After two tough weekends, Schubert Motorsport’s comeback season in the ADAC GT Masters finally picked up speed at the Hockenheimring. The Oschersleben-based outfit had their strongest weekend so far at the 4.57-km grand prix circuit in south-west Germany since returning to the Super Sports Car League. In two extremely competitive races, both BMW M6 GT3s took points in the field of 33 GT3 cars and had the courage to take risks.
Schubert Motorsport used the one-month break after the race meeting at the Nürburgring to intensively prepare for the third round of the 2020 ADAC GT Masters. The progress made with setup on the BMW M6 GT3 during the test day at the Hockenheimring immediately made itself noticeable on Friday. Joel Eriksson in car number 9 booked P11 in FP2. Swedish ADAC GT Masters rookie Henric Skoog in the sister car ended the session for Juniors in third place.
Coming 13th, Skoog then repeated his performance in Q1 on Saturday in the best-placed BMW M6 GT3 on the grid with a half-second deficit on pole position. Team-mate Aidan Read finished the session two tenths behind Skoog in 21st place.
Read ran wide during the start and dropped back to 32nd position. From the penultimate place, he and Eriksson fought their way back up into P21. After some tough scraps during the first stint, Skoog handed the car over to Nick Yelloly in a points-scoring position, and the BMW works driver did indeed take the duo’s first points of the current season for P15.
British driver Yelloly continued his strong form on Sunday, achieving the best qualifying result of the year for Schubert Motorsport with grid slot 11. Eriksson came within three hundredths of a second of his team-mate’s lap time and completed a fine performance by the team, qualifying 13th on the grid.
The second race was once again turbulent despite the fact that they were well-placed at the start. Yelloly and Eriksson lost ground on the opening lap but maintained P15 and 19 and stayed within striking distance of the points. Skoog was in 13th position during the second stint until a spin dropped him back down. So in the end, car number 10 had to settle for 22nd place. Things went better for Eriksson and Read. The Australian held P15 until the finish and secured his second result of the weekend in the Points.
In the fourth race meeting of the 2020 ADAC GT Masters in two weeks’ time, Schubert Motorsport intend to maintain the form shown at Hockenheim. Races seven and eight will take place at the legendary Sachsenring from October 2nd to 4th and mark the start of the second half of the season in the Super Sports Car League.
Team Principal André Schubert: “We were really disappointed after the Nürburgring and couldn’t wait to return to the Hockenheim circuit. We knew that we would have a tough time once again there in view of the BMW M6 GT3’s status in the BoP. But still, we worked tirelessly on setting up the car in order to do better and compensate for the disadvantages as best we could. At the same time, we worked tirelessly to understand the tyres better and compensate for the disadvantages. Results at the Hockenheimring have shown that we have succeeded to a high degree. We have found a good basic setup especially where our pace in qualifying is concerned. However, we still need to catch up as regards race setup and will continue to work on sorting out the deficits before we get to the Sachsenring. We are knocking on the door of the Top Ten and feel very optimistic about achieving our goal soon.”
Joel Eriksson: “At the end of the day, I’m pretty happy with our weekend. We made good progress with the setup. Prior to that, we’d been having major problems understanding the tyres and getting them into their operating window. We have made big improvements in that respect. It was fun and I’m happy to have bagged our first points. Aidan and I did a good job, and his second stint on Sunday was particularly strong. Our race pace is not yet perfect, but I will continue to work hard with the team in order to be even better placed for the next race weekend at the Sachsenring.”
Aidan Read: “Hockenheim was really great. I was especially satisfied with Sunday’s race. The point for 15th place is a good sign that we are making progress. We are in a position where we can get more out of the car and maximise our package. I feel confident that we can do even better in the upcoming events provided the racetracks suit us. It’s very close in the midfield and as long as we keep making progress, more points and better results will be possible. We will work on it, and hopefully, take the next step at the Sachsenring.”
Nick Yelloly: “We’ve definitely improved our pace overall. The team has worked really hard since the Nürburgring to get more performance from the BMW and has been successful, so I would like to say a big ‘thank you’ to all our engineers and mechanics for their tireless efforts. P11 on the grid is our best result in qualifying and means that we’ve pulled off a great success in this hard-fought grid. However, more should have been possible in the races. Our performance over a single lap is gradually improving, but we have problems with tyre degradation over the race distance and will have to work on that. The upcoming race tracks should really suit our car, which is why we feel optimistic. The ADAC GT Masters is one of the world’s toughest GT3 series and we are doing everything we can to keep pushing forwards.”
Henric Skoog: “I’m quite happy with Saturday’s qualifying and race. I feel that I’ve made steps forward coming to grips with the car. Especially in qualifying I feel much more confident. The balance on one lap has improved a lot since the last race. On the other hand I’m still struggling with tyre degradation on the long run. We definitely need to work on the race setup and it’s also on me to adapt to the lack of grip in the later stages of the race.”
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