“That was a premiere situation,” was the first and very brief comment from Porsche veteran Christian Engelhart. The 2020 champion was on course for a secure third place in the second race of the ADAC GT Masters at Zandvoort when the Joos-Porsche’s gearbox gave out with two corners to go.
Engelhart himself described the drama on his 911 as “extremely bitter” in an interview with ‘Motorsport-Total.com’. The 35-year-old somehow managed to get his Porsche across the finish line without even putting it in gear. But instead of P3, it ended up being P8.
“I was without propulsion, almost like idling. I then tried to do everything possible in the car to get another gear back in or to get some propulsion, but that was looking for a solution that didn’t exist,” says he sees the situation from his point of view. “In the end I could only roll and hope.”
Engelhart without a gear: “It’s almost like idling”
In fact, coasting was the best thing that could have happened to Engelhart in this situation. “If I had stopped, we might not have scored any points,” he said. But: “When we crossed the line, I was really annoyed.” Especially since the eight lost points in the title fight can still really hurt.
But team-mate Aynhancan Güven remains optimistic: “Today we were unlucky, but we’ll keep working and then luck will be on our side again. It’s also very close at the top of the championship. I’m sure that some cars will be within out of 10 or 15 points. That means everything is still open.”
The young Turk reveals in an interview with ‘Motorsport-Total.com’ that the problems with the Porsche’s gearbox appeared before the last lap: “Christian felt it in the last few laps. Something was wrong with the gearbox. With two corners to go, he couldn’t shift up at all.”
Güven withstands pressure from Perera
In qualifying and in the first stint, Güven laid the foundation for the podium result to almost seem like a formality. He placed the Joos-Porsche in second place on the grid and only had to give way to Mattia Drudi at the start. He claimed P3 despite poor balance and despite great pressure from Franck Perera.
“In the beginning we had problems, especially on new tires. It was extremely difficult,” reports Güven. But fortunately, also because I no longer had a mirror, sometimes I couldn’t see Perera at all. Luckily I kept him behind me.”
For his part, Engelhart did not let any pursuers pass him in the final stint. Until the defective devil struck a few corners before the finish. By the way: Towards the end of the slow-down lap, a gear jumped in again. “But then I didn’t switch gears anymore,” says Engelhart in conclusion. The Joos driver is certain: “There is a problem with the gearbox.”