Total success for Schubert Motorsport: double victory with the BMW M4 GT3 in the ADAC GT Masters
Perfect weekend for Schubert Motorsport in the ADAC GT Masters at the Red Bull Ring. Rounds three and four in this year's German GT Championship were on the agenda from 20 to 22 May for the squad from Oschersleben, led by company founder Torsten Schubert. With the new BMW M4 GT3, they continued their successes with the BMW M6 GT3 in Austria. Rookies Niklas Krütten and Ben Green sensationally celebrated two victories in front of a record crowd of 25,000 spectators at the event. BMW factory drivers Jesse Krohn and Nicky Catsburg ensured a one-two finish for the team with their second place on Sunday.
The points haul from Spielberg lifted the team and its drivers to the top of the overall standings. Ben Green and Niklas Krütten lead both the drivers' and junior championships after two of seven events. Nicky Catsburg and Jesse Krohn are only five points behind in fourth place in the driver standings. In the team standings, Schubert Motorsport leads by 15 points.
In addition to the victories in the ADAC GT Masters, there was also something to celebrate in Austria in the ADAC GT4 Germany. Patrick Steinmetz and team-mate Michael von Zabiensky showed a clear upward trend compared to the season opener. The duo in the BMW M4 GT4 crowned a successful weekend with fourth place in Sunday's race.
ADAC GT Masters
Niklas Krütten/Ben Green - BMW M4 GT3 #10
Qualifying 1: P3 - Race 1: P1
Qualifying 2: P1 - Race 2: P1
The rookie duo in the number 10 BMW M4 GT3 were on the pace right from the start at the 4.13 km long Red Bull Ring. Ben Green set the third-fastest lap time amongst the 23 entries in the field in the first practice session on Friday. In Saturday's qualifying, the Briton continued his strong performance with third place and thus laid the foundation for the successful first race. Within the first ten minutes, he fought his way to the front, setting the fastest lap of the race in the process. Niklas Krütten defended the first position after the driver change. He coped with the pressure of the opposition and crossed the finish line with a half-second lead after the race distance of 60 minutes.
On Sunday, the 19-year-old from Trier continued his top form. In qualifying, he secured the first pole position of his young GT3 career. In the first half of the second race, he held his own against team-mate Nicky Catsburg. After 25 minutes, he handed over to Ben Green when the pit stop window opened. The 24-year-old made perfect used of the strategy and maintained first place. In the second stint, he continuously extended his lead and finally had an advantage of more than four seconds at the finish. The two youngsters thus also achieved the double victory perfect in the junior classification for drivers under 25 years of age.
Niklas Krütten: "The weekend was incredible. Two wins and pole on Sunday, it couldn't have gone better. The car was incredibly good, Ben and I were both in top form. The team did a perfect job, with the strategy as well. I couldn't be happier and I still can't really believe it. Now we are looking forward to the 24-hour race at the Nürburgring this weekend. There are already fans on site and I can't wait. I am full of anticipation and absolutely ready."
Ben Green: "I’m so proud of what we accomplished as Team Schubert Motorsport this weekend. To get two wins in the ADAC GT Masters, with a double podium in the second race, was a big step forwards after Oschersleben. It’s all down to the dedication and hard work of the team and I can’t thank them enough to be a part of it. We learnt a lot about our BMW M4 GT3 and improved in the areas we needed to throughout testing at the Red Bull Ring. When it got to race day, all I needed to do as a driver was deliver my part and I was sure we could be successful. However I’m not sure anyone thought we could win both races! It’s a great result for the team and we will carry this momentum over into the next race at Zandvoort."
ADAC GT Masters
Jesse Krohn/Nicky Catsburg - BMW M4 GT3 #20
Qualifying 1: P4 - Race 1: P5
Qualifying 2: P2 - Race 2: P2
Nicky Catsburg and Jesse Krohn competed in the ADAC GT Masters for the first time in Spielberg with the BMW M4 GT3 in the design celebrating 50 years of BMW M. The Dutchman got the weekend off to a perfect start by setting the fastest time in the first practice session. Jesse Krohn put the number 20 car on the second row of the grid in qualifying on Saturday. However, the first race did not go according to plan for the two BMW factory drivers. Due to a problem with the timekeeping during the pit stop, they lost three seconds during the driver change. Nicky Catsburg finished fifth after 41 laps.
