Third place for #33 and a technical failure for the #22
The possibility was there to win the VdeV championship for the third year in a row. Only 1.5 points separated the #22 LMP3 with drivers Kuba Smiechowski, Pontus Fredricsson and Martin Hippe from first place. However, in the fourth hour of the race the #22 of the Inter Europol Competition team lost the chance to win the championship due to a faulty starter system. Kuba Smiechowski and Pontus Fredricsson finished fourth in the championship.
But luck held for the #33 LMP3 of Paul Scheuschner, Xavier Michel and Moritz Müller-Crepon. After a good and steady race, they finished third. Not only in the race, but also in the 2018 VdeV championship.
During the qualifying the #33 LMP3 driven by Müller-Crepon suffered a technical problem (a stuck throttle) and did not get to set a time. They started from the back of the grid. The mechanics did a great job to repair the problem just before the start of the race and got the car out with just 10 seconds to spare before the pitlane closed. The #22 LMP3 of Kuba Smiechowski, Pontus Fredricsson and Martin Hippe started from sixth place.
Everything went well for both cars until the third hour, when luck ran out for the #22. Fredricsson came in and handed the car to Smiechowski. During the only safety car period in the third hour (there were eight in the first two hours) Smiechowski came in for fuel while he was leading the race. But when he left the fuel station, he had to be pushed as the car wouldn’t start.
Just into the fourth hour Smiechowski had to come in for a stop and go penalty because of being pushed. The stop was not the problem, the go was. Smiechowski, Fredricsson and Hippe lost the chance to win the championship as the faulty starter system couldn’t be repaired.
But the drivers in #33 never lost their sight of a possible podium finish. At the end of the second hour Scheuschner took over from Michel. In the third hour, the #33 was in 10thposition, in the fourth hour in second. In the fifth hour, the #33 dropped to fourth when Müller-Crepon took over from Scheuschner. And it was in the last five minutes of the race that Müller-Crepon overtook the #25 who had to come in for a splash and dash.
Paul Scheuschner:“I was very happy with my stint and the team prepared a really good car for us which was easy to drive. Unfortunately, we were not so lucky with the qualifying. We had to start from the back of the grid. I had a small issue with some traffic and was a bit unlucky with the many safety car periods. I am very happy with Moritz as he put us on the podium.”
Kuba Smiechowski:“After the high of last weekend, this race was a low. But then that’s racing. Now I will prepare myself for the next challenge, which is the Asian Le Mans Series.”