A podium to kick off proceedings: third place for BMW Sports Trophy Team Schubert at the VLN opener
BMW Sports Trophy Team Schubert made a successful start to the new racing season on the Nürburgring-Nordschleife (DE). Martin Tomczyk (DE), Jens Klingmann (DE) and Dominik Baumann (AT) finished third in the number 20 BMW Z4 GT3 at the opening race of the VLN Endurance Championship. A good strategy and some impressive driving saw the trio fight through the field from eleventh on the grid to claim a well-deserved podium.
The second BMW Z4 GT3, with drivers Dirk Werner (DE), Lucas Luhr (DE) and Alexander Sims (GB), was also on course for a podium until shortly before the end of the race. However, the number 19 car failed to finish the 60th ADAC Westfalenfahrt following a crash with Sims at the wheel. Victory went to Audi drivers Frank Stippler (DE), Marc Basseng (DE) and Laurens Vanthoor (BE).
Stefan Wendl (Team Manager Schubert Motorsport): “All in all that was a positive start to the Nordschleife season. It was a very tactical race for us. We did not qualify as high up as we would have hoped, so we sent both cars into the race with different strategies. The aim was to stay out of traffic. We were then able to work our way through the field bit by bit. Unfortunately we missed out on an impressive team result of third and fourth when Alexander Sims crashed out in the Aremberg section of the circuit shortly before the end of the race. Despite this, we are obviously pleased with the podium.”
Martin Tomczyk (BMW Z4 GT3, car number 20): “It feels good to start the season with a podium. The focus for us was obviously on continuing our preparations for the 24-hour race. As a racing driver, however, you always want to get a good result. And we did exactly that today. The team did a great job and I now head to next week’s DTM tests in Budapest with plenty of momentum.”
Dominik Baumann (BMW Z4 GT3, car number 20): “This third place shows that both the team and drivers have done a good job so far. Knowing that you are in the frame right from the start of the season gives everyone in the team a lot of confidence. My stint went to plan, and there were not too many yellow flags. The final phase was far more complicated for Jens Klingmann. We are happy with this result – and will now continue to work hard.”
Jens Klingmann (BMW Z4 GT3, car number 20): “Personally, I did not find it very easy to get into a good rhythm at the end. There was one yellow flag after another, and it would have been easy to lose track of what was going on. With that in mind, we can be very happy with the result. Our car is running well and we covered the distance without any technical problems. There was also a good chemistry between the drivers. It all fills me with optimism for the challenges ahead.”
Lucas Luhr (BMW Z4 GT3, car number 19): “It was actually impossible to tell that that was my first race in the BMW Z4 GT3. I feel right at home in that car. We had a slight problem in qualifying, which meant we started from quite a long way back. However, we then made good progress. After the start I was able to overtake several cars on the outside in Querspange. That was definitely a good decision. It is obviously a shame that the crash meant we were not rewarded with a good result. However, we will hopefully have a few more opportunities over the course of the year.”