Schubert Motorsport acquit themselves well in Nürburgring finale: Two Top Ten finishes for the BMW M6 GT3 on its last outing
Last weekend at the Nürburgring, Schubert Motorsport rounded off a highly creditable season in the ADAC GT Masters / International German GT Championship with another flawless performance, as the Oschersleben-based outfit’s BMW M6 GT3 made its final competitive appearance. BMW factory drivers Jesse Krohn and Nick Yelloly comfortably finished in the Top Ten on both days to consolidate a highly respectable P8 in the drivers’ championship. Schubert Motorsport finished ninth in the team standings.
The team also brought their ADAC GT4 Germany campaign to a gratifying conclusion at the sixth and final event, as Marcel Lenerz and Michael von Zabiensky in their BMW M4 GT4 twice finished in the points. In both races, the duo mounted a spectacular charge from the tail end of the 27-strong field. In their debut year in this of the top-class GT4 series, Schubert Motorsport finished ninth in the team championship.
Nick Yelloly and Jesse Krohn bid farewell to the BMW M6 GT3 with a spirited challenge
As expected, the shorter 3.629-metre configuration of the Nürburgring circuit was a far from ideal venue for the swansong of the BMW M6 GT3. The focus in free practice was on adapting the setup to the extremely cool weather conditions. In qualifying on Saturday morning, Krohn coped well with the low temperatures to book twelfth place on the grid. He then proceeded to stay out of trouble through the chaotic opening corners and managed to gain a few positions which he then lost in subsequent wheel-to-wheel action. As the race progressed, he and Yelloly gradually got their momentum back. After taking over in twelfth position at the driver change, Yelloly worked his way up to ninth and a solid Top Ten result.
On Sunday, the Nürburgring served up another dose of classic Eifel weather, with qualifying having to be delayed due to dense fog. Yelloly then had difficulty in getting the wet weather tyres up to operating temperature in the chase for lap times on a cold and damp track. The 30-year-old ended up in 18th place in the field of 25 contestants. He was immediately able to put the disappointment behind him as the lights went out on the gantry, posting a sequence of fast lap times in a magnificent first stint to prepare the ground for a perfect overcut. Krohn took over in seventh place and then held his own in a fiercely contested second half to finish eighth.
Nick Yelloly: “These two Top Ten results were a fantastic send-off for the BMW M6 GT3, especially as the Nürburgring has traditionally not been the best of tracks for us. This is testimony to how well the team has worked throughout the year. We had a successful season despite a lot of bad luck and some undeserved DNFs. The whole team, Jesse and I can be proud of this achievement. Now we are looking forward to having an even stronger package next year with the new BMW M4 GT3. Finally, I would like to say a big thank you to Schubert Motorsport. It’s been a great two years, and I really enjoy racing with this team in the ADAC GT Masters. It would be nice to compete together in the future as well.”
Jesse Krohn: “It’s been a long, challenging year, and we were expecting a no less tricky finale. Two Top Ten results were really a nice bonus. We can be very happy with that because we certainly got the maximum out of our package. We would have needed a lot of luck to make it onto the podium, because the opposition benefited from an extremely favourable Balance of Performance. As a team, we did a flawless job at the Nürburgring, and to finish this year in eighth place with the BMW M6 GT3 is a remarkable achievement.”
Icy test in ADAC GT4 Germany
The final round of the debut season in the ADAC GT4 Germany presented Schubert Motorsport with yet another new challenge. Having so many years of experience in the Endurance Championship, the team is accustomed to the extreme weather conditions in the Eifel, but the engineers and mechanics had not been thrust into in the Nürburgring fridge before with the BMW M4 GT4. The practice sessions were an opportunity for von Zabiensky and Lenerz to acclimatise themselves to the conditions, after which they qualified 22nd and 16th on the grid.
In the first race, they played it safe but still managed to work their way up to 16th position, which earned them seven championship points. Sunday’s race proved to be a bit livelier. In damp conditions, Lenerz started the second race on slicks and made steady progress to link up with the front-runners. At the end of the first stint, the 24-year-old handed over in seventh place. Von Zabiensky was then involved in some heated action in the second half, eventually crossing the finish line in 14th place.
Marcel Lenerz: “We definitely improved in the second race. Switching to slicks at short notice was the right decision. The first few laps were a bit tricky, but then we reaped the benefits. I did have a slight contact with an opponent early on, which damaged the traction control sensor, but I was able to make up a lot of positions even without the driving aid – it just took a bit more finesse in those conditions. It was definitely a positive performance to end the year. I would like to thank Schubert Motorsport for a really great season. I gained a lot of valuable experience and had great fun working with them.”
Michael von Zabiensky: “These last two races were really tough. On Saturday I got off to a good start, but couldn’t quite keep up the pace afterwards. In the second race, we were at quite a disadvantage due to the failure of the traction control, especially in the second stint. The tyres suffered a lot from that. But all in all, two points results are a decent way to end to our debut season. Many thanks to the team for this great year. I’ve learned a lot driving-wise and it’s been fun working with the engineers and mechanics to get an ever better understanding of the BMW M4 GT4. I’m already looking forward to 2022.”
Team manager Marcel Schmidt: “The final race weekend with the BMW M6 GT3 in the ADAC GT Masters was very much to our liking. The conditions were extremely difficult, as expected at this time of year. Our engineers and mechanics did an excellent job with the setup. Nick and Jesse fully exploited the car’s potential in the races, and in combination with the shrewd decisions of our strategists, it enabled us to overcome our deficit from qualifying. It was a strong team performance to end a strong season. And in the ADAC GT4 Germany, we also delivered once again. It was a weekend with many challenges for us. We had never driven the BMW M4 GT4 in these conditions before. The learning trajectory for the team as well as the drivers was once again sharply upwards, and we can be happy with our performance.”