Carrie Schreiner claims maiden GT Masters podium
On her 21st birthday, German Carrie Schreiner finished on a career-best 3rd place in Hockenheim, claiming her maiden podium in the prestigious ADAC GT Masters.
It was a birthday to remember for just-turned 21 year-old Carrie Schreiner: the young German started her ADAC GT Masters weekend in Hockenheim with a pole position from her team-mate Dennis Marschall. His 1:38.469 lap was fast enough to secure the first pole for the #8 HCB-Rutronik Racing entry, ahead of the Lamborghini Huracan #63.
Schreiner was not the only woman on the entry list this weekend, as 2019 W-Series driver Gosia Rdest joined the Aust Motorsport squad for the Hockenheim round. The talented Polish driver started her second race weekend at the wheel of a GT3 car after last year's GT Open experience at Barcelona: "The ADAC GT Masters is one of the most challenging and professional series in GT3 racing with the strong drivers and teams." - commented Gosia before the races. "So far, I've only had experience of GT3 racing during a race weekend in Barcelona, but I know the Hockenheim track well and can familiarise myself with the car and get to know the team there. With a GT3 vehicle, aerodynamics play an important role, so I hope that my experience in single-seater racing will help. Hockenheim is one of my favourite tracks, which is another reason why I feel so positive."
Rdest joined team-mate Arlind Hoti, who put the Audi R8 LMS GT3 in P28 for Saturday's race.
After the successful qualifying session, Marschall got behind the wheel for the opening stint as well, but the race was immediately red-flagged for a massive crash on the first lap: the #3 Audi driven by Maximilian Hackländer spun at the Parabolika and was collected by the pack, with several cars picking up major damages. Among them, there were championship contenders Markus Pommer and Marvin Kirchhöfer, as well as the Audi Montaplast driven by Mies and Hofer.
After the stop, the race was resumed with Dennis Marschall still leading the field. The polesitter kept the lead until he found on his way a lapped backmarker who allowed Mirko Bortolotti in the GRT Grasser Lamborghini to make an opportunistic move at the Spitzkehre hairpin.
Carrie Schreiner took over from Marschall later, heating up a fierce fight for the podium positions. She tried to briefly defend P2, but had to give up two places from Maximilian Götz in the Mercedes AMG and to the other Audi of Kelvin van der Linde.
Ahead, Engelhart secured an important win that kept Lamborghini's championship hopes alive, followed by van der Linde who overtook Götz's Mercedes on the last lap. The South African, though, received a 30 seconds penalty after the chequered flag, who demoted the Audi duo of van der Linde and Niederhauser to 9th place.
Crossing the line in P4, Carrie Schreiner thus inherited the third position and got to spray some champagne to go along her birthday cake. Schreiner is now the third woman to make it to the ADAC GT Masters podium, after Claudia Hürtgen and Rahel Frey. She also secured her first Pirelli Junior win for young drivers.
"Incredible, I could jump for joy!" - said a cheerful Schreiner. "Dennis did a mega job, so I'm pleased that I was able to give him something back in return. I was able to hold my position towards the end and am just ecstatic about the result. I was able to lap the circuit feeling relatively relaxed. I feel good at Hockenheim, it's like home to me. I'm just so pleased that I managed to keep the Mercedes-AMG behind me."
Dennis Marschall, after another top-performance, also praised his co-driver: "My day was awesome: fastest lap, pole position, and we also led the field. Unfortunately, I then lost a place. The role played by the BMW was not OK, in my opinion. If you're running 25th, you shouldn't interfere in the race. But in the end, I'm happy for Carrie that it all worked out so well on her birthday. That was a mega achievement by her. At times, she was only a few tenths slower than the pros."
Gosia Rdest took control of the #4 Audi for the second stint and completed a positive debut in P19: "I consider today's race at Hockenheimring good. I was the second driver. Before the change, we were 25th. Consistently improving my time, lap after lap allowed me to reach 6 positions higher. Race finished at 19th." - commented Gosia on her social profiles after the first race of the weekend.
The second race was a less fortunate event for the Schreiner-Marschall duo: another red flag stoppage came as soon as turn one, when Marvin Kirchhöfer was spun around and hit the inside tyre wall hard. Carrie Schreiner was involved in the first lap incident and parked her damaged car in the run-off area at Parabolika. Stefan Mücke was considered responsible for the turn one incident and received a black flag soon after ther restart.
When the race resumed, Kelvin van der Linde and Patric Niederhauser went on to take a decisive victory ahead of the #28 Audi Montaplast driven by Feller/Vanthoor and the #82 Lamborghini of Ineichen/Perera. But all the eyes were on the second Lamborghini, as yesterday's winners tried a desperate recovery from 10th on the grid to maintain the title fight alive. Their P8 finish, ultimately, was not enough to take the battle to the championship finale at Sachsenring, and the Audi team could finally celebrate their title.
Due to a penalty from Saturday's race, Aust Motorsport had to start the #4 Audi driven by Gosia Rdest from the last spot on the grid. She made some more positions before handing the car to her co-driver in P23. They finished in 24th place.
"First weekend with ADAC GT Masters behind me! Another invaluable experience this year!" - commented Gosia.
In Carrie's words:
"No joke, today I had the best birthday of my life ! First I got the best present from my mate Dennis with a Pole Position and then we finished the day with a podium in GT Masters! I can’t believe it."
Ph credits: Gruppe C Photography