The 34-year-old quickly put the setback behind him on Sunday. In qualifying, he took second place on the grid, only being beating by Niklas Krütten with just 0.008 seconds. In the first stint he followed his team mate like a shadow, but could not find a way past. The overcut at the driver change to Jesse Krohn did not change the order of the two BMW M4 GT3s. The 31-year-old Finn showed fast lap times in the second stint, but focused on securing the team result in the final phase and didn’t put second place at risk.
Jesse Krohn: "Congratulations to Schubert Motorsport for a great weekend. The new BMW M4 GT3 is very competitive and we showed that here. We have improved some areas compared to the BMW M6 GT3 and at the same time kept the strengths of the car. The package is more consistent overall and we are learning more every time. Hopefully we can keep making steps like this. For Nicky and me, unfortunately, there wasn’t more in it on Saturday. We had a problem with the timer at the pit stop the day before and didn't want to take any risks. That cost us some time. I pushed hard in the second stint, but had to be careful with the tyres. In the end, I thought about the points and secured second place."
Nicky Catsburg: "Ben and Niklas did a great job in qualifying and in the races. I tried to put pressure on them on Sunday, but they did everything right. Congratulations to both of them and to the whole team, of course, for the success in the DTM as well. As far as Jesse and I are concerned, our teammates were a bit faster than us the whole weekend and of course we are not happy with that. We have to give ourselves a push at Zandvoort. I'm really looking forward to the next races. It's my home race and a beautiful circuit with a great atmosphere. We are doing well in the championship and want to continue like this."
ADAC GT4 Germany
Patrick Steinmetz/Michael von Zabiensky - BMW M4 GT4 #10
Qualifying 1: P16 - Race 1: P13
Qualifying 2: P26 - Race 2: P4
Schubert Motorsport was also successful with the BMW M4 GT3's little brother in Austria at the weekend. For Patrick Steinmetz and Michael von Zabiensky, it was the second round in the record field of ADAC GT4 Germany drivers in the BMW M4 GT4. The duo followed up their points result at the season opener in Oschersleben with a top result straight away. After finishing 13th again in the points in Saturday's race, they took advantage of chaotic conditions in the second round to secure fourth place.
Patrick Steinmetz: "The weekend at the Red Bull Ring was definitely positive. We were in a much better place than in Oschersleben. During the test on Thursday, we realised our potential and then really had a good race pace. Unfortunately, qualifying was again our weakness, which is why the grid positions were not what we had wished for. With our setup though we were able to work our way up the order well in the races. If we do better in qualifying, we have realistic chances to reach a podium this season."
Michael von Zabiensky: "That was a mega weekend for our team. In the ADAC GT4 Germany, we started with a small problem in the first qualifying session, which is why we were not able to fully exploit our potential there. After that, we were quite satisfied with 13th place in the race. Sunday was all the more fun for us. My lap in qualifying was unfortunately not good, I just couldn't get it together. To go from 26th to fourth in the race was all the better for it. Of course, we were also a bit lucky, but it was still a great performance by the whole crew."
Team Founder Torsten Schubert: "First of all, congratulations to our team in the DTM. I couldn't be prouder of the guys and girls who wrote a piece of history for Schubert Motorsport at the Lausitzring. Our successes in the ADAC GT Masters have made this weekend an unforgettable milestone for us. We had a good feeling about Spielberg with the BMW M4 GT3. Jesse and Nicky contributed with their experience to the fact that we were already capable of winning on the second race weekend with the setup of the new car. Our crew did a perfect job and we were rewarded for their good work with two wins. We knew about the talent of Ben and Niklas, but the two have arrived in the ADAC GT Masters even faster than we expected. Their performance was fantastic. The whole team did something extraordinary this weekend and I would like to express my thanks to each and every one of them on behalf of Schubert Motorsport for their great effort."