- Three Mercedes-AMG GT3s among the first eight in final race
- Mercedes-AMG Customer Racing claims third place in DTM manufacturers’ standings
- Title win for Salman Owega and Elias Seppänen in ADAC GT Masters
In a thrilling DTM season finale, Mercedes-AMG Customer Racing managed to score another four top 10 results: AMG brand ambassador Maro Engel (GER) of Mercedes-AMG Team MANN-FILTER crossed the finish line in fifth place at the end of the final race on Sunday. The two other Performance Drivers Luca Stolz (GER) and Lucas Auer (AUT) ended up in seventh and eighth place. Luca Stolz had already finished eighth in the Saturday race. In total, the Mercedes-AMG Customer Racing Teams scored seven podium results including two victories from 16 races. In the manufacturers’ standings, this resulted into third place with 364 points.
Race 1: Upward trend of the Mercedes-AMG Customer Racing Teams
The Saturday race once again showed the Mercedes-AMG GT3’s good baseline speed throughout the distance. Nearly all Customer Racing drivers were able to work their way up during the 37 race laps. Mercedes-AMG HRT’s Luca Stolz achieved the best result. The German started from tenth on the grid and made up two positions during the race to finish in eighth position. Next to Luca Stolz, Mercedes-AMG Team WINWARD’s Lucas Auer also finished in the point-scoring positions as he ended up 14th.
Good recovery drives saw Maro Engel and David Schumacher (GER) of Mercedes-AMG Team WINWARD end up just outside the points in 16th and 17th place respectively. The two drivers had started from 20th and 22nd place. Mercedes-AMG Junior Driver Jusuf Owega (GER) crossed the finish line in 21st place. Mercedes-AMG Team HRT’s Arjun Maini (IND) had to park his car early following unfortunate contact with a rivalling car.
Race 2: Maro Engel just misses out on podium finish
Maro Engel showed an impressive performance in the Sunday race. From tenth on the grid, the 38-year-old worked his way up into third place with great overtaking moves, fast lap times and an outstanding pit stop. Until just before the finish, Maro Engel was able to hold on to this position. In the closing stages, however, he lost speed due to a technical issue on his car and was forced to let two cars get past on the final lap of the race.
Lucas Auer also showed a clear upward trend on Sunday, having started from 18th place and finishing eighth behind his fellow Mercedes-AMG driver Luca Stolz. Stolz, meanwhile, had started third and immediately lost some places in the opening stages of the race. Mercedes-AMG Junior Drivers Arjun Maini and Jusuf Owega rewarded themselves for a committed on-track performance with 13th and 15th place and therefore further points for the overall standings. David Schumacher just missed out on points by finishing 16th. The Mercedes-AMG Junior Driver had shown signs of a promising pace with 13th place in qualifying but dropped back in the race following contact for which he wasn’t at fault.
ADAC GT Masters: Historic title win by Salman Owega and Elias Seppänen
Mercedes-AMG Motorsport and Customer Racing Team Landgraf Motorsport have successfully defended the ADAC GT Masters title. In the 16-year history of the race series, no other manufacturer and no other team managed to do that so far. The newly-crowned champions are Salman Owega (GER) and Elias Seppänen (FIN), who finished third in the season-ending race on Sunday. In the overall standings, Owega and Seppänen collected 181 points, eleven more than their nearest rivals. In total, the young driver pairing won four of the twelve races of the 2023 season. Mercedes-AMG Customer Racing concluded the ADAC GT Masters season with a clean sweep of the top three: victory in the final race went to Ralf Aron (EST) and Alain Valente (SUI) of Haupt Racing Team, who became runners-up in the final standings as a result. Second place in the race went to their teammates Maximilian Götz (GER) and Petru Umbrarescu (ROU).
“The DTM season certainly didn’t go the way we hoped it would. Admittedly, we did end up third in the manufacturers’ standings, which definitely is a partial success, but that doesn’t quite reflect the very mixed way the season went. Nevertheless, we extend huge thanks to our drivers and customer sports teams for their relentless effort! Congratulations also to Porsche, Manthey EMA and Thomas Preining for the DTM championship win. The fact that we were able to conclude the ADAC GT Masters season with the drivers’ title and runner-up spot makes me very happy, of course. Like this, our junior drivers have shown their potential on the DTM platform. They have all consistently done a super job throughout the season.”
