Audi R8 Cup: Vivien Schöllhorn best Junior in Assen
After the cancellation of the Nürburgring round, the Audi Sport Seyffarth R8 LMS Cup was back on track at Assen, where rookie Vivien Schöllhorn made again more steps forward. The young German was P7 twice and continues to be the best Junior in her first GT4 season.
The Audi R8 Cup headed to a new track after the event at Nürburgring had to be cancelled due to the flooding disaster in Germany: the GT4-based one make series thus joined the Jacks's Racing Days schedule at Circuit Assen, Netherlands, with two series newcomers – Max and Dominic Gruhn.
In the first qualifying session – contested on Saturday – it would be Tom Spitzenberger to qualify on pole position, just 61 tenths of a second ahead of Robin Rogalski and Christian Wicht. For Vivien Schöllhorn, the only female racer in the championship and at only her second season in car racing, was a completely new track – yet she was able to qualify her #14 Audi R8 in P8 for Race 1.
The first race turned out to be a wet one, as just two laps after the start the rain had started to fall while Rogalski and Spitzenberger were battling for the lead. Robin Rogalski had in fact moved into the first position at the start, but when the weather conditions worsened, the Safety Car had to be deployed and the whole field changed to wet tyres prior to the restart.
Rogalski made the best out of his chances and pulled away from the field. Spitzenberger, in second place, had to defend his runner-up spot from Tomasz Magdziarz - who found speed on the wet track – but as the chequered flag dropped, it would be Rogalski ahead of Spitzenberger and Magdziarz to ultimately step on the podium.
Vivien Schöllhorn showed great skills in the rain and finished P7 overall, securing P1 in the Junior class ahead of her competitors Max and Dominic Gruhn.
"I was able to overtake a car in race 1 and finished the race with P7." – she told us after the race. "Unfortunately, I couldn't fight for P6 anymore due to the shortened race because we drove out with slicks and unfortunately after the first laps it started to rain so extremely that we all got into the pits to fetch rain tyres and so the race was compromised." – she explained.
"For the last few laps I fought for P7 with Max Gruhn."
On Sunday, the Dutch weather greeted the drivers with more rain – which meant that the qualifying session was shortened due to the weather conditions: "Unfortunately, the second qualification did not go well and was also canceled after the first laps due to too much rain and aquaplaning and I only made it to P9", Schöllhorn recalled.
Ahead, Rogalski claimed pole position in front of Spitzenberger and debutant Max Gruhn. Robin Rogalski defended his lead at the start and pulled away from the field while Spitzenberger and Magdziarz battled for second. Spitzenberger was able to prevail, but he couldn't catch up with Rogalski to challenge him for victory.
Magdziarz lost his third place to Max Zschuppe due to a driving error and finished fourth, but was handed a 3-second penalty because of track limits and dropped back to fifth, behind Wicht.
Vivien Schöllhorn was able to pass a couple of competitors to finish again in seventh place, in what was surely a challenging weekend in a wet Assen. Nevertheless, she ran solid races and continued to build the foundations to advance her career in GT racing.
"In the end, you can say that I am actually satisfied and that I have learned a lot again." – Vivien said. "I hope that the next race in Most will go well and maybe a little better."
After two rounds, Schöllhorn sits fifth in the overall championship standings and leads in the Junior class ahead of Gruhn brothers Max and Dominic.
The next race will take place in Most, Czech Republic, from 27th to 29th August.