After the short summer break, it was again time for racing in the Porsche Carrera Cup. The tenth and eleventh races of the season took the teams to the Nürburgring. After the explosive overtaking marathon by championship favourite Sean Edwards at the Norisring, everything pointed to victory for Project 1, and to being able to attack in the championship.
Since 2012 and 2013, there have been two races per weekend in the Porsche Carrera Cup. On the one hand, to give people the chance to iron out mistakes, on the other hand to further reduce risks. For Project 1, the weekend was a rollercoaster of emotion as far as the title hopes were concerned. In the most beautiful summer weather, title favourite Edwards was able to turn his second place starting position on Saturday into a confident victory, thereby reducing the gap in the championship to 5 points. For Project 1, it was the long sought after and much overdue first victory in the Porsche Carrera Cup. The team from Lohne in Lower Saxony was finally able to demonstrate a top performance at national level.
Sunday was however rather sobering. Starting from fourth position, a highly controversial drive through penalty threw Sean Edwards to the back of the field. After a tough battle for position, in the fight to limit damage and to win points, he eventually had to throw in the towel. He is taking the decision against himself with composure: “The result on Saturday was great and almost perfect. I controlled everything and was really delighted to again be fully part of the championship battle. The decisions today have ruined that hard-won chance again. I’m hugely disappointed.” Despite his disappointment, Sean Edwards is battle-hardened. “Setbacks make me stronger, I can just look to the future now. We’ve still got 6 races to go.”
Both rookies in ‘Team Deutsche Post by Project 1’ were able to put in a top performance and confirm the upward trend over the weekend. Only just missing out on the second qualifying segment, the American Sean Johnston started on Saturday from P15 and on Sunday from P16. In both races he let his potential shine. With exceptional tactics and fantastic overtaking manoeuvres he finished his first race in P10, thereby finishing in the hoped-for top 10 and winning important points. In the second race he took 11th place, only just missing out on a finish in the top 10. He is happy with his performance in both races: “Both races were great fun and the battle for position with the other drivers was great. In particular the overtaking manoeuvres on Saturday in the penultimate lap. On Sunday, my tyres lost grip at the end and I couldn’t attack as I wanted to. But finally the performances are going in the right direction and we’re moving forwards. I’m really happy with the race results.”
Second Project 1 rookie, Jeffrey Schmidt, found himself even further forwards in the rankings. After qualifying, he booked starting positions 8 and 12. In the race, attack was the order of the day. For sixth place on Saturday, he was awarded 10 championship points. On Sunday, he saw the chequered flag in 8th place, again finishing in the top 10. In consideration of the guest driver regulations, Jeffrey Schmidt takes seven points. “We were really fast all weekend. In qualifying, we can exploit our potential even further. With the top-10 results, we were able to collect important points for the rookie-championship and for the remaining races I’ll do everything to try and win it.” Both drivers are taking part in the rookie-championship alongside the A-championship. Jeffrey Schmidt’s 19 points have improved his position in respect of the rookie title and has narrowed the gap to leader Connor de Phillippi to ten points. Sean Johnston has risen to 6th place.
Team boss Paul Schlotmann sums up the weekend with mixed feelings. “I’m absolutely delighted with Project 1’s first victory in the Carrera Cup. The team has really earned it. Both rookies have also shown what’s possible. We’re disappointed about Sean Edwards‘ result on Sunday. But we won’t give up. And especially not now.“
There are six more races in the Porsche Carrera Cup this season. In the two coming races on 14th and 15th September in Oschersleben, ‘Team Deutsche Post by Project 1’ will be able to improve its position in respect of the championship.
News and background information about the race and about Project 1 can be found on the website and on Facebook.
Current positions – drivers’ championship:
1 Kévin Estre 161
2 Nicki Thiim 148
4 Sean Edwards 138
10 Jeffrey Schmidt 67
17 Sean Johnston 27
Racing calendar – Porsche Carrera Cup Germany:
Hockenheim II 20.10.2013