Christoph Sagemüller, head of Mercedes-AMG Motorsport
“This season was somewhat mixed, but at least we were able to score two wins and seven podium results. Today, we had hoped for another podium finish to conclude the season. Unfortunately, there was a minor technical issue on Maro’s car, which is why he still dropped back to fifth place on the final lap. However, both today and in the championship, we got three cars into the top ten, which is a small silver lining. Now, we want to prepare very well for the next season and then come back in our old strength. That is the clear goal. In ADAC GT Masters, we achieved a great end of the season. Congratulations to Landgraf Motorsport, Salman Owega and Elias Seppänen.”
Thomas Jäger, sporting director DTM
“The season got off to a difficult start at Oschersleben, but then we had a very good comeback after that. We improved significantly and ended up as the best Mercedes-AMG team and the best Mercedes-AMG driver. However, we slightly lacked consistency. When we manage to improve that, we have a good chance to be in contention for the title again next year.”
Luca Stolz, Mercedes-AMG Team HRT #4
“Yesterday was a difficult day and so was qualifying this morning. In the race, however, things went well. I could move up quite nicely in the opening stages and the pit stop was super, too. And when you make it from 18th to eighth place in DTM, you can be happy. All in all, I am happy with the season. That I was able to race and to finish on the podium at all after my accident is top. DTM is tough and there is a lot of work ahead of us during the wintertime.”
Lucas Auer, Mercedes-AMG Team WINWARD #22
“My second season in DTM was definitely better than my debut year 2022. I have made a big step ahead. Together with Mercedes-AMG Team WINWARD, we were facing huge challenges that we mastered well. Nevertheless, it wasn’t an easy year. This weekend, we had a very good pace once again. Unfortunately, things got in the way over and over again like a lap time being cancelled in qualifying on Saturday and a collision in the race today. As a result, I was quite far down and as we all know, there isn’t much you can achieve from there in DTM anymore.”
David Schumacher, Mercedes-AMG Team WINWARD #27
“Personally, I first had to get used to the new situation in DTM. However, we are a very professional team and established ourselves as the best Mercedes-AMG Team. Huge thanks to Mercedes-AMG Team HRT and all the partners involved as it has been an unbelievable journey. Of course, it didn’t go as well as we had hoped. But we did show our potential and I am certain that we will be able to rack up podium results in future as well.”
Arjun Maini, Mercedes-AMG Team HRT #36
“Losing a podium result due to a technical issue is incredibly disappointing and very sad. It slightly reflects our season. We didn’t have the necessary bit of luck at our side. Nevertheless, I would like to thank everybody at Mercedes-AMG and Mercedes-AMG Team MANN-FILTER. It wasn’t because we didn’t give it our all. In the winter break, we will again give it our all to prepare ourselves in the best possible way and to attack again next year.”
Maro Engel, Mercedes-AMG Team MANN-FILTER #48
“For us, this year was one with highs and lows. During the first three race weekends, we showed a good performance, also in qualifying. After that, qualifying in particular was something of a weakness for us. In the races, we were always good. It was my debut year in DTM and I benefited very much from working together with Maro. He is still very fast and always answers my questions. As a team, we presented ourselves in a good way and I am happy for the team and my brother Salman for having become the 2023 ADAC GT Masters champions together.”
Jusuf Owega, Mercedes-AMG Team BWT #84
“Our weekend didn’t start the way we wanted it. But eventually, it all worked out and we secured the ADAC GT Masters title. That makes us very happy, of course. In the car, I remained very calm today. I only just wanted to bring the good result home and didn’t want to take any risks anymore. We were in a good initial position and only had to make it to the finish.”
Salman Owega, Landgraf Motorsport #48
“I first have to realise what has just happened. This is an incredible achievement by our crew. Thanks to the team, the drivers, Mercedes-AMG and our sponsors. We had a super package and again scoring this success in ADAC GT Masters is simply great. We have achieved something historic.”
Klaus Landgraf, team owner Landgraf Motorsport