Schubert Motorsport continue successful run in ADAC GT Masters: Nick Yelloly and Jesse Krohn secure P3 at Zandvoort
This weekend’s ADAC GT Masters in the Netherlands was an emotional roller-coaster for Schubert Motorsport. Nick Yelloly and Jesse Krohn kicked things off in Saturday’s race on Zandvoort’s legendary circuit in the dunes by continuing their successful run this season. Taking third place, the two BMW works drivers achieved another podium during the third round of this year’s Super Sports Car League but were forced to retire early from the second race and miss out on more top-class results.
Schubert Motorsport’s GT4 rookies were also in action alongside the squad’s ace drivers on the 4.26km Formula 1 circuit next to the North Sea. Marcel Lenerz and Michael von Zabiensky had a very instructive weekend with two action-packed races in the ADAC GT4 Germany, driving the BMW M4 GT4. They made it into the points once again with a P10 and a P8, and so, their record of points-scoring finishes remains intact; they have taken points from every race ever since the opener at Oschersleben.
BMW works drivers Nick Yelloly and Jesse Krohn on a roller-coaster
In practice, Yelloly and Krohn set out their stall ahead of the races at Zandvoort by posting a strong result with third place in FP2 on Friday. However, Saturday qualifying did not quite live up to expectations. Yelloly was unable to set a lap time until the final few minutes, as there had been several stoppages. On his final attempt, it looked like he might secure pole position with best time of anyone on S1, but in the end, he qualified seventh on the grid for the first of two 60-minute races.
30-year-old Yelloly from the UK used his position on the grid to good effect once again during the first stint and was already in P6 at the end of Lap 1 after getting away well off the line. There was an early safety car period and on the restart, he overtook yet another of his rivals with a determined manoeuvre. The field was neutralised once more just before the round of pit stops, but the crew on Schubert Motorsport’s pit wall again managed the situation extremely well by opting for a brilliant strategy, bringing their man in early for the handover, thus giving Krohn a clear run. The Finn was in supreme control on the second stint as he managed the pace comfortably to secure P3 at the finish line.
The team were disappointed on Sunday to find that their wings had been clipped. In Q2, Krohn was unable to qualify higher than 18th in the field of 27 GT3 cars, and their hopes of launching another charge up the field were immediately dashed after the start of Race 2 when several vehicles collided to the rear of the midfield in Turn 2. Krohn was also involved and badly damaged the suspension on his BMW M6 GT3, right-front, leaving him with no option but to retire in the pits.
Nick Yelloly: “To finish the first race on the podium was a terrific result. The car ran really well and not a single member of the team put a foot wrong. Our pit stop time was bang on the limit of what’s allowed. Everything went really well. Unfortunately, the thing that we feared most happened on Sunday. You can easily get caught up in events at the back of the field, which is what transpired in our case, more’s the pity, and we didn’t finish the race, but nevertheless, we’re still doing really well in the championship. We remain optimistic about the rest of the season and will attack again at the Nürburgring.”
Jesse Krohn: “Third place on Saturday was an amazing success, but the second race was disappointing. Having to line up in the midfield puts you in the danger zone immediately at the start. A lot can happen back there and you just get caught up in it all sometimes. I was trying to avoid car in front of me as we were entering into Turn 2, but then another competitor on the outside turned in on me. There was a slight contact which was enough to damage the wishbone. It’s a shame for the whole team, because they did a great job on Saturday and deserved better.”
Action-packed races for rookies in ADAC GT4 Germany
For Marcel Lenerz and Michael von Zabiensky, the race weekend turned into a real roller-coaster that totally justified the reputation of Zandvoort’s circuit in the dunes. After making a mistake in qualifying, von Zabiensky had to tackle the first race from 17th on the grid. The 20-year-old rookie showed great determination during the first stint, working his way up into ninth place in the BMW M4 GT4. However, he spun just before the driver handover, and as a result, Lenerz was the last driver to take his place in the cockpit well after the others. Posting lap times on a par with the race leaders, the 23-year-old rookie fought tirelessly and managed to salvage tenth place at the chequered flag.
Lenerz laid the foundations for another points-scoring result with eighth place in qualifying on Sunday. He gained ground during the early stages of the second race but lost his rhythm several times due to the race being neutralised following a number of crashes involving other drivers. A long first stint bumped him up into third place, but he lost valuable time in traffic. Von Zabiensky took over in ninth place at the pit stop and beat off competition from his immediate rivals to take eighth position on the restart after yet another safety car period.
Marcel Lenerz: “On the whole, we achieved our goal for the weekend with two top-ten results, but on the other hand, far more should have been possible. Michael was having a strong race during his first stint. A great result was a distinct possibility, but mistakes like that can happen sometimes when you’re pushing hard. P10 was the maximum for me from the very back of the field on the second stint. Sunday was altogether a bit weird with plenty of chaotic scenes in the race, meaning we were barely able to get up to full racing speed and couldn’t move forward. Nevertheless, we scored some decent points again. Our pace was very promising and we’re already looking forward to the Nürburgring.”
Michael von Zabiensky: “The weekend was quite tough. I made too many mistakes on Saturday. My progress in the first race was good after my excursion in qualifying, but then I spun. I feel sorry for everyone in the team, because we were well on the pace. Marcel moved back up into tenth place again by posting terrific lap times on his second stint, showing that we could have achieved a lot more. There was a lot going on around us in the second race but we stayed out of all the chaos. We can be well satisfied with eighth place.”
Team Principal André Schubert: “As far as we’re concerned, our Zandvoort weekend comes into the damage limitation category. Third place in the ADAC GT Masters on Saturday was another amazing result that we can be really proud of. Our entire crew and drivers did a top job, but we could really have done without the frustrations of the second race. Unfortunately, such moments are part and parcel of motor racing. Still, it was very disappointing for us all to be eliminated at such an early stage. Ultimately, at the end of the day, we should see it as a positive that our car was again very quick. We’re still sixth in the championship despite everything that’s happened and within striking distance of the leaders, which gives us a firm foundation, on which to build over the course of the rest of the year. We also did well in the ADAC GT4 Germany as regards the overall standings by securing two points-scoring results. Yes, more was possible, but this is a year of learning on the job for our guys. They’re getting faster all the time, and we will have a few more races still to realise our full potential.”