GTC Race: Carrie Schreiner scores podium at Lausitzring, Schöllhorn 7th in GT60
Carrie Schreiner clinched a second place - and her first podium of the season in GTC Race - at the 60-minute GT60 by Pirelli at Lausitzring, second round of the German championship.
With seventh in GT4 in the endurance race, Vivien Schöllhorn equalled her best result in the series.
0.703 - That's how much of a close margin Carrie Schreiner and Maximilian Götz were to a victory on Saturday, in the second endurance round of the GT60 Powered by Pirelli at Lausitzring.
Over three months after the season opener at Oschersleben, GTC Race returned to the track for its second Racing Weekend of the 2022 season, with GT3 expert Carrie Schreiner and young upcoming racer Vivien Schöllhorn, at her second season of GT4 racing and at her first campaign in the German-based series.
At Oschersleben, Schreiner teamed up with GT3 rookie David Schumacher at the wheel of the SpaceDrive Racing Mercedes AMG GT3 - and the pair were sixth in the endurance 60-minute race of the GT60 by Pirelli format, before Schreiner clinched a top-5 in the Sprint races on Sunday. Schumacher has since then moved up to DTM - and then returned to single seaters - while Schreiner has impressed in the top class of NLS.
After a very good debut in the Audi Sport Seyffarth R8 LMS Cup - where she claimed the Junior title - Schöllhorn is contesting her first season in GTC and was in the top-10 in the first race meeting. At Lausitzring, she returned to share the #4 Eastside Motorsport Mercedes AMG GT4 with Dominique Schaak, in a 23-car field.
Having qualified on pole for the 60-minute race, Car Collection's Thierry Vermeulen preceded Zulauf ad Rogalski into Turn 1 of the Eurospeedway Lausitz, with Carrie Schreiner close behind in fourth. Schreiner tried to attack the #77 Audi of Rogalski but had to temporarily back off. From P19 overall - and P10 in the GT4 class - Vivien Schöllhorn also took the start and had a clean start, slotting into 20th. Up in front, Vermeulen started to pull away and opened a gap, while Rogalski moved into second having overtaken Zulauf. The first stint was then drama-free until the round of pit stops at the mid-race mark: Schreiner pitted from fourth 2ith 33 minutes left on the clock and handed over to Götz; Vermeulen also pitted one lap later, leaving Rogalski in the overall lead. After all the teams had completed their stops and driver changes, Vermeulen and Rogalski (solo drivers) held their positions, preceding Markus Winkelhock and Maximilian Götz. In GT4, Dominique Schaak got behind the wheel of the #4 Mercedes after a solid stint by Vivien Schöllhorn and rejoined in 11th place in class. Schaak was on a charge and gained a position on the spinning #10 BMW of Markus Eichele, before he continued to climb the order until eighth. With 20 minutes to go, Götz passed Winkelhock for a podium position and increasingly closed in on Robin Rogalski in second. The #31 Mercedes made it past the #77 Audi on lap 33, just before Rogalski suffered a tyre failure and had to retire in pit lane. Now 10 seconds behind race leader Vermeulen, Götz had a big challenge ahead - but he managed to hunt down the Dutchman with a 1 second per lap faster pace; the two started to battle out on the final lap, but Götz was ultimately one lap short of a potential victory and crossed the finish line 0.7 tenths of a second behind the Car Collection Audi. With a brilliant second place, though, it was Schreiner-Götz's best result of the season. Shaak/Schöllhorn also had a strong second stint and finished seventh in GT4, as the #85 CV Performance Group Mercedes of Julian Hanses and Philippe Denes took home class honors.
On Sunday, Carrie Schreiner and Vivien Schöllhorn entered the first of the 30 minute sprint races, while their co-drivers would tackle the second one in the afternoon.
From fourth on the grid, Schreiner had a good start and once again put some pressure on Zulauf - but the top five overall held positions.
Schöllhorn lost a position at the start and was 11th in GT4 when, unfortunately, she had to take the way of the pit lane on lap 5 and retire the car for a technical issue. It was an unfortunate end to her weekend, but with seventh in the endurance race, she equalled her best result of the season.
"I had hardly any power from the start", Schöllhorn told us after the race.
"On the straight everyone was going straight past and my lap times were two to six seconds slower. My team then saw from the data that something was wrong and brought me in because there was a warning in the car." - she summed up.
Positions settled in front, even if gaps remained relatively close throughout. Rogalski then made a successful move on Vermuelen and went for the lead taking advantage of some GT4 traffic on lap 13; the Dutchman tried to respond back in the final laps, but time had run out and Robin Rogalski scored victory in the first Sprint race.
Carrie Schreiner had another very solid race and was fourth across the finish line, over 20 seconds clear of fourth-placed Heiko Neumann (NRT Mercedes AMG GT).
In the third and final race of the weekend at Lausitzring, Maximilian Götz was starting from pole position - but his lead lasted until the first corner, as Thierry Vermeulen went deep and hit the #31 Space Drive Racing Mercedes AMG GT3 of Schreiner's teammate. He would receive a drive through penalty for the incident.
Luca Engstler led Markus Winkelhock in the two Rutronik Racing Audis and, as the Safety Car was deployed for debris, Götz had to rebuild his race from P12.
Dominique Schaak had meanwhile dropped to 16th overall - and eighth in GT4 - after the hectic start.
When the green flag was waved again, Götz had a brilliant restart and gained five positions over the course of one lap - further moving into fourth place when Vermuelen served his penalty. On lap 15, the 2021 DTM champion was able to overtake Robin Rogalski and secure a podium position; despite being by far the fastest on track, Götz had no time left to catch up with the two Rutronik Racing's teammates, who took victory in Race 2. Behind Engstler and Winkelhock, Götz scored his second podium of the weekend with an outstanding recovery and preceded Rogalski and Rumpfkeil.
Vivien Schöllhorn's teammate Dominique Schaak was P17 overall, eighth in the GT4 category after a good battle in the closing laps with Egor Litvinenko.
"Overall I was happy with yesterday", Vivien said about Saturday's GT60 race. "I didn't have any testing for three months and in practice on the weekend I almost didn't get to drive so I couldn't expect too much."
"I was able to gain experience and I'm just trying to improve from race weekend to race weekend", Schöllhorn commented. "So of course I'm disappointed with the weekend, but my team did a great job and I just hope things will go better at the Nürburgring."
After a long wait, GTC Race will now be back on track in two weeks' time, as the third round of the season is scheduled for 29/31 July at Nürburgring.