Tales from the paddock: Maro Engel: “Four teams, four wins – we can be proud of that”

As the 2020 ADAC GT Masters season draws to a close, Maro Engel looks back on the debut of his team, Toksport WRT


This is what happened: Results and facts

  • ADAC GT Masters: Three podium finishes for the Mercedes-AMG GT3 in the two races at Oschersleben, including a victory in the last contest of the season on Sunday
  • Super GT: Second place for the Mercedes-AMG GT3 at Twin Ring Motegi in Japan
  • British GT Championship: Yelmer Buurman and Ian Loggie are runners-up at Silverstone
  • GTC Race: Successful weekend with a P2 and a victory for Bernd Mayländer and Bernd Schneider at Hockenheim
  • DTM Trophy: A victory and a second place for Tim Heinemann in the two races at Hockenheim

News snippets

Istanbul, here we come: The return of Imola to the F1 calendar is to be followed by another. After a nine-year absence, the premier class of motorsport will be back in Turkey this weekend. Between 2005 and 2011, Istanbul Park hosted seven Grands Prix. The Mercedes works team has only competed in Turkey on two occasions so far. In 2010, Michael Schumacher and Nico Rosberg finished fourth and fifth respectively; in the 2011 season, Nico repeated his P5 result, while Michael finished the race in twelfth place. Three of the seven Turkish Grands Prix were won by cars powered by Mercedes engines: Kimi Räikkönen was victorious at the wheel of a McLaren-Mercedes in 2005, the debut year for the track; in 2009, Jenson Button won in a Brawn-Mercedes developed at Brackley; and one year later, Lewis Hamilton chalked up his sole victory in Turkey to date, at that time still a McLaren driver. The record winner on this 5.338 km track is Felipe Massa with three victories. The record for the fastest race lap is held by Juan Pablo Montoya who clocked a time of 1:24.770 minutes in his McLaren-Mercedes, equivalent to an average speed of 226.693 km/h, during the 2005 season. Sebastian Vettel set the fastest qualifying time to date in the 2011 season with a time of 1:25.049 minutes.

Mercedes-AMG Motorsport rounds off 2020 ADAC GT Masters campaign with four wins and third place overall: Mercedes-AMG Motorsport celebrated a successful conclusion to the 2020 ADAC GT Masters at Motorsport Arena Oschersleben. On Sunday, Raffaele Marciello (ITA) and Philip Ellis (SUI) in the number 48 Mercedes-AMG GT3 first booked pole position and then drove a consummate lights-to-flag victory. The KNAUS Team HTP-WINWARD duo delivered the fourth overall win of the season for a Mercedes-AMG Customer Racing team. In a tightly-contested drivers’ championship, Maro Engel (GER) and Luca Stolz (GER) of Toksport WRT were in contention for the title right up to the end. The pairing in the number 22 car had kept their championship hopes alive by finishing second in the penultimate race on Saturday. P5 on Sunday left them third in both the driver and team classifications. With four cars among the Top Ten finishers, the customer teams once again demonstrated the strength of the Mercedes-AMG GT3. Rounding out a strong team result were sixth-placed Mick Wishofer (AUT) and Dorian Boccolacci (FRA) in the number 20 car fielded by Team Zakspeed BKK Mobil Oil Racing and ninth-placed Indy Dontje (NED) and Maximilian Götz (GER) in the number 47 MANN-FILTER Team HTP-WINWARD.

ADAC GT4 Germany Junior Trophy goes to Mercedes-AMG GT4 driver Jan Marschalkowski: The ADAC GT4 Germany season ended with a title for Mercedes-AMG Motorsport. A P4 and a P10 in the two races at Oschersleben were enough for 17-year-old Jan Marschalkowski driving a Team Zakspeed Mercedes-AMG GT4 to lift the Junior Trophy, a competition for drivers under the age of 20. In the general classification of the series, Julien Apothéloz (SUI) and Luca-Sandro Trefz (GER) of MANN-FILTER Team HTP-WINWARD finished the campaign in third.

Title and podium in the British GT Championship: In the season finale of the British GT Championship at Silverstone, Yelmer Buurman (NED) and Ian Loggie (GBR) in the number 6 Mercedes-AMG GT3 finished second overall. The RAM RACING duo thus secured a Pro-Am victory and at the same time the championship in this class. In the overall standings, Sam De Haan (NED) and Patrick Kujala (FIN) in the number 69 sister car concluded their season with a P8 finish and with the 2020 runners-up trophy.

Yet another podium success to report from the Super GT: GOODSMILE RACING & TeamUKYO made a second consecutive podium appearance in the Japanese Super GT series. After 63 action-packed laps of the Twin Ring Motegi, the number 4 Mercedes-AMG GT3 of Tatsuya Kataoka and Nobuteru Taniguchi (both JPN) crossed the finish line in second place. In the overall standings too, a Customer Racing team is in second place: with only a five-point deficit on the championship leaders, LEON RACING are still in contention for the title and have the opportunity to overhaul their rivals in the season finale at Fuji on the weekend of 28 – 29 November.

A GTC Race finale that was highly productive in terms of titles and a Legends victory: The 2020 GTC Race season came to a successful conclusion for Mercedes-AMG Motorsport at the Hockenheimring with the brand picking up a grand total of five championship titles. The number 15 équipe vitesse Mercedes-AMG GT3 driven by Mario Hirsch and Dominik Schraml (both GER), won no fewer than three of these titles, including overall victory in the vehicle classification for the most successful car of the season and the Semi-Pro driver titles in the individual classifications of Goodyear 60 and GTC Race. Trophy number four went to Maximilian Götz (GER), who was unassailable in the Pro Drivers’ Championship after victories in the first two rounds of the Goodyear 60 season. Wim Spinoy (BEL, Car Collection Motorsport, #93) took the GTC Race Am title with another class win. Mercedes-AMG brand ambassador and DTM legend Bernd Schneider in the number 31 Space Drive Racing operated by HWA Mercedes-AMG GT3 contributed to the euphoria surrounding the titles with a race victory on Saturday. As early as Friday, he had posted a P2 finish in the Goodyear 60 race in partnership with Bernd Mayländer (GER), who is perhaps better known as the driver of the Formula 1 safety car.

Perfect end to the DTM Trophy season: In the DTM Trophy – a new competition for 2020 – Tim Heinemann in the number 46 Mercedes-AMG GT4 of HP Racing International finished as runner-up on Saturday and as race winner on Sunday. This was after having already clinched the title on the previous weekend. He thus concluded the season with an impressive record of seven victories in twelve races. Two fourth places for Jan Kisiel (POL) in the number 4 car of Leipert Motorsport were enough to ensure a Mercedes-AMG one-two on the 2020 championship podium.

Three questions for Maro Engel

Maro Engel and Luca Stolz contested the first complete season for the Toksport WRT team in the ADAC GT Masters. Until the last race at Motorsport Arena Oschersleben, the duo in the number 22 Mercedes-AMG GT3 were contenders for the championship. Even though they ultimately missed out on the final day, one race win and no fewer than six podiums in the debut year for their team remains a highly creditable tally. Mercedes-AMG brand ambassador Maro Engel looks back on the season and puts the results of the Mercedes-AMG Customer Racing teams into perspective.

In your debut season with Toksport WRT, you finished third in the highly competitive ADAC GT Masters and were in contention for the title right up to the end. What were the decisive factors contributing to this strong season?

Maro Engel: Everyone in the team started the season with ambitious objectives – that was apparent right from the start. The car was well prepared, and we did some highly instructive tests ahead of the first races. The team was also really well set up in terms of staff, from the engineers and the mechanics through to the team management. It was very encouraging for Luca and me to start the season with this perfect support. This was also reflected in the results. It’s a pity that we just missed out on the title in the end, but it was a very strong season all the same.

What was your personal highlight of the season?

Maro Engel: Clearly the victory in the season opener at the Lausitzring. We could not have got off to a better start. Luca put the Mercedes-AMG GT3 on pole, and from there we won the very first race of the campaign. And on day two, we followed up with a P2. A fantastic opening weekend and certainly the highlight of the season. We came close to posting further victories on a couple of occasions, especially at the Sachsenring where we had to retire while in lead. But six podium appearances, all of which are associated with pleasant memories, are definitely something to be proud of.

All four Mercedes AMG Customer Racing teams have celebrated victories in the ADAC GT Masters this season. Is this additional evidence of the merits of the Mercedes AMG GT3?

Maro Engel: Definitely. The ADAC GT Masters is one of the toughest GT3 championships anywhere in the world. Seven prominent manufacturers fought it out in 14 races that were close-run affairs every time. To have finished four races on the top rung of the podium, one for each of the teams fielding the Mercedes-AMG GT3, that’s something special to be proud of.

Social Media News

#F1RaceDebrief: Following the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix, Andrew Shovlin once again answers fans’ questions about the race: from the two-day weekend format and the adjustment to Lewis’s seat carried out on the grid, to the pit stop strategy and the item of debris that hampered Valtteri’s race.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.