Schubert Motorsport with excellent showing in the NLS: Pole Position in BMW M6 GT3 on outfit’s return to Nordschleife
Schubert Motorsport made a successful return to the Nürburgring endurance series with their BMW M6 GT3 at the weekend. For the Oschersleben-based outfit, this was their first time out on the Nordschleife since 2017, competing for the prestigious endurance championship in the BMW M Motorsport GT3 racing car. BMW works driver Jesse Krohn made an impressive comeback for Schubert Motorsport by securing pole position.
Veteran Finnish sports car driver Krohn shared the cockpit in the BMW M6 GT3 with three other BMW works drivers for this 62nd running of the ADAC ACAS Cup. Jens Klingmann, Stef Dusseldorp and Alexander Sims joined him in bringing an international flavour to the team’s line-up. For the outfit, this third round of the 2021 NLS was an important opportunity to make some initial preparations for June’s legendary 24-hour race following cancellation of the opener originally scheduled in early March due to bad weather.
The team were in no way put off their stride on Saturday by the delay in getting the season started. After Friday practice, 30-year-old Krohn set the fastest lap time in qualifying of any of the 31 GT3 vehicles in the extremely competitive SP9 class. He lapped the 24.3-km VLN configuration of the Nürburgring in 7:54.865 minutes, taking pole position for Schubert Motorsport.
British driver Sims was given the job of covering the first four-hour stint. He won through at the start in the BMW M6 GT3, holding the lead initially, but gradually slipped back down the field in car number 10 as the race progressed. The main focus for team and drivers was on collecting basic stats and data in order to optimise setup for the upcoming races around the Nordschleife, but they still managed to book a respectable result at the finish line with eleventh place.
While competing with the BMW M6 GT3, Schubert Motorsport were also fielding a BMW M2 CS Racing in the Cup class once again. Team founder Torsten Schubert and his son Michael von Zabiensky took turns at the wheel, aided by the crew’s latest addition Marcel Lenerz, who qualified third on the grid in the one-make cup. They took the chequered flag ninth in class after an error-free drive.
Jesse Krohn: “The weekend was very useful as far as we’re concerned. Our one lap pace was good. It was really great to see Schubert Motorsport back in pole position and up front in such a strong field. But then, it was of course our first race with this particular crew, as the team have not contested the NLS for quite some time. We still have a lot of work to do but I’m pretty confident that we’ll have an excellent car for the 24-hour race. We can be very satisfied with progress made thus far.”
Jens Klingmann: “It was more or less our race debut, since the opener had to be cancelled due to the weather. We had a good Friday and were able to complete our programme on schedule. We made a great start and Jesse had an excellent showing in qualifying with pole position, proving to us that we’ve got a very fast car over a single lap. That made us all feel very proud and gave the team a big boost. There are still things we need to learn as far as race setup is concerned. The other teams have far more experience than us and we still have some work to do in that department. I’m already looking forward to qualifying. It’s the dress rehearsal for the 24-hour event and will give us an opportunity to work on a few details.”
Stef Dusseldorp: “It was great to compete with the other drivers at the weekend and begin preparations for the 24-hour race. Whilst things didn’t go completely according to plan on Friday, as there were one or two stoppages, it felt really good – Jesse confirmed that with pole position. The car’s balance over the last stint of the race was not optimal for me, but technically speaking, the car was just perfect. That’s a major positive and gives us cause for optimism. We’re still at the learning stage but will work hard to improve race setup over the next few weeks.”
Alexander Sims: “It was just terrific to be back at the Nordschleife with Schubert Motorsport after all these years. I last drove there for the team in a BMW Z4 GT3. There were many familiar faces in the garage and I felt at home straight away. From a sporting point of view, the weekend was of course very important, as it enabled us to collect data with the BMW M6 GT3. It was hardly surprising that we fell a little behind in the race, but after this first round, we now have vital experience, on which we can build.”
Team Principal André Schubert: “Last weekend was extremely important for everyone in the team, as we were finally able to get the season under way at the Nordschleife. Despite our long absence, we had an extremely positive showing in the BMW M6 GT3. Jesse posted a terrific lap in qualifying and pole position was a nice surprise for us. In view of our programme, it was only to be expected that we would find it difficult to keep up with the pace in the race, but work on setup was our main priority. All four drivers did a great job, ensuring that as a team, we now have a good basis for the qualifying round running up to the 24-hour race.”