BMW Sports Trophy Team Schubert produced a strong display on its final race weekend of the season, but was unable to convert a promising performance into good results. Dominik Baumann (AT) and Jens Klingmann (DE) were initially among the fastest in all the qualifying sessions at the final round of the Blancpain Sprint Series in Baku (AZ), but were then robbed of any chance of a good result by a penalty and a crash, which they could do nothing to avoid, on the opening lap of the qualifying race.
Baumann and Klingmann came out on top in the first qualifying and were third fastest in the second session. Despite minor problems with the brakes in the third qualifying, they still managed to secure the sixth place on the grid for the qualifying race. Unfortunately they were subsequently penalised for a procedural error, for which they were relegated to the last row.
In the race, the number 76 BMW Z4 GT3 was hit by a rival car which had spun out of control in turn four of the narrow street circuit. The Schubert car collided heavily with the wall. Although the team did manage to repair the severely damaged car in time for the main race, Baumann and Klingmann had to retire after nine laps.
Stefan Wendl (Team Manager Schubert Motorsport): “Things were looking really good for us here until the end of qualifying. We were very quick and were counting on a good result. Unfortunately we, as a team, made a small mistake in qualifying, for which we were penalised by having all our times scratched. That was obviously a major blow, as it was clear that it would be very risky to try to come from the back of the field on such a narrow track. Just a few corners in we were involved in a big collision, which left the car virtually irreparable. Despite this, our team did a fantastic job to get the car up and running by the main race. I would like to say a big thank you to the ROAL Motorsport team, who helped us out with some spare parts. Unfortunately we discovered during the main race that the chassis was more seriously damaged than we had hoped, and had to retire from the race for safety reasons.”
Dominik Baumann (BMW Z4 GT3, car number 76): “It is a shame it ended that way, as we had the speed to be right up among the front-runners here. After our grid relegation, I tried to make up places as quickly as possible at the start of the qualifying race. That worked very well in the first corner too. However, I was then unable to avoid the car spinning in front of me. The damage to the car was pretty serious, but we wanted to at least try to line up for the main race. We managed that, thanks to the team’s hard work, but it soon became clear that there was no point in continuing for the entire race.”
Jens Klingmann (BMW Z4 GT3, car number 76): “That is obviously a disappointing way to end what was actually a very promising weekend. It was my first time in Baku, and we coped well right from the first practice session. We could definitely have done really well, had we started the qualifying race from sixth place on the grid. When you see who ended up on the podium: we were on a par with those guys all weekend.”
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