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Headline:Margaritis and Lunardi win the ADAC GT Masters Championship Date:05/10/2011
Source:The ALPINA Register   (Click Here for more details).News
   
Review:Margaritis and Lunardi win the ADAC GT Masters Championship on BMW ALPINA B6 GT3

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Alexandros Margaritis and Dino Lunardi are the 2011 Champions of the ADAC GT Masters. The two ALPINA drivers claimed the victory in style with their fourth victory of the season at the final round in Hockenheim. In front of 33.200 spectators they were able to celebrate the championship with their BMW ALPINA B6 GT3 entered by the LIQUI MOLY Team Engstler. Margaritis/Lunardi swept the title in the best possible way and took not only a perfect lights-to-flag victory in the penultimate race of the season, but also scored the fastest lap of the race. The title in Europe’s most competitive GT championship is the biggest success so far for the BMW ALPINA B6 GT3 and adds another chapter to the rich and successful motorsport history of ALPINA.

Margaritis/Lunardi came as the championship leaders with a solid 28-point gap to the final round at the Formula 1-track in Hockenheim. In the qualifying the two ALPINA drivers laid a perfect foundation for the two final races of the season with two Pole Positions. Lunardi claimed his first ever ADAC GT Masters-Pole for race one and Margaritis set the quickest time in the Qualifying for the second race.

The title-deciding race of Margaritis/Lunardi can only be named perfect. Lunardi went into the lead from the Pole Position despite a hard challenging second placed Porsche 911 in the opening stages of the race and could built a gap of 3,1 seconds until the mandatory driver change halfway through the race. Margaritis maintained the lead until the end of the race and nailed the championship with the fourth BMW ALPINA victory of the season ahead of the Lamborghini Gallardo of their closest competitors for the championship, Ferdinand and Johannes Stuck.

After winning the championship in the first of the two final races, Margaritis/Lunardi could start relaxed from the Pole Position in the second race, but still had a mission. The target was also to win the team championship for the LIQUI MOLY Team Engstler in the BMW ALPINA B6 GT3. Margaritis chased Lamborghini driver Johannes Stuck from second position in the first part of the race, but soon after the driver change, Lunardi retired with a gearbox issue.

“I’m really glad that we took the championship win already in the first race”, Alex Margaritis said after winning the first championship in his racing career. “The last three laps were very hard. I listened into the car with every gear change. At the same time I enjoyed the last laps, hoped that the car will make it to the end and was scared that something could happen. When I tested the BMW ALPINA B6 GT3 for the first time before the start of the season, the car and also the ALPINA team convinced me from the first moment. But I never would have expected that we could win the championship against this strong opposition as there were almost 40 cars entered. I want to thank the LIQUI MOLY Team Engstler and ALPINA for preparing such a good car and making a perfect job.”

”Its just perfect”, Dino Lunardi said after the race. ”I really feel free now, there was a high pressure on us. I really wanted to win the title in the first race, otherwise there would have been even more pressure on us. Winning this championship, against the very hard competition of Mercedes AMG, Ferrari, Lamborghini, Corvette, Audi and Porsche is great.”

ALPINA managing director and head of motorsport, Andreas Bovensiepen, who was the initiator of ALPINA´s return to racing and the BMW ALPINA B6 GT3, was more then pleased with the success. ”We expected that we would be quick on this track, but didn’t expect to take a double Pole Position. In the race our tactic was to stay out of trouble and race with the championship in our mind. With the brilliant victory, that worked very well for us. The championship title with the BMW ALPINA B6 GT3 continues the tradition of ALPINA to practice motorsports with big BMW Coupés. Already in 1970, 1973 and 1977 ALPINA was able to win three times the European Touring car championship with the BMW ALPINA CSL Coupé.”

Florian Spengler did a great job in the qualifying and secured himself and his new team mate Andrei Romanov in the second BMW ALPINA B6 GT3 of the LIQUI MOLY Team Engstler the 7th position in the starting grid. He even was able to overtake two competitors and so he was on the 5th position when a drive-through-penalty destroyed a very good result. In the first race, Spengler/Romanov finally finished 24th, in Sunday’s race they finished on the 19th position out of 40 starters.

In the team championship, where the fastest car of each team counts, the LIQUI MOLY Team Engstler with the BMW ALPINA B6 GT3 was able to finish second. This highlights again the success of ALPINA in the ADAC GT Masters 2011.

The LIQUI MOLY Team Engstler and ALPINA celebrated the championship victory in style, but are busy preparing the BMW ALPINA B6 GT3 again for the next race, which will be the debut race in the Blancpain Endurance Series. ALPINA joins forces with the Belgian MarcVDS Racing Team and enters the BMW ALPINA B6 GT3 at the final round of the series in Silverstone/England. The race (start 13:00 hours CET) will be broadcasted live by Motors TV and also streamed online on the series website www.blancpain-endurance-series.com.

Final Result in the Drivers Championship:

1. Dino Lunardi / Alexandros Margaritis BMW ALPINA B6 GT3 - 189 Points
2. Johannes Stuck / Ferdinand Stuck Lamborghini Gallardo LP600+ - 164 Points
3. Christopher Mies Audi R8 LMS - 133 Points

Final Result in the Team Championship:

1. Reiter Engineering Lamborghini Gallardo LP600+ - 215 Points
2. LIQUI MOLY Team Engstler BMW ALPINA B6 GT3 - 199 Points
3. Team Abt Sportsline Audi R8 LMS - 168 Points

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