Hat-trick: Remo Lips is Pirelli Trophy champion for third time

Hat-trick: Remo Lips is Pirelli Trophy champion for third time

23.09.2018: • Swiss driver successfully defends his title in the Pirelli Trophy classification • Three title wins with three different cars and teams • Consistency is key to success

•    Swiss driver successfully defends his title in the Pirelli Trophy classification

•    Three title wins with three different cars and teams

•    Consistency is key to success

Mission accomplished - hat-trick in the bag. Audi driver Remo Lips (35, Switzerland, Aust Motorsport) secured the title in the Pirelli Trophy classification for the third consecutive time in the season finale of the ADAC GT Masters at Hockenheim

"It's very nice to have managed to secure my hat-trick," said the Swiss driver after winning the title. "This is a terrific reward for all our hard work this season."

With his third title win, Lips is now the supreme champion in the classification for amateur drivers, having overtaken fellow Swiss driver, Toni Seiler, who secured the title in 2009 and 2010. "It means a lot to me to know that I've now surpassed Toni's achievement. I know him very well and spent two years in his team," said Lips.

"We will certainly speak on the phone today". What makes Remo's success also really special is that he has managed to take the title hat-trick with three different cars and teams - in 2016, driving a Corvette Z06.R GT3 fielded by RWT Racing, in 2017 with the Nissan GT-R NISMO GT3 prepared by MRS GT Racing and now in the Audi R8 LMS belonging to German outfit, Aust Motorsport, for whom this is a maiden title win in the ADAC GT Masters.

His recipe for success? "Be consistent. I never retired once all season. And I'm not that slow either!" said Lips, who took points in the Pirelli Trophy classification from each of the 13 races held so far in 2018 and won the class at the Nürburgring and the Sachsenring, aided by partner Maximilian Hackländer (28, GER).

"Those two races were also the highlights of my season." The season did hold one small regret for the ambitious driver from the Swiss Alps, however: "I would like to have finished in the Top Ten overall and to have secured championship points, but that's not easy for an amateur given the highly competitive nature of the field."

After several seasons in a front-engined GT3 racing car, switching to the mid-engined Audi R8 was a fresh challenge for Lips: "It was a bit of the problem for me, still having that Corvette style of driving imprinted in my brain."

The Audi R8 LMS was a huge difference to the Corvette Z06.R GT3 which Lips raced for five seasons: "With the Corvette, you were never in any doubt about when you were over the limit, but with the Audi, you drive it to the limit and actually even beyond to be fast," said the 35-year-old.

"You have to get used to it first." But getting accustomed to the new team was easier, according to team boss Frank Aust: "Initially, he had to master getting used to the Audi. During the season, he adjusted very well to the R8 and was very fast once he'd got confidence in the car. We saw that at the Sachsenring. To leave title contender Robert Renauer behind over so many laps was a remarkable achievement."

And team-mate Maximilian Hackländer, who is not a racing professional either, is delighted to be partnering the Swiss driver: "Remo is a nice guy and very funny. We work in perfect harmony together. He is very focused on his work and always wants to improve." Lips is keen to return the compliment: "

Maxi is an absolutely superb team-mate. He's doing a brilliant job and I'm really happy to share the drive with him. He's really fast and has proven in a number of races that he's even quicker than some works drivers."

Remo's passion for racing began at the age of six. When he was 14, he moved from karting into motor racing via the ADAC High-Speed Academy for formula racing drivers. Aged 16, he lined up in the BMW Formula ADAC and competed with people such as Christian Klien, Timo Glock and Maro Engel, who later became Formula 1 or DTM drivers.

That was followed by race outings in the Renault one-make cup and in endurance championships. He initially took part in the ADAC GT Masters in 2010 and 2011 on a few occasions before going on to contest his first full season in 2012. He is now one of the most experienced drivers in the series, having contested 113 races to date. Only five drivers in the championship have competed in more races than him.

Outside of motor racing, Lips works in real estate. "That also makes me very happy." But before that, he did something completely different: "It's hard to believe, but I originally trained as a chef." He completed his training while taking his first steps in motorsport.

"That's why I've never really lived racing one hundred per cent and why I drive much less than many other drivers in the field." In order not to get out of practice, the Pirelli Trophy champion still likes to go karting and also enjoys racing veteran cars. In the summer, he lined up again in the Le Mans Classic, driving a Shelby Mustang and a Ferrari 512 BB/LM.

By the way, he also loves skiing and recently took up boxing. Sometimes, he can't help wondering how he manages to combine motorsport, work and his free time. "My head is all over the place, but right now, I can still manage to do it all!" said Lips.

Calendar for the 2018 ADAC GT Masters

13/04/18 -15/04/18          Motorsport Arena Oschersleben
27/04/18 -29/04/18          Autodrom Most (CZ)
08/06/18 -10/06/18          Red Bull Ring (AUT)
03/08/18 -05/08/18          Nürburgring
17/08/18 -19/08/18          Circuit Zandvoort (NL)
07/09/18 -09/09/18          Sachsenring
21/09/18 -23/09/18          Hockenheimring Baden-Württemberg

- Oliver Runschke- photos ADAC

Permanent-URL: http://www.automobilsport.com/remo-lips-pirellit-trophy-champion-third---180980.html

23.09.2018 / MaP

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