Drivers looking forward to the “mini Nordschleife” at the Sachsenring
BMW Sports Trophy Team Schubert has its sights set on a return to the podium at the sixth race weekend of this year’s ADAC GT Masters, which would keep alive any hopes they still have of winning the title. Dominik Baumann (AT) and Jens Klingmann (DE), who are currently third in the overall standings, will need a better weekend at the wheel of the number 80 BMW Z4 GT3 powered by HUAWEI than they had recently at the Nürburgring, where they had to settle for one fourth place from two races.
In their bid to catch the teams ahead of them, Baumann and Klingmann, who won for the team from Oschersleben at the Sachsenring in 2013, can count on the support of their team-mates Claudia Hürtgen (DE) and Uwe Alzen (DE), who will be out to deny the opposition as many points as possible. The team’s mechanics have repaired the number 19 in time following Alzen’s big crash in the Eifel Mountains.
A new challenge for all the starters at the weekend will be the trial run of a new qualifying format. The battle for grid positions for both races, which get underway at 13:15 on Saturday and Sunday and are broadcast live on Sport1, will this time take place on the morning of the respective race. From 08:00 on Saturday and Sunday, the drivers will have 25 minutes, in which to secure the best possible starting position.
Timo Frings (Team Manager): “The Sachsenring is a circuit that quite suits our car. However, Audi is traditionally particularly strong there. We tested there at the start of the year and are optimistic going into both races. The circuit has a lot of blind corners, in which the drivers need to have a lot of faith in their car. The new qualifying format will be a challenge for everyone, and will take some getting used to. You need to get the set-up right nice and early, as you don’t have much time between qualifying and the race to make many changes. Also, you cannot afford to make any mistakes and damage the car in qualifying, as otherwise you could be cutting it a bit fine for the race. We have managed to put Claudia Hürtgen and Uwe Alzen’s car back together in time following the crash at the Nürburgring. Looking at the championship, we are just taking one race at a time. We will see where we end up in the table at the end.”
Claudia Hürtgen (BMW Z4 GT3 #19): “Uwe and I would obviously like to get a better result than at the Nürburgring, where race two came to a premature end for us. I am looking forward to the Sachsenring – as, I guess, are many drivers. The circuit is a bit like a ‘mini Nordschleife’. It is a superb natural racetrack, with many undulations, making it a real challenge for the drivers. I hope our car is fast enough to challenge for a place on the podium. However, the current Balance of Performance does not really work in our favour and will make it tricky for us. We are already getting everything possible out of our car. However, we will try to make the most of our package and want to support our team-mates in the race for the championship.”
Jens Klingmann (BMW Z4 GT3 powered by HUAWEI #80): “I have very fond memories of the Sachsenring. I won here two years ago, when I made my ADAC GT Masters debut in place of the injured Jörg Müller. We actually set the existing qualifying record back then – and I am out to improve that this time round. You have to start from the front of the grid at the Sachsenring, as it is difficult to overtake there. It is a very technical circuit without many top-speed sections. The Sachsenring ought to suit our car. If it stays dry, I have a good feeling and expect a good result. Our goal for the weekend is to get at least two podium finishes.”