Another victory for Fabian Schiller after sensational catching-up race
20. September 2017 Back to overview »

The successful race driver also won the fifth event of the Silver-Cup at the Blancpain-GT-Series on the Nurburgring

Five races, five victories – Fabian Schiller ended his home game on the Nurburgring on Sunday evening with this flawless record. The young Rhinelander already won the Silver-Cup for young drivers with the equal classification by the automobile world federation FIA due to victories at the past four races of the Blancpain-GT-Series’ sprint cup. Now he also achieved ending up on top of the winners’ podium at the final race. On the overall list of rankings, Schiller and his Dutch team mate Jules Szymkowiak achieved 154 points overall and had a clear advance on their pursuers on second and third places with only 107 and 65 points.

Schiller and Szymkowiak had already won the title when they travelled to the Eifel for the ninth race of the international Blancpain-GT-series, the last of the sprint cups. Even though they were already unassailably on the first place of the list of rankings at the Silver Cup, both drivers were highly motivated and wanted to achieve another top result in front of their numerous fans. Their winning ambition was initially taken down a peg though, when they weren’t able to drive a fast lap during qualifying and ended up in the last starting line. “We had a lot of bad luck during qualifying. Twice, when we were on our way towards a fast lap, the session was interrupted due to an accident of another driver. In the end we just didn’t have enough time”, the Troisdorf resident explained afterwards.

The fireworks that the German-Dutch duo set off on Saturday afternoon during the qualification race is probably going to make history among the popular sports car series as one of the most sensational catching-up races ever. From 32nd position, the Mercedes-AMG GT3 with starting number 85 raced through the field of participants and gained as many as 23 positions, coming in 9th in the end. “We started into the race really relaxed”, the 20-year-old industrial clerk said grinningly. “We had decided beforehand to stay out of all quarrels and just have fun. That seems to have been exactly the right way to go about it today!”

The juniors of the Mercedes-Team HTP-Motorsport from Altendiez were accordingly optimistic regarding the main race and even aimed for a place among the top three on the overall list of rankings, but this hope was taken down a peg in the morning. During warm-up, Szymkowiak missed the black-and-white flag after the time had run out and crossed the finish-line another time, which means a penalty of being set back five places according to regulations. “Sorry, totally my fault”, the driver from Heerlen admitted meekly afterwards.

When the main race over 60 minutes started right on time at 3:30pm, the starting driver Fabian Schiller initially concentrated on getting out of the turmoil of the first bend unscathed and afterwards started to get close to the competition ahead of him. On the first 5,137km of the Grand Prix track he already won two positions and then started his next catching-up race. When the Bonn born driver entered the pit towards the middle of the race for the mandatory pit stop with driver change he had already regained the positions that they had lost due to the penalty and gave the Mercedes-AMG to Szymkowiak on eighth place. In the end the HTP-team’s car even came in sixth.

Despite his strong performance, Fabian Schiller’s conclusion of his home race on the Nurburgring was a little cautious. “Our additional victory at the Silver-Cup is good of course, but to be honest, a lot more would have been possible this weekend”, the Bonn born driver said self-critically. “We went through mixed emotions yesterday and today. First the completely ruined qualifying, then the great catching-up race to ninth place and then five positions back again this morning. We knew that a couple of participants would be driving pretty roughly against each other in the fight for the championship and that therefore we’d have a chance to maybe even end up on the podium. But from 14th starting position we unfortunately missed this chance. It’s annoying that we were just about three seconds short of ending up on the overall third place in the end.”

The last of the ten events of the Blancpain-GT-Series is going to take place in Barcelona in two weeks. Schiller and his fellow participants are going to drive a racing distance of three hours on the Circuit de Catalunya at the fifth endurance race.

Text und Fotos: Farid Wagner / Schiller Motorsport