Vivien Schöllhorn makes debut in Audi R8 Cup & NATC Endurance
Updated: Jun 29, 2021
German racing driver Vivien Schöllhorn entered her second year in motorsport as she made her debut in both the Audi Sport Seyffarth R8 LMS Cup and the NATC Endurance race - also claiming a podium in the latter race.
The first ADAC Racing Weekend - a new plattform for different motorsport series - was launched last weekend in Oschersleben, Germany. Seven racing series with a mix of GT3 and GT4 racing, up to historic cars and with the main event of the GTC championship, battled out on track over the weekend.
And among them, Vivien Schöllhorn was kick-starting her 2021 racing season, at only her second year in motor racing. Last year, Schöllhorn was scheduled to race in the Renault Clio Cup Central Europe, but due to the pandemic-related difficulties, she could only contest two races. Her new mission in 2021 is the Audi Sport Seyffarth R8 LMS Cup, as she follows in the footsteps of Rahel Frey, Vivien Keszthelyi and Sophie Hofmann - among the most recent female entries in the GT4-based championship that has provided young drivers with a great platform to climb the ladder of GT racing.
The first free practice sessions set the first benchmark for the young woman from Ravensburg, as she worked on her performance, her knowledge of the track and got acquainted with the car. It all paid off: from the first to the second training session, Schöllhorn improved of approximately 1.5 seconds and considerably reduced the gap to the leading drivers. The first pole position of the season was scored by Robin Rogalski, ahead of Tim Reiter and Tom Spitzenberger. Vivien Schöllhorn qualified in ninth place for the first race.
In Race 1, Rogalski dropped down to third as Reiter and Spitzenberger squeezed past - but Rogalski was able to get back ahead of Spitzenberger at the end of lap 3. Now in the lead, Reiter pulled away from the rest of the field and opened nearly a 5 second gap on the battling Rogalski and Spitzenberger. On lap 8, the latter finally passed Rogalski and crossed the finish line behind Reiter and ahead of Rogalski to round out the podium of the first race of the season.
Vivien Schöllhorn had a good start, passed Tobias Erdmann for 8th place and confidently held her position on the first laps of the race. Sadly, after a great first half of the race, the young woman dropped down the order and found herself in 11th place due to a technical issue.
"Unfortunately, after the first few laps I had a technical problem with my car, I couldn't shift up or down, then suddenly I had to shift upside down and then it didn't work at all again." - she explained. "So I couldn't drive any more on good times, but I finished. Nevertheless, I was able to learn a lot in the race because I've never had a flying start", she added, as she summed up her first race experience in the series on Saturday.
The second Qualifying session saw the same three drivers fighting at the front - but this time in a different order. Pole position for the Sunday's race went to Spitzenberger, ahead of Reiter and Rogalski. Vivien Schöllhorn qualified her #14 Audi R8 in tenth place.
An easy lights to flag win marked Race 2 for Spitzenberger, who defended his pole position at the start and pulled away from the rest of the pack. Behind him, Rogalski passed Reiter for second at the start - but Reiter followed him closely for the whole race and waited for his chance to pass. With no mistakes, Rogalski saved his runner-up spot behind Spitzenberger and preceded Reiter at the chequered flag.
Vivien Schöllhorn finished P10 in the second race of the weekend, securing her first top-10 despite a short trip into the gravel. But her racing weekend was far from over: joining Tom Spitzenberger, the young lady also took part in the NATC Endurance race later on.
In a very last minute move, they registered 10 minutes before the first free practice, with the clear aim of taking advantage from the extra time into the car and willing to learn from Spitzenberger - one of the front runners in the R8 Cup.
Qualifying turned out really good for Schöllhorn, as she qualified the car on P2 for the two hour race. With two great stints, she held third place and, together with Tom Spitzenbeger, they brought the Audi on the final step of the podium after a long racing day that crucially meant a ton of experience for the 18-year old German driver.
"It was definitely a great experience and we were actually quite happy with P3, especially after such a long race weekend", said the happy driver after the weekend.
The next event is expected to take place from 30th July to 01st August at the Nürburgring.