Freitag, 6. Juni 2014
The cooperation of the 2 Mishumotors-Starworks-pilots Mirco Schultis and Renger van der Zande with the german outfit of Car Collection Motorsport at the inaugural running of the 12 hours of Zandvoort last weekend proved to be successful. Together with german pilot Christian Bracke and teamowner Peter Schmidt, the 2 Tudor-USCR-regulars archieved a historic win with their Mercedes SLS AMG GT3 with the iconic Martini-livery at the 12h-event on the dutch circuit at the North Sea shores.
Peter Schmidt crossed the finish-line on saturday evening after 330 laps and 1419km racing-distance with an advantage of 7 laps on the next contender, the swiss Hofor Racing Mercedes SLS AMG. Just one lap behind the swiss SLS the second of Car-Collections Mercedes finished as 3rd, sealing not only the first major endurance success of the german squad, but also an all Mercedes-podium at the first running of the race.
„This is maniac! The whole team is up on a high!“ Schultis concluded the emotions of the squad after the race. „Originally we planned to do the race under our own banner, but then decided to join forces with Peters team. That gave us and our new partner Martini the opportunity to run for the overall win on a competetive car“.
Schutis´Mishumotors operation handed its new sponsor the 2nd win within 1 month. Just 4 weeks ago Mirco and Renger van der Zande won the PC/GTD-Race at Laguna Seca, the 4th round of the Tudor-USCR-Series with their Mishumotors operated by Starworks Oreca-LMPC. Also this car had its first outing in the iconic Martini-colours.
As in Laguna Seca, Renger van der Zande was again the joker in the run for success. The fast 28 year old dutchman turned the fastest laps on the Mercedes which he qualified with a minor fuelpump issue as 6th on the 52 car size-grid. After the first section of the race – the first 3 hours were run on friday evening – the car was registed as 4th and still on the leading lap, although Renger van der Zande had to overcome one critical moment: „I was just about to take the lead but then the gullwing-door opened during my stint. I was after some time able to close it myself during the stint, but lost some seconds and also positions“. At the 6 hours mark Renger promoted the car at the head of the field. But the most critical moment was just to come.
The only remaining contender was the czech Scuderia Praha Ferrari, who was just before Mirco Schultis with just 3 hours to go. The deciding moment came when the Ferrai was approaching a group of touring cars at the fast Schievlak corner at the other end of the circuit and made contact with a Renault Clio. Schultis: „My Mercedes was barely missed by the Ferrari which spun into my way. I first lifted the throttle but then went back on the gas not to get hit in the side.“ While the Ferrari had to retire from the race, Schultis slipped through to regain the lead of the race, which was not lost until the chequered flag.
Also the event was the first outing of Mirco Schultis on an actual GT3-car. „A whole new experience. The Mercedes is that easy to drive and pretty exact in its reactions. You have always a good feedback from the car which is powerful but also very forgiving. Additionally the Car Collection-crew worked absolut faultless, while our opponents, where some were using also this car, had some technical moments to overcome.“