The spell has been broken: “PIXUM Team Schubert” powered by Jochen Schweizer claimed its first victory of the season on the third weekend of the ADAC GT Masters at the Lausitzring (DE). Dominik Baumann (AT) and Claudia Hürtgen (DE) dominated Sunday’s second race to come home first in the number 19 BMW Z4 GT3, 2.694 seconds ahead of René Rast (DE) and Kelvin van der Linde (ZA) in their Audi.
Baumann had previously secured the first pole of the season in Friday’s qualifying, but was passed by the Corvette of Jeroen Bleekemolen (NL) at the rolling start. He soon regained the lead, courtesy of an impressive overtaking manoeuvre, and had opened up a lead of over seven seconds by the time he pulled into the pits to swap drivers. Hürtgen then brought the car home first to claim the pair’s maiden win of the year without any major problems. Having finished fourth to narrowly miss out on the podium in Saturday’s opening race, the duo is now third in the overall standings with 82 points.
Jens Klingmann (DE) and Max Sandritter (DE) endured a less successful weekend in the number 20 BMW Z4 GT3. A technical problem caused them to retire on Saturday. However, they did produce a strong performance to climb from eighth on the grid to finish sixth in race two, picking up eight points towards the Drivers’ Championship in the process.
Stefan Wendl (Team Manager Schubert Motorsport): “Congratulations to the entire team, who did a superb job. We have been knocking on the door of the podium all season, and finally everything came together and we were able to score our first win of the season. Everyone is hugely relieved. We knew that we would surrender the lead to the Corvette at the start, as it accelerates much better. With that in mind, our goal was to defend second place in turn one. That worked well, and Jeroen was then very fair when Dominik went on the attack. Dominik was then able to open up a lead on fresh tyres. That was all part of our tactics, and Claudia then did a very good job of maintaining that lead through to the finish on older tyres. Both drivers were brilliant this weekend. Our number 20 car was not far off in terms of performance, but it is a very different story when you have to start from the middle of the pack after an unfortunate qualifying, rather than being able to pull clear at the front of the field. We will now take a close look to determine whether the number 20 suffered any engine damage when it retired on Saturday, in order to ensure that we can compete with both cars in perfect condition again in Spielberg.”
Dominik Baumann (BMW Z4 GT3, car number 19): “Another great weekend for us – and finally the first win and first pole position. I am delighted. I was well aware that I would not stand a chance against the Corvette next to me at the start. Therefore, I just focussed on what I had to do. After that I knew I had to get back in front of the Corvette nice and early, because I was considerably quicker and would otherwise have lost a lot of time. The subsequent overtaking manoeuvre was very important in the context of the entire race.”
Claudia Hürtgen (BMW Z4 GT3, car number 19): “As on the first two race weekends of the season, we got the maximum out of the BMW Z4 GT3. The fact that this was enough to win this time around is obviously very nice for the entire team. For me, it was very comforting to take over the car with such a large lead on Sunday. Dominik really did an outstanding job. I was able to concentrate on bringing home the win.”
Max Sandritter (BMW Z4 GT3, car number 20): “All in all that was a disappointing weekend. We were slower than our other car, which is obviously not satisfying, as that car is our first and most important reference. The aim now is to work hard together with the team to ensure we improve this situation by the next race weekend in Spielberg. Sunday’s sixth place was a half-decent way to end the weekend. The situation behind the Corvette, which held everyone up, was a difficult one. I then benefitted from the collision between the Mercedes and the Corvette, and was able to make up three places on the final lap. On Saturday I had to swerve onto the grass to avoid another Corvette, which had spun. The grass clogged up the radiator on the BMW Z4 GT3 and the engine overheated. That is why I had to retire from the race.”
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