Carrie Schreiner crowned 2022 GT60 by Pirelli GT3 Champion
Carrie Schreiner secured the third GT title of her career last weekend, as she was crowned 2022 GT3 GT60 by Pirelli champion in Hockenheim, overcoming a very challenging final round under the pouring rain.
The Hockenheimring was particularly challenging last weekend, as it hosted the final round of the 2022 GTC championship. The drivers of the GT3 and GT4 classes had to face extremely wet conditions in the endurance race on Saturday - the GT60 by Pirelli - and the two sprint races on Sunday. And the season finale was an important one for Carrie Schreiner, who led the championship standings of the GT3 class in the GT60 format, and was on the hunt for the crucial final points to seal the title.
Racing in the GT4 class, Vivien Schöllhorn continued her learning progress in the series, after showing good signs of improvements over the season.
With shortened races, lots of rain, red flags and several crashes, though, it turned out to be a dramatic end of the season across all classes.
Schreiner returned behind the wheel of the steer-by-wire equipped Mercedes AMG GT3 with David Schumacher, after the two had already shared the car at the season opener. Carrie - 8,5 points ahead of Finn Zulauf - showcased all her experience since the beginning of the weekend, as she set the fastest lap in free practice.
Friday evening was then time to set the starting grid for the one-hour long endurance race and Carrie Schreiner was again unbeaten: the lady from Völklingen put her Mercedes on pole position to strengthen her championship ambitions. The Mercedes of Johannes Stengel and Kenneth Heyer (Schnitzelalm Racing) joined her on the front row of the grid.
In the GT4 class, Christer Jöns (Bernd Schaible, Aust Motorsport) scored the pole position ahead of Julian Hanses (Phillippe Denes, CV Performance Group). Dominique Schaak and Vivien Schöllhorn would start from P6 for the endurance race.
Saturday began a huge rainpour - and with difficult weather conditions, the on-track order started to change as well. The start of the GT60 was pure drama: Carrie Schreiner made contact with Dino Steiner (Aust Motorsport) and spun, but was able to continue and limped back to the pits. Several cars were forced to retire after contacts all across the field. Carrie dropped back to last but rejoined the race in order to get to the end and score the important points.
Robin Rogalski took victory ahead of Zulauf/Mücke and Stengel/Heyer. After several pit stops to fix the battered car, Carrie Schreiner and David Schumacher ultimately finished P21 - sixth in classe - but that was enough for Carrie Schreiner to be crowned GT60 Endurance champion in the GT3 class.
“Of course, the title feels great, I really wanted it, but after such a botched race, where I was turned around after the start and hit the barrier, I still need some time to be really happy." - Carrie Schreiner commented after the race.
Vivien Schöllhorn and Dominique Schaak finished 18th overall and 11th in GT4, after a really tricky race for the drivers of the #4 Mercedes AMG GT4 operated by Eastside Motorsport.
The young German driver - in her first GTC season - finished eighth in the championship standings, with 24,31 points.
On Sunday, Robin Rogalski (Seyffarth Motorsport) scored the pole position for the first of the Sprint races. Carrie Schreiner was sixth fastest in Q1, while Vivien Schöllhorn joined the second qualifying session - again in very wet conditions - and would start from Row 11.
The first sprint race was a short one: having started behind the safety car, the race went green and immediately Zulauf lost his car due to aquaplaning, crashed into the barrier and brought out the red flag. Due to barrier repairs, the race was then cancelled. Rogalski was nevertheless classified as the winner and received full points, with Carrie Schreiner finishing 10th overall, fourth in class.
Race 2 also started behind the SC, with conditions never actually improving. The green flag was eventually waved and Max Hofer took home the overall victory for Aust Motorsport.
Nico Gruber claimed the GT4 class, with Vivien Schöllhorn finishing P13 at the end of Sunday's second race.
Despite misfortunes over the weekend, Carrie Schreiner was still able to bag the title, showing her full potential in practice and qualifying. A wrong tyre choice and contact from another car certainly did not make her life easy, but Schreiner still could bring the car home to add the GT60 title to her resumé.
“At first I was rather disappointed", she recalled. "We were the fastest car in the field on Friday and of course we wanted to win the race."
"But the change in weather and the unfortunate action at the start put a big spanner in the works", she continued. "But we kept fighting and somehow made it to the finish."
"In the evening at the award ceremony, however, joy prevailed, winning a championship is always a nice feeling! And it wasn't easy, there were a lot of good drivers in the field. In addition, I was in five races with three different cars and four different teammates. That didn't make it any easier either!"
"It was my sixth championship win overall, three in karting - and now three in GT racing. I still have three races left in October, two NLS on the Nürburgring Nordschleife and the Porsche Sportscup Endurance Finale in Hockenheim, where for me it's also about the championship", the 24-year-old concluded.
Carrie Schreiner will be back on track this weekend for the next NLS round at the Nürburgring, where she shares the wheel with Peter Terting in the main category.