Challenging weekend for Schubert Motorsport: Valuable points for fightback in ADAC GT Masters at Zandvoort
Hard-fought points for Schubert Motorsport at the ADAC GT Masters in Zandvoort. After the heat battle at the DTM in Imola, the BMW M Motorsport team from Oschersleben continued their campaign last weekend on the Dutch North Sea coast. For the outfit's two BMW M4 GT3s, the third stop of the season in the German GT Championship was on the agenda. BMW factory drivers Jesse Krohn and Nicky Catsburg, as well as their teammates Niklas Krütten and Ben Green, had to battle against all kinds of opposition on the dune rollercoaster. With eleventh place in Sunday's race, the team scored another points result. In the overall standings, Schubert Motorsport is in third place after the races at Zandvoort.
In Friday's practice sessions, the engineers and drivers were faced with difficult conditions to set up the BMW M4 GT3 for the 4.259 km Circuit Zandvoort. In changeable weather, Jesse Krohn finished eleventh in the field of 22 GT3 cars in the second session. In the first qualifying session on Saturday, neither the 31-year-old Finn nor team-mate Ben Green managed to build on their good work. Just as the duo left the pits in the 20-minute session, it started to rain. The competitors' lap times set in the dry were out of reach with grid positions of 21st and 22nd.
The weather roulette from qualifying continued unabated in the first race. After it rained until shortly before the start, the strategists from Schubert Motorsport had to decide on the right tactics. Both of the team's BMW M4 GT3s went into the first 60-minute race on slicks, with the track still damp. Jesse Krohn set a strong pace in the early stages and worked his way up to eleventh place within two laps. After a long first stint, Nicky Catsburg took over the wheel of car number 20 at the pit stop in tenth position.
Ten minutes before the finish, however, the 34-year-old Dutchman had to retire early. In a fierce battle with a rival, the car was damaged and the local hero had to park in the garage. Niklas Krütten met the same fate immediately afterwards. The 19-year-old from Trier was in 13th position when another driver connected with him on the left rear. The winning BMW from the Red Bull Ring also pitted with a puncture. With this outcome, Saturday's race didn’t yield the deserved points result.
On Sunday, another challenging competition awaited the team on the famous Grand Prix circuit not far from the Dutch capital Amsterdam. Nicky Catsburg and Niklas Krütten finished the qualifying practice in 13th and 22nd place. In the second race, both worked their way up towards the points. Niklas Krütten made up ground on the top-ten in the first stint with an overcut. After the driver change, Ben Green continued to move up the order. In eleventh place, the 24-year-old Briton scored a valuable points result for the duo. In the sister car, Nicky Catsburg and Jesse Krohn ran four positions higher, but after 25 laps a puncture ended their race prematurely once again.
ADAC GT Masters
Jesse Krohn/Nicky Catsburg - BMW M4 GT3 #20
Qualifying 1: P21 - Race 1: DNF
Qualifying 2: P13 - Race 2: DNF
Jesse Krohn: "The weekend was really tough. Nothing went in our way and we didn't have luck on our side. Due to the adjusted Balance of Performance, we had less power and more weight on board, which is why we struggled with the pace. Nevertheless, without the bad luck, good results would have been possible in both races. In the second race, unfortunately, we had another puncture and had to retire. We can only move on from this weekend and regroup for the Nürburgring."
ADAC GT Masters
Niklas Krütten/Ben Green - BMW M4 GT3 #10
Qualifying 1: P22 - Race 1: DNF
Qualifying 2: P22 - Race 2: P11
Niklas Krütten: "It was a difficult weekend for us right from the start. We knew that the competitveness would be different to the Red Bull Ring. On Saturday, Ben was simply unlucky with the weather in qualifying. In the race I defended myself with all I had, but the competition was faster in the corners and then someone hit my left rear wheel. The contact ended our Saturday. In the second qualifying I couldn't quite get the lap together. In the race we made up some positions with the overcut. With eleventh place we made the best of the situation. These are important points for the championship."
Ben Green: "Zandvoort was tough for us this weekend, but it was nice to salvage some points in Race two with a good drive from P22 to P11. We achieved this through strong team strategy in the pit stop and nice stints from myself and Niklas. I hope we can be more competitive again at Nürburgring."
Fourth points result for Schubert Motorsport in ADAC GT4 Germany 2022
In the record field of entrants in the ADAC GT4 Germany, Schubert Motorsport was again out for an instructive weekend with the BMW M4 GT4. Rookie Patrick Steinmatz and team-mate Michael von Zabiensky were placed in the midfield of the 27 competitors in 13th and 15th place in the practice sessions. The qualifying sessions, however, did not go according to plan with grid positions 20 and 26. As in the previous events, the duo focused on making progress in each of the races.
On Saturday, Patrick Steinmetz had worked his way towards the top-ten when a rain shower brought out the red flag. After the race was interrupted, Michael von Zabiensky crossed the finish line in 17th place in a final sprint in difficult conditions. The fightback on Sunday was more successful for the #10 BMW M4 GT4 with 13th place. The fourth points result of the season increased the driver duo's tally to 20 points.
ADAC GT4 Germany
Patrick Steinmetz/Michael von Zabiensky - BMW M4 GT4 #10
Qualifying 1: P20 - Race 1: P17
Qualifying 2: P26 - Race 2: P13
Patrick Steinmetz: "Zandvoort was up and down for us. We showed again in practice that we have the pace for points. Unfortunately, qualifying is still our weakness. We didn't make best use of the new tyres and therefore had a difficult starting position for the races. In the first race we were on for a top-ten result, but in the rain the balance wasn't quite right. Sunday went better for us. We got through the field well and showed that our race pace is competitive. All in all, it was a weekend with mixed feelings."
Michael von Zabiensky: "We were very happy on Friday, but in qualifying we quickly realised that we couldn't really play to the strengths of our BMW M4 GT4 with the Balance of Performance. With these starting positions it is always very difficult in the races. On Saturday we came through quite well, but after the restart in the rain we didn’t hit all the right tyre pressures and dropped back. In the second race we got the maximum out of it with 13th place. Overall, the weekend was an important experience. Many thanks to the team for the great effort."
Team Manager Marcel Schmidt: "The weekend at Zandvoort falls into the category of damage limitation for us. With the classification of our BMW M4 GT3 in the regulations, it was unlikely from the outset that we would be able to repeat the victories from the Red Bull Ring. In the end, however, bad luck robbed us of much better results. We got off on the wrong foot in the first qualifying session and that was a common thread throughout the weekend. Jesse and Nicky were on for solid points finishes in both races and it's very disappointing how it turned out for them. Niklas and Ben's eleventh place on Sunday was a small consolation and, above all, a valuable result with a view to the championship."