world´s most challenging circuits. The Lambda Performance duo of Nico Verdonck (27) from Belgium and Frank Kechele (26, Germany) were undismayed, steering their Ford GT to a comfortable victory over defending champion Maximilian Götz (27, Germany) and Maximilian Buhk (20, Germany) in the Polarweiss Racing Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG. Third place went to the Dutch partnership of Simon Knap (24) and Jeroen den Boer (25) in a BMW Z4 entered by DB Motorsport. “After having been on pole position for six previous ADAC GT Masters races, it´s nice to have got that first win at last, ” said a jubilant Frank Kechele. “I hope there will be many more victories to come this year.” Kechele has now claimed his first Super Sports Car League winner´s trophy in 61 attempts.

Nico Verdonck controls race from the off
The race over hill and dale in the Ardennes was controlled from start to finish by Verdonck and Kechele. Initially, pole-sitter Verdonck was unable to shake off the BMW Z4 of challenger Simon Knap, but a shower of rain after about twenty minutes changed matters. The leading Ford team executed an extremely speedy change of drivers and tyres in the mandatory pit stop. When Kechele completed the first lap of the second stint, his Ford was more than 18 seconds ahead of the BMW Z4. In the second half of the race, it was no longer the Dutch pair of Knap and den Boer in their BMW who were in contention for second place, but rather Maximilian Götz in his Mercedes Benz. The defending champion had overtaken the BMW in the pit lane after a faster pit stop and held on for P2 and his first podium finish of the season.

However, this was by no means a cruise to victory for Verdonck and Kechele. Ten minutes before the end, Kechele briefly spun off track, but was able to right his car with a loss of only five seconds. Kechele: “Towards the end of the race, the track was drying out. I was looking for wet patches to cool my tyres, but in this case, I obviously spread my search a bit too wide.” The Lambda Performance outfit claimed their first ever ADAC GT Masters victory in Verdonck´s home race by a seven-second margin. “Until late last night, the team were practising pit stops, and today that has really paid off,” said Kechele.

“That was fantastic,” said a delighted Verdonck. “Things really couldn´t have gone any better in my home race. Starting from pole, certainly made life easier, but we also saw today how treacherous the conditions in Spa can be. The team did an amazing job with the pit stop.”

Thrilling battle for fourth place between Müller and Rast
There was a hard-fought battle in the closing stage for fourth place. René Rast (26, Germany, Prosperia C. Abt Racing) produced a strong performance in the wet, putting fourth-placed Jörg Müller (43, Germany) in the PIXUM Team Schubert BMW Z4 under sustained pressure. The scrap came to an unhappy end, with contact between the two vehicles. Rast spun round and conceded fourth place to the Polarweiss Racing Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG driven by Andreas Simonsen (23, Sweden) and Sergey Afanasiev (25, Russia), while Müller was obliged to park his car with a shredded tyre. Rahel Frey had the satisfaction of posting her best result to date in the ADAC GT Masters. The former DTM driver from Switzerland and her co-driver FIA GT1 World Champion Markus Winkelhock (32, Germany) made a strong charge up the field to finish in sixth place after having started from 20th on the grid.

Second victory for Porsche driver Bourdeaux in amateur standings
René Bourdeaux (38, Germany) achieved his second amateur championship victory in a row at Spa-Francorchamps. Bourdeaux in the Herberth Motorsport Porsche 911 GT3 took the win from ADAC GT Masters newcomer Paul Green (20, Germany) in the Vita4One Racing Team BMW Z4. Despite two drive-through penalties for infringing pit stop regulations, Christina Nielsen (21, Denmark) brought the Farnbacher Racing Porsche 911 home in third place.

Ford team to start Race 2 from pole position again
Verdonck and Kechele have the best chance of another success in Sunday´s second race. Kechele is in pole position on the grid ahead of Porsche driver Martin Ragginger (25, Austria / Tonino by Herberth Motorsport). Maximilian Götz in a Mercedes-Benz and René Rast in an Audi head up the second row.

Comprehensive TV coverage for ADAC GT Masters

26 Apr 2013 / 0 Comments / in Uncategorized

In addition to live broadcasts on kabel eins, the ADAC GT Masters Magazine is to feature on sports channel SPORT1 and on N24 news channel for the first time.

The ADAC GT Masters revs up a gear for the 2013 season and not just out on the track. The series will have the most extensive television package ever. In addition to live broadcasts of all 16 races on kabel eins, the ADAC GT Masters Magazine is to feature on sports channel SPORT1 and on N24 news channel for the first time, giving the Super Sports Car League its biggest TV coverage ever. kabel eins, N24 and SPORT1 will present more than three hours of live pictures, highlights and magazine shows from the ADAC GT Masters each race weekend.

Beginning with the season-opener (26th-28th April), exclusive live TV partner kabel eins will add an extra programme of highlights from the ADAC GT Masters races to its scheduling. In addition to live broadcasts of all 16 races (start time: Saturdays and Sundays 12:00 midday) with commentary from cult presenter Jacques Schulz and sports car specialist Patrick Simon, the free-to-air commercial broadcaster will show race highlights during the afternoon on each race day. kabel eins will present highlights from the season-opener at the etropolis Motorsport Arena Oschersleben on Saturday 27th April after the kabel eins news at 15:35 and on Sunday, 28th April at 16:10. kabel eins rounds off its extensive programming with its ADAC GT Masters Magazine ‘ran Racing’, showing the weekend’s best action on Monday 29th April at 02:10.

For the first time, Germany’s leading news channel N24 will also broadcast the ADAC GT Masters Magazine. The 30-minute programme will look behind the scenes, introduce the teams and their super sports car and analyse the races. In addition to ADAC GT Masters highlights, top racing from the sport’s high-speed academy, the Formel ADAC and from the MINI TROPHY will also be featured. N24 will show the ADAC GT Masters Magazine every Monday after a race weekend at 18:30.

SPORT1 will again have the ADAC GT Masters Magazine in its scheduling, providing the best highlights from all ADAC GT Masters race weekends. SPORT1 will offer the complete range of events from ADAC GT Masters race weekends – ADAC GT Masters, Formel ADAC, the ATS Formula 3 Cup and the DTC des DMSB – ADAC PROCAR. SPORT1 will feature the first ADAC GT Masters Magazine of 2013 on Friday 10th May at 12:45.

ADAC Sports President Hermann Tomczyk: “I am pleased that we have been able to further improve TV coverage for the ADAC GT Masters. This year’s TV package is the most comprehensive ever in the history of the ADAC GT Masters. We have considerably expanded our TV provision and have not only developed new target groups in Germany’s leading news channel N24, but have also increased cooperation with our live TV partner kabel eins.”

The 2013 ADAC GT Masters will once again be contested over 16 rounds on eight race weekends throughout the year. All 16 races of the ADAC GT Masters will be shown on free-to-air TV station kabel eins. The live broadcasts to audiences in Germany, Austria and Switzerland commence at 12 noon on both the Saturday and the Sunday. The Super Sports Car League is being hosted by two new venues this time: the Formula 1 circuit at Spa-Francorchamps and the Slovakia Ring in Slovakia. The curtain-raiser for the seventh season of the ADAC GT Masters will be staged on the weekend of 26th – 28th April at the etropolis Motorsport Arena Oschersleben.

Verdonck and Kechele in Lambda Ford GT3

24 Apr 2013 / 0 Comments / in ADAC GT Masters

The Belgian driver Nico Verdonck and Frank Kechele are to drive the new Ford GT in the ADAC GT Masters season opener at Oschersleben.

Nico Verdonck (27, Belgium) and Frank Kechele (26, Germany) will line up for the season opener of the ADAC GT Masters at the Motorsport Arena Oschersleben in the Ford GT GT3 prepared by Lambda Performance. For Kechele, who trained at Moto Park Academy in Oschersleben, this coming weekend’s fixture represents the first highlight of the new season, since he knows the track so very well and has plenty of fans and friends in the area.

“I’m looking forward to the challenge. The guys at Lambda Performance have done a very good job and the Lambda Ford GT GT3 is a really successful car with strong aerodynamics and well-sorted balance. We now have to get some experience of the new car under our belts and secure some decent points in both races,” said Frank Kechele, talking about his new team. Kechele is no stranger to ADAC GT Masters fans: the German driver has competed in the Super Sports Car League since 2008, fielding a variety of cars – Lamborghini, Audi, and Corvette.

This will be Nico Verdonck’s second season at Lambda Performance. The 27-year-old Belgian contested the 2012 ADAC GT Masters season with Team Lambda Performance, proving his skill with two podiums and two fourth places.

Nico Verdonck: “I’m thrilled to be on the grid again this season for Lambda Performance, who are a very strong team. In the test sessions at Oschersleben with the new GT3 Ford GT, it was obvious straightaway that the crew’s hard work during the winter has paid off – the new Ford GT has made massive progress.” Verdonck is also delighted about his new team-mate: “I already know Frank from last season. He is a very good and experienced driver, plus, he knows how to achieve championship success.”

In 2011, Verdonck secured the Belgian Touring Car Series championship, was victorious in the Blancpain Endurance Series and became the first Formula Le Mans champion in 2009. Nico Verdonck has also been impressive previously, finishing on the podium several times in the FIA GT1 World Championship.

Latest incarnation of living legend: Ford GT

18 Apr 2013 / 0 Comments / in Uncategorized

Lambda Performance has developed an updated version of their Ford GT for the 2013 ADAC GT Masters season.

The Ford GT sports car legend turns fifty this year, as 2013 marks the 50th anniversary of the American sports car’s inception. Ford began the GT40 project in 1963, and the first GT40 took to the road one year later. Lambda Performance has celebrated this ‘golden anniversary’ in fine style by crafting a gift to themselves – a radically overhauled version of the Yankee flounder that will see duty this season in the ADAC GT Masters. The Ford GT has been in the line up since the first ADAC GT Masters season in 2007. Since then, the mid-engine sports car has achieved two wins and four pole positions. This latest version of the Ford GT that has evolved from the car that won the 24 Hours of Le Mans four times in a row between 1966-1969 will now be hunting for points in the Super Sports Car League.

The major overhaul of the Ford GT GT3 was a big challenge for Wiesbaden-based Ford GT specialist Lambda Performance since they were intent on presenting the sports car that went out of production in 2006 as a serious challenger and podium contender in the Super Sports Car League. With that in mind, Lambda Performance has gone through the Ford GT with a fine toothcomb for 2013.

It is immediately apparent that visually the car looks very different to the previous model. In revamping the GT3 racing car, Lambda Performance took their cues from the GTE version first introduced by Lambda Performance at the end of 2011.

The 2013 Ford GT has an even broader stance, and the updated aero package enhances the unique design. The car’s internals have also been completely revised. This season’s Lambda Ford GT GT3 is powered by a Ford Racing 5.3-litre V8 engine built by Roush Yates that delivers its 530bhp to the rear axle via a sequential 6-speed Xtrac gearbox. Chassis, brakes and electronics are also all new. The homologated weight of the new Ford GT is 1,190kg.

The updated Ford GT will get its baptism of fire at the ADAC GT Masters season opener in the etropolis Motorsport Arena, Oschersleben (26th-28th April). Lambda Performance will announce the name of the driver of their latest Ford GT in the very near future.