Aidan Read along with teammate Marvin Dienst brought his debut European racing season to a close with another strong performance, with two points scoring finishes ensuring second position in the ADAC GT Masters Junior Trophy with the Schütz Motorsport team.
The chance to win the Junior title went down to the wire and was definitely a possibility after a great qualifying performance for race one by Dienst saw the Mercedes AMG GT3 line up P3 and after a strong stint the German brought the car in for its mandatory stop to hand over to Read in overall podium contention and leading in the Junior classification.
However, a cruel failure on the pitlane timing system left the team unsure on when to release Aidan back into the race, losing crucial time and dropping the car down the field to P11.
In one of his strongest performances of the year, Aidan raced hard, pulling the car up the field and coming out on top in a great battle with the Audi of Frédéric Vervisch to bring the car home eighth overall. With the points leader, Ricardo Feller, behind closing up the title race to an 11-point deficit going into the season’s final race.
Starting P21 for Sunday’s race there was a lot to do. Aidan took up the challenge and kept the car in contention, passing cars and keeping Feller – who sat in P2 in the championship within reach – running strongly in P17 when handing over to Dienst.
Re-joining in P18 and seventh in the Junior race, the target was Feller to secure enough points to pass him for P2 and hope that Max Hofer, the leader of the Junior Trophy fell back. Dienst started to make his way forward, catching and passing Feller when the rival tangled with another car under pressure.
At the flag, P14 overall and fourth in the Junior Trophy was another good points finish, taking the runner up position in the Junior Trophy and ending a season on a high note in what was at times a challenging debut European season for Aidan.
“The last two rounds of the championship were certainly my best,” Aidan said. “I’m really happy with the progression made and understanding on how to put together the race weekend – maximising the potential. The experience over the season certainly helped and it’s great to breaking into the field and go wheel to wheel with the factory drivers.
“We had mixed conditions in FP2, so we had to use the first practice session as reference for qualifying, but I certainly made gains in that area as well in terms of using the time available to understand the car and what to expect with fresh tyres. Overall, it has been a great experience and I enjoyed battling with the Pros.”