Big-name reinforcement for the championship showdown
BMW Sports Trophy Team Schubert travels to the final round of the ADAC GT Masters with two titles still up for grabs. Dominik Baumann (AT) is second in the Drivers’ Championship ahead of the final two races at the Hockenheimring (DE). However, he trails leaders Sebastian Asch (DE) and Luca Ludwig (DE) by 31 points with a maximum 50 points still available. The outlook is more positive in the Team competition, in which the team from Oschersleben (DE) is just 12 points off the lead.
The team welcomes two new faces for the season finale. Baumann, at the wheel of the number 80 BMW Z4 GT3 powered by HUAWEI, will be supported by BMW DTM driver Bruno Spengler (CA), who takes the place of regular driver Jens Klingmann (DE). Klingmann, who has won four races alongside Baumann this year, is unable to line up at the finale, as it coincides with a works outing for BMW Motorsport at the final round of the United SportsCar Championship (USCC) in Road Atlanta (US). However, he will have his fingers firmly crossed for his team-mates from across the pond.
In the number 19 car, regular driver Claudia Hürtgen (DE) will be joined by Niklas Mackschin (DE), who is making his ADAC GT Masters debut. Mackschin, who turns 21 on Friday, arrives from the European Touring Car Cup (ETCC), in which he leads the overall standings in the Super 1600 class after nine wins from ten races. He has been involved in testing the BMW Z4 GT3 for BMW Sports Trophy Team Schubert in the past and will stand in for Uwe Alzen (DE) in Hockenheim. After six race weekends together with Claudia Hürtgen, Alzen’s VLN commitments mean he is unable to start the final two races of the year.
The races begin at the usual time of 13:15 on Saturday and Sunday and will be broadcast live by Sport1.
Timo Frings (Team Manager): “Our approach in Hockenheim will be to attack. We still have a chance of winning the titles in the Drivers’ and Team competitions, and will do our best to do so. We have nothing to lose, even though the extra 30 kilograms for Saturday’s race will obviously make the task even more difficult. It is a shame that Jens Klingmann and Uwe Alzen cannot be there for the finale. We are grateful to them for the outstanding job they have done for us this year, and have our fingers crossed for them in their races. In Bruno Spengler, BMW have given us a top-class replacement for Jens as Dominik’s partner. And the start for Niklas Mackschin, who comes from near Hannover, is a test for the future. We have been in contact with him for a long time, and he was very quick to adapt to the BMW Z4 GT3 during testing.”
Claudia Hürtgen (BMW Z4 GT3 #19): “I always look forward to coming to Hockenheim, and am a bit sad that the season will soon be over again. We will do everything in our power to win the Team Championship at the weekend. We have come close on two occasions, but missed out in the final race both times. I hope we can do it this time, especially as it is a great way to thank the team for the great commitment it has shown. I don’t know my new team-mate yet, but am looking forward to getting to know him. And who knows, maybe he will give himself the best possible birthday present this weekend.”
Dominik Baumann (BMW Z4 GT3 powered by HUAWEI #80): “I am really looking forward to driving alongside Bruno Spengler this weekend. He is certainly a good replacement for Jens. The two of us have shared an almost telepathic understanding this season. However, we have known about his commitment in America for a long time. We have absolutely no need to worry about performance this weekend. Bruno knows the BMW Z4 GT3 from the 24-hour race in Spa, and maybe he can even find a few ways to improve our car. He is used to driving faster cars, so should have no trouble adapting to the ADAC GT Masters. As far as the championship is concerned, I will just see what happens. We cannot force anything, but simply have to hope our rivals slip up. However, anything can happen at a finale like this.”