|06. Oktober 2017||Back to overview »|
The HTP-Mercedes driver showed another immaculate performance at the finale of the Blancpain GT Series in Barcelona
Last Sunday, Fabian Schiller crossed the finish line of the last long distance race of the Blancpain-GT-Series on sixth place and thereby collected another eight points for the championship. After the 20-year-old Rhinelander already won the Silver-Cup for young drivers after the eighth of ten races, he now got further on the overall list of rankings of the popular, European sports car series due to an immaculate performance at the season finale. In the end, the son of former Le Mans-team leader Hardy Schiller was able to rejoice about the 14th place in a field of participants of 106 of the world’s best GT drivers in his premiere season with 49 points overall.
The HTP-team surrounding team leader Norbert Brückner already proved during free training that they had done a good job preparing the Mercedes-AMG GT3 for the racing weekend in Barcelona. Fabian Schiller felt comfortable behind the wheel of the more than 500HP strong sports car from the beginning and drove constantly fast lap times on the 4,655km long Circuit de Catalunya. Things went equally successfully for the Bonn born driver and his team mates Dominik Baumann (Austria) and Edward Sandström (Sweden) at the three-part qualifying. With ninth, sixth and fifth places, the trio permanently drove among the top ten. With 1:46,728 minutes they also achieved the fifth-fastest time at Q3 and therefore starting driver Fabian Schiller was able to enter into the 180minutes long race from the third starting row.
Even though he is known as a great starting driver, Schiller wasn’t able to gain any ground on the first few meters, because a brand colleague right in front of him didn’t catch the right moment for speeding up at the starting line. Therefore the HTP-Mercedes with starting number 85 was pushed back a little during the first two bends and initially lost two positions. The AMC Siegburg member quickly gained back one place though and drove on sixth place. During the first third of the race Fabian Schiller was stuck in the dense traffic, but was able to match the pace of the opponents in front of him easily and kept close to the leading drivers. He wasn’t deterred by several yellow-phases caused by accidents and slip-ups of his opponents either.
Unfortunately the team lost two positions at the first pit stop with driver’s change after about an hour. Sandström, who took the car from Schiller, worked his way forward again during the course of the race and shielded the HTP Motorsport sister car that was now driving right in front of him perfectly against following cars. In the end there was a fight between three teams for the team championship at the finale and every point counted for the team from Altendiez. During the late afternoon dark clouds suddenly emerged above the Catalan track and the teams already got out their rain tires. Luckily the expected rain didn’t come, so final driver Dominik Baumann was able to gain another position during his stint on the dry track and crossed the finish line on sixth place.
Despite the good team performance, team leader Norbert Brückner wasn’t completely content with the result of the race. “Two cars among the top six are a great result in this extra strong field. But a lot more would have been possible, even victory. This is only possible in this unbelievable power density if everyone gives 100% though. Unfortunately we didn’t manage to do this today and even small mistakes can make the difference. At least we’re now starting winter as vice champion and I’d like to express my respect and thanks to every single team member.”
Fabian Schiller on the other hand summed up the racing weekend positively: „I think it’s safe to say that we did a good job today as the sixth winners out of 50 starters”, he said on Sunday evening. “After I had already won the Silver-Cup at the sprint races I wanted to prevail over the professionals at the long distance races and on the overall list of rankings too. Unfortunately I had some bad luck at the beginning of the season and lost some points. But I was able to kind of redeem that due to my good performance at the 24 hours of Spa-Francorchamps and the eight points today in Barcelona. All in all I think that I have done well during my very first year in a GT3-racing series and ended the season on a good note due to the class victory in the young driver ranking as well as overall 14th place. But of course I want to achieve even more in the future.”
Schiller has definitely already made sure to attract the interest of the motorsports divisions of several manufacturers and can therefore hope to maybe start into the next races in the near future equipped with a factory contract. He definitely already got a lot closer to his big goal, to start at the legendary 24 hours of Le Mans just like his father.
Text: Farid Wagner / Schiller Motorsport – Fotos: Blancpain GT Serie