Ein beeindruckendes Wochenende

Ein paar Tage sind seit der Rallye Deutschland schon vergangen, doch diese Zeit habe ich gebraucht, um die tollen und unvergesslichen Erfahrungen meines ersten WRC-Wochenendes verarbeiten zu können. Wirklich alles bei diesem Event war größer und intensiver als bei jeder Rally, an der ich bisher teilgenommen habe. Zwischen der Recce und der Rallye haben Alex und ich locker mehr als 50 Stunden im Auto gesessen – und dabei ist Hin- und Rückreise noch gar nicht eingerechnet!

 Copyright: Opel Motorsport

Copyright: Opel Motorsport

Da die Rallye insgesamt vier Tage dauerte, wurde der ADAC Opel Rallye Cup in zwei Events unterteilt. In der ersten Rallye waren Alex und ich konstant schnell unterwegs und durften am Ende unsere erste Top-5-Platzierung feiern – ein echter Meilenstein für uns! Für die zweite Rallye hatten wir uns dann natürlich umso mehr vorgenommen, doch wie mein alter Mentor immer sagte: „Mal bist du die Fliege, und mal bist du die Windschutzscheibe“. Und in der zweiten Runde waren wir die Fliege.

Alex und ich haben über die zwei Tage hinweg eine gute Leistung abgeliefert, doch ein elektrischer Defekt hat uns leider ziemlich stark ausgebremst. Unser Auto hat mehrmals ohne Vorwarnung einfach gestoppt, was uns am Ende mehr als fünf Minuten gekostet hat. Das Problem war nicht neu für uns, deshalb wussten wir, was wir tun müssen, um es wieder in den Griff zu kriegen, doch es hat uns eine Menge Zeit gekostet.

 Copyright: Opel Motorsport

Copyright: Opel Motorsport

Das war wirklich unglaublich schade, da wir bis dahin wirklich sehr gut unterwegs waren. Immerhin haben wir schnell in unseren Rhythmus zurückgefunden und konnten am Samstagabend ein weiteres großes Zwischenziel erreichen: unsere erste Bestzeit! Auch wenn wir darüber enttäuscht waren, dass wir durch die Schwierigkeiten einen möglichen Podestplatz verloren haben, konnten wir uns dennoch den Etappensieg erarbeiten. Am Ende sicherten wir uns auf der Powerstage außerdem die zweitschnellste Zeit und damit weitere vier Punkte für die Meisterschaft.

Auch wenn das Ergebnis nicht ganz das ist, was wir uns gewünscht hatten, haben wir enorme Fortschritte gemacht. Man sieht, dass wir immer besser zurechtkommen und immer schneller unterwegs sind. Vielen Dank an Audex Motorsport und die Crew von ASF Racing für den großartigen Service und Support während der Woche. Diese Erfolge sind in dieser kurzen Zeit nur möglich, weil die Zusammenarbeit so gut funktioniert! Es geht Schritt für Schritt vorwärts und wir freuen uns schon jetzt auf die nächsten Rallys im September. Wir haben ein vollgepacktes Programm vor uns. Seid gespannt!


Die Rallye Luxembourg als erster Test

Für mich und Alex geht es am Wochenende endlich wieder hinters Steuer unseres Opel! Zwei Monate nach unserem heftigen Crash in Schweden sind wir wieder bereit anzugreifen. Um wieder in den Rhythmus zu kommen, gehen wir am 13. und 14. Juli zur Rallye Luxembourg an den Start.

Meine Rippen, die ich mir beim Crash gebrochen habe, sind wieder vollständig geheilt, Kopf und Geist sind schon voll auf das anstehende Event fokussiert. Auch wenn meine Kraft und Ausdauer noch nicht hundertprozentig zurück sind, fühle ich mich fit genug, um diese Test-Rallye zu bestreiten! Das wichtigste an diesem Wochenende ist es, wieder in unseren Flow zurückzufinden und uns auf unseren Start im ADAC Opel