Vivien Schöllhorn is 2021 Audi R8 Cup Junior Champion
Young German racer Vivien Schöllhorn is the 2021 Junior Champion in Audi Sport Seyffarth R8 LMS Cup following a positive last round in Most where she was again in the Top-5 and finished her first season in the series on a high.
The last round of the Audi Sport Seyffarth R8 LMS Cup featured four races on the schedule of the Czech double-header at Most. And, alongside the overall title decider, Vivien Schöllhorn was battling for the Junior title in her first season in the series - and only her second year in motorsport! With great improvements round after round, she fought throughout the whole season for Top-5 results and she could aim for the class title - the first of her young career. Friday was already action packed, with a practice session, two qualifyings and two races, while Saturday featured no track time for the R8 Cup. On Sunday, it was again race day, with two further qualifying sessions and two races - for a thrilling finale of an interesting 2021 season despite the calendar difficulties. Tom Spitzenberger was fastest in free practice, ahead of Robin Rogalski; both would battle hard for the title. But while Spitzenberger performed well in both quali sessions and scored both pole positions, Rogalski couldn't do better than 5th and 10th. Race 1, though, showed great racing from both sides: Spitzenberger led the opening stages of the race, but Rogalski was able to pass him on the second lap and pulled away with no chances for Spitzenberger to respond back for position. Rogalski won the first race ahead of Spitzenberger and Max Zschuppe. Behind him, Christian Wicht and Michael Golz collided when Golz attempted a pass. Vivien Schöllhorn finished P6. Race 2 was again a Rogalski-show: he charged from the last place to the lead within three laps. Spitzenberger followed him closely and, after a great battle with some position changes, Spitzenberger ultimately finished first ahead of Rogalski and Wicht across the finish line. But it was not an easy finish for Wicht, as he fought hard with Zschuppe for the podium: Wicht went by when Zschuppe made a mistake - but he fought back. It was a great battle until the last lap, when they made contact, Zschuppe ended in to the tyre barrier and the race was red flagged - bringing the result back to the lap before, when Wicht was third. With that result, Wicht became the new 2021 AM-champion in the Ausi one-make series. He won the title ahead of Tobias Erdmann - who was not on the starting grid at Most due to an injury. Vivien Schöllhorn finished P7. She didn't score points for the junior standings because she was left as the only contender in class as the Gruhn brothers had to skip Friday's races and would be back on Sunday. The final day of racing at Most started with the two qualifying sessions valid for the final two races of the season: this time, Rogalski claimed pole positions ahead of Spitzenberger. A close battle for the title was down to the wire, with the rivals tied on points. Race 3 saw Rogalski leading the race from pole to the chequered flag - unchallenged by title rival Spitzenberger. Golz and Zschuppe battled for the last podium spot with Zschuppe having the better hand and securing third place ahead of Golz, Wicht and Schöllhorn. The fast lady extended her junior championship lead to 8 points ahead of Dominik Gruhn after an on-track battle with Wicht. Even though Wicht managed to get ahead eventually, it was great experience gained for Schöllhorn, whose main target is a learning-oriented season. Rogalski led Race 4 from pole position, but lost out to Spitzenberger when the latter passed him on lap 4 and tried to pull away. Wicht, Golz and Zschuppe followed the two title contenders. And it was a heated fight: Wicht had to defend against Golz, went off track after an attack and dropped back to fifth. Shortly after, Zschuppe was forced to retire from the race. But there was drama also among the leading group - Spitzenberger lost his lead while lapping slower cars and Rogalski made the most out of his chance to fire into the lead for the rest of the race. He won his sixth race of the season and clinched his second championship in the Audi R8 Cup. Second across the line was Spitzenberger, ahead of Golz. Vivien Schöllhorn finished fifth, in what was her best result of the weekend despite some problems with the car: "Unfortunately, I had a few problems with the car in both races on Sunday." - she told us. "When exiting some of the corners, the car did not react to the accelerator pedal, so there was no engine speed for a few seconds." - she explained. Nevertheless, the result was enough to secure the Junior championship title, adding two more victories in class. Max Gruhn finished second in both races and Dominik Gruhn followed in third - which meant that Schöllhorn took the class title with a gap of 10 points over Dominik and 23 points ahead of Max Gruhn. “I am very happy to win the junior title in my first year." - she said. "I learned a lot this season in the Audi Sport Seyffarth R8 LMS Cup, which is very important for my future career in motorsport. Of course, my demands have grown over the course of the year, but I know that I still have a lot to learn." Next to her junior class title she finished P5 in the overall standings: "I am absolutely satisfied with fifth place and hope that I can do everything even better next season." The only female driver on the grid of this year's Audi R8 Cup showed great improvement over the course of the season, scoring a best result of fourth at Hockenheimring, where she was close to her first podium - 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. Surely, there will be more to come in 2022 from this up-and-coming GT talent.