|Category Touring cars|
Inaugural season 2007
Teams 17 (2015)
Drivers 45 (2015)
The ADAC GT Masters is a grand tourer-based auto racing series founded by the international Stéphane Ratel Organisation (SRO) and supported by the German ADAC automotive club. Similar to an earlier ADAC GT Cup series in the 1990s, the new GT Masters ran their first season in 2007. Although the series is based in Germany, select events are run elsewhere in Europe.
ADAC GT Cup
The original ADAC GT Cup was created in 1993, as a national grand tourer championship similar to the Deutsche Tourenwagen Meisterschaft (DTM). The series initially used two divisions, with the upper class running a variety of sports cars, and the smaller class for small coupes. Following dwindling support for the top division, the two classes were combined in 1995. By 1997, the series continued to dwindle, as the series was running only small coupes instead of high powered sports cars. The championship was officially cancelled after the 1997 season as most teams turned to the VLN championship.
The ADAC GT Masters uses a similar formula to the one used in the FIA GT3 European Championship, also created by the SRO. The ADAC GT Masters is a "PRO-AM" Championship in which a professional driver shares a car with an amateur driver. The exact criteria for what determines an amateur driver and professional driver is laid out by the Fédération Internationale de l'Automobile (FIA). Drivers run in pairs, with each race requiring the team to make a pit stop and swap drivers.
The cars that run in the ADAC GT Masters are also regulated by the FIA. Only cars which have been approved are allowed to compete. Of the cars that are currently approved, all are artificially performance balanced in such a way that the performance of each type of car is as close to equal as possible. This makes the skills of the driver paramount. Current vehicles that will be running in the 2012 championship include Chevrolet Corvette Z06-Rs, Dodge Viper Competition Coupes, Porsche 997 GT3 Cups, Ferrari F458 GT3s, Lamborghini Gallardo GT3s, Audi R8 LMS, Aston Martin V12 Vantage GT3s, BMW Z4 GT3s, BMW Alpina B6 GT3, Nissan GT-R GT3s, McLaren MP4-12C GT3s and Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG GT3.
Each event consists of two races, with a duration of 60 minutes. The drivers must make a pit stop during each race and switch drivers, with the drivers also swapping their driving order from one race to another. In the first race usually the amateur driver drives the start, this leaves the professional driver to drive the start in the second race of each round.
The ADAC GT Masters currently runs on mostly German circuits, such as the Nürburgring, Hockenheimring, and Sachsenring, although they also run an event at Assen in the Netherlands.