A sensational one-two victory for Jetalliance Racing in Oschersleben!
This was a day to remember for the Jetalliance crew: the first one-two victory in the history of the still-young team from Lower Austria, the 14th FIA GT win (the second this year) for Wendlinger – and the first FIA GT podium for team owner Lukas Lichtner-Hoyer.
But this was also a vital race for the championship, as the four top teams are all within just three points.
The two Jetalliance Racing cars were wheel to wheel at the start, Bouchut in the Corvette split the two DBR9s just prior to the first corner, Wendlinger backed off a little, and Alex Müller left the first corner in the lead ahead of the Frenchman and the Austrian.
Müller subsequently set the pace up front, with Wendlinger putting pressure on Bouchut, who then went off on lap 21 – Wendlinger passed leaving Jetalliance Racing in first and second place: Müller ahead of Wendlinger, followed by Bartels in the Maserati.
Wendlinger came into the pits after 45 minutes, handing over to Ryan Sharp. Four minutes later the second Jetalliance Aston Martin DBR9 completed its driver change and team owner Lukas Lichtner-Hoyer took over.
The new race order after the first round of pit stops saw Sharp ahead of the Brazilian Negrao, who had already completed his stop in the early part of the race, followed by Lichtner-Hoyer.
From the very beginning, Sharp increased the pace with his new tyres and set the fastest laps in the entire field opening up an advantage of fourteen seconds over Negrao with 58 minutes to go.
After the final round of pit stops, Wendlinger took over from Sharp, who again performed brilliantly, and Lichtner-Hoyer hands back to Müller.
With only 30 minutes of the race left to run the safety car was deployed and with it went Wendlinger's 23 second lead over Hezemans.
Bertolini entered the pits for the second of his mandatory stops which resulted in a new race order: Wendlinger in first, Hezemans second and Alex Müller third. And then it started to rain.
With 20 minutes to go the safety car returned to the pitlane. Wendlinger was lapping lap the slower GT2 cars, and even managed to open up a small gap.
Behind him, Hezemans made a mistake and Müller passed him to take second place with 17 minutes to go.
Wendlinger and Müller set about increasing their lead and after two hours the team were rewarded with the first one-two victory for Jetalliance Racing with Wendlinger/Sharp finishing just ahead of Lichtner-Hoyer/Müller.
QUOTES: Karl Wendlinger: "My start wasn't perfect, that's why I had to push a lot later on, which really took it out of me. Then all our advantage was gone after the pace car period – so once again I had to push the limits. This has been a very hard fought-for win. That's why I'm extremely delighted with this result."
Ryan Sharp: "The best possible result which anyone could have wished for. Now the entire team can go to the 24 hours of Spa in a very upbeat mood."
Lukas Lichtner-Hoyer: "A dream has come true for me today. We – and I'm talking about the entire team – have achieved great things in just three years – it's as good as it gets!"
Alex Müller: "I had a very good start, my thanks to the entire team as well. They have worked halfway through the night to give us a perfect car today. Our pace was extremely good. Lukas has once and for all proven today that his time as a gentleman driver is long gone."
The next FIA GT race is the 24 Hours of Spa on August 3rd in Belgium.