|Review:||ALPINA in attack mode and looking for the lead at the Sachsenring, Germany|
The Sachsenring combines fast corners, challenging up- and downhill sections and great crowds of spectators – it is also the venue of the third round of the ADAC GT Masters (8th-10th June). Reigning ADAC GT Masters Champion Dino Lunardi (F) and Maxime Martin (B) want to reclaim the championship lead on this circuit which is also home to the German MotoGP. After two rounds, the rapid ALPINA duo is second in the championship, just one point behind the leaders.
ALPINA still has a score to settle at the Sachsenring, the BMW ALPINA B6 GT3 having fought for victory in both races last year but not finishing. After a strong run in the first four races of this season, Lunardi and Martin are looking to set the record right. Martin, who travels to Germany with a recent victory in the European Endurance Championship under his belt, has some great memories of the Sachsenring. In 2011, the Belgian won a FIA GT1 World Championship race there describing it as “medium length, narrow, very challenging and a real driver’s track“. Martin says “our BMW ALPINA B6 GT3 has proved to be very competitive, the team did brilliant job so far and Dino and myself are a good driver combination. At the last round at Zandvoort, a technical issue denied us from taking victory, but we solved this problem and are looking forward to a hopefully successful weekend”.
“It will not be an easy weekend for us, we are still optimising the set-up”, Dino Lunardi says. “If we find a good balance, I think we can be quick. The track should not be too bad for us and we both know it from last season, we can immediately start racing”.
“We showed a good speed on the Sachsenring last season and proved our BMW ALPINA is quick on this difficult circuit“, ALPINA´s Andreas Bovensiepen says. “After our good results so far this season, we hope for a good result at the Sachsenring too, but we have to cope with a handicap. The organisers reduced the air restrictor´s diameter by 14% to 60mm. This reduces the power output of our 5 litre ALPINA V8 engine. We don’t know yet, how this will affect our lap times. At the same time, the performance of some of our competitors has improved. Therefore we see the Mercedes SLS AMG very strong and considering the special characteristics of the Sachsenring, the mid-engineed cars like Audi R8, Ferrari 458 and McLaren MP4-12C are expected to be quick, too.”
The ALPINA customer team LIQUI MOLY Team Engstler will also enter the second BMW ALPINA B6 GT3 for Florian Spengler and Johannes Leidinger.
The two races from the Sachsenring are broad casted live in Germany, Austria and Switzerland by kabel eins. The pan European motorsport channel will show both rounds of the ADAC GT Masters from the Sachsenring on June 13th at 21:00 hours with several repetitions the following days.
Our coverage of ALPINA's 2012 Race Season