Schubert Motorsport finishes 2022 season with another title: BMW M Motorsport Team wins ADAC GT Masters Junior classification
Successful end to the season for Schubert Motorsport at the ADAC GT Masters finale. The final act of 2022 took the squad from Oschersleben back to the Hockenheimring last weekend, where they had celebrated overall victory in the prestigious DTM 14 days earlier. At the seventh and final race weekend in the German GT Championship, the BMW M Motorsport team led by Torsten Schubert once again went on the attack with their two BMW M4 GT3s - and with success. Another strong top-then result by Niklas Krütten and Ben Green in Saturday's race ensured an early title win in the Junior classification. On Sunday, BMW factory drivers Jesse Krohn and Nicky Catsburg clinched a hard-fought sixth place. In the ADAC GT4 Germany, Patrick Steinmetz and Michael von Zabiensky drove the BMW M4 GT4 home to another well-deserved points finish in the finale.
In the Junior classification of the ADAC GT Masters, Ben Green was the commanding champion with 253 points from seven race weekends. Niklas Krütten finished second, having had to skip the event at the Sachsenring due to other commitments. Schubert Motorsport fielded the BMW M4 GT3 in the ADAC GT Masters for the first time in 2022 and was immediately successful. Two victories, two pole positions and two fastest race laps ensured a great debut for the new BMW M Motorsport car this season.
Hard work for Schubert Motorpsort at ADAC GT Masters finale
The showdown at the 4.574 km long Hockenheimring got off to a promising start for Schubert Motorsport on Friday. In the rainy ADAC GT Masters practice sessions, Nicky Catsburg presented himself in good shape in the number 20 BMW M4 GT3. In the two sessions, the 34-year-old Dutchman finished fourth and third in the top-class field of 20 competitors. In the sister car, Ben Green was also in good form with ninth place in the second practice session.
After the solid start into the weekend, the first qualifying session did not go according to plan. Nicky Catsburg was fast again on Saturday morning in ideal conditions but had his best lap times cancelled due to track limit infringements in turn one. Instead of a top starting position, he and teammate Jesse Krohn had to start the first race from row nine. Niklas Krütten, meanwhile, once again proved his qualities in qualifying. The 20-year-old from Trier finished on the fourth row of the grid.
In the first race over a distance of 60 minutes, things initially went well for the duo from Schubert Motorsport. While Niklas Krütten held his own in the top-ten, Nicky Catsburg put in a spectacular opening lap. The BMW factory driver made up six positions and returned from the first lap in twelfth place. By the time of the pit stop on lap 19, he had moved up to ninth place. In the second stint, however, the comeback drive came to an abrupt end. Jesse Krohn suffered a puncture in a promising position and had to retire from the race on lap 23.
For Niklas Krütten and Ben Green, meanwhile, everything went as planned. The 24-year-old Briton took over the BMW M4 GT3 from his teammate in eighth place on the 21st lap. In the second half of the race, he made up another position and held his own against his rivals until the chequered flag. With seventh place, Ben Green closed the bag in the Junior classification and clinched the title in the classification for drivers under 25 years of age. Niklas Krütten gave Schubert Motorsport a one-two as runner-up in the Junior classification.
Sunday was a turbulent day. In qualifying, Jesse Krohn and Ben Green secured rows five and seven on the grid. At the start of the race, hard battles commenced in the midfield. At the hairpin, there was a misunderstanding between the two Schubert Motorsport drivers. Jesse Krohn made contact with Ben Green, who dropped to the back of the field as a result. The 32-year-old Finn was given a penalty lap by race control for his mistake and lost valuable time as a result.
Having dropped back to positions 16 and 17, Jesse Krohn and Ben Green worked their way up the field until the pit stop window. Nicky Catsburg and Niklas Krütten took over the cars after late driver changes in positions 10 and 16, respectively, and in a hard-fought second stint the pair gradually moved forward. A neutralization brought the field together again with a quarter of an hour to go and opened up new opportunities to make up ground. With positions sixth and ninth, Schubert Motorsport successfully fought their way back into the points after a difficult start to the race.
ADAC GT Masters
Niklas Krütten/Ben Green - BMW M4 GT3 #10
Qualifying 1: P7 - Race 1: P7
Qualifying 2: P14 - Race 2: P9
Niklas Krütten: "With the balance of performance, we expected it to be difficult, but things went pretty well. I got the maximum out of qualifying on Saturday with seventh place and was very happy with that. In the race we held the position, which was all we could do. Unfortunately, Ben's second qualifying didn’t go to plan, but he then had a mega start and was already in the top-ten when he collided with Jesse. Our car was damaged at the front and after that the balance was affected. We later benefited from the mistakes of the others and got back to the front with a tactical race. I defended ninth place with all I had. Under these circumstances, the result is okay."
Ben Green: "I’m over the moon to be ADAC GT Masters junior champion in my first season. It’s an ambition I had from the beginning but to realize it was much tougher! I want to say a big thanks to Schubert Motorsport for their support and belief from the start. Also to Niklas, who drove great this season and would have been junior champion with me if he didn’t miss a race weekend due to a clash. We had a really unfortunate end to the season with me being hit by the sister car after a good start into the race. I felt like we could have challenged for a podium today. I appreciate Jesse’s apology and look forward to racing in ADAC GT Masters either against him or with him in the future!"
ADAC GT Masters
Jesse Krohn/Nicky Catsburg - BMW M4 GT3 #20
Qualifying 1: P18 - Race 1: DNF
Qualifying 2: P10 - Race 2: P6
Jesse Krohn: "It was nice to work with Schubert Motorsport again. I've known the team for a long time and to see how successful they've been this year has been a real pleasure. They deserve it all so much. Torsten and Marcel have formed a team that is on another level. It's a shame that we didn't do better in the ADAC GT Masters. Too much went wrong over the year. Often it was things we had no control over that prevented better results. We wanted to finish the season with a success, but Sunday's race in particular was a disappointment. I'm very sorry for the team that I collided with Ben. I misjudged the situation on braking and couldn't stop the car in time. That made the race very difficult for us. To get both cars into the points afterwards was a good performance but a poor consolation. We would have liked to end the season with a podium."
Nicky Catsburg: "The finale was not what we had hoped for. We started well on Friday in mixed conditions and definitely had one of the fastest cars. Saturday qualifying was a mystery. My lap times were not competitive and we had no explanation for that. I suspect the tire didn't perform because we were much faster in the other sessions. The first race went well. I had a great start, but unfortunately Jesse had the puncture later on. Sunday started better, but the early contact was very disappointing. We then made it back to sixth place with a lot of fighting spirit. That wasn't a bad result, but it could have been much better. Overall, the season was up and down. The BoP wasn't always easy and we certainly could have made more of our opportunities. Nevertheless, I really enjoyed working with Schubert Motorsport again. The exchange with Jesse and the youngsters Ben and Niklas was also very positive."
Schubert Motorsport enjoys a fitting end to the ADAC GT4 Germany season
Schubert Motorsport returned to the ADAC GT4 Germany looking for another strong result at the season finale. After a difficult weekend at the Sachsenring, the youngsters in the BMW M4 GT4 gave their all once again at the sixth event in the top-class GT4 series. In the first practice session, Patrick Steinmetz set off with a strong sixth place. On Saturday, he and Michael von Zabiensky put in a solid performance in the field of 27 cars. Starting from row twelve, the pair made up seven places.
The second qualifying session provided further proof of Patrick Steinmetz's learning curve. With a tenth-place finish, the 21-year-old rookie showed his best qualifying performance in the ADAC GT4 Germany. In the race, he held his ground behind the front runners in the pack and handed the car over to Michael von Zabiensky on lap 14 after a long first stint. The 22-year-old rejoined the action in eighth place and defended his position to the finish line. The duo's second-best result of the season brought the year to a fitting conclusion at Hockenheim.
ADAC GT4 Germany
Patrick Steinmetz/Michael von Zabiensky - BMW M4 GT4 #10
Qualifying 1: P24 - Race 1: P17
Qualifying 2: P10 - Race 2: P8
Patrick Steinmetz: "It was a very positive last race weekend for us in the ADAC GT4 Germany. We found a good setup during testing and practice. The team did a super job and our BMW was fast in all conditions. In the first race it was difficult to move up any further due to our grid position. On Sunday, however, I managed a good qualifying, with which I was very satisfied. I then improved further in the race and we clinched the second-best result of the season. That was a nice way to end the season. It was really a lot of fun this year. Thanks to the Schubert Motorsport team for this great experience."
Michael von Zabiensky: "The preparation for the weekend went really well. We had a promising pace, even when we were running on used tires in practice. In qualifying on Saturday we lacked the optimum setup and of course I wasn't happy with the starting position. In the race it took a while until the balance was right. In the end it was very good, but unfortunately we ran out of time to gain any more positions. On the other hand, Patrick delivered a strong qualifying session on Sunday. The set-up was perfect and we were able to keep up with the pace of the competition in the race. It was just cool to fight with the others and finish in the top-ten again. Thanks to the whole team for the great support throughout the year. It was a great season."
Team Manager Marcel Schmidt: "The finale was fitting to our season in the ADAC GT Masters in many respects. We had the potential for the podium at Hockenheim, but we made life difficult for ourselves. In the end, we still managed to score respectable points. All in all, it was a good first season with the BMW M4 GT3. With the victories and Ben's triumph in the Junior classification, it was a success for us. The titles in the DTM and ADAC GT Masters have made 2022 a very special year for Schubert Motorsport. In the ADAC GT4 Germany, we also showed once again what we are capable of. The entire team has done a phenomenal job this year. I'm very proud of the team spirit with which the guys and girls made all this possible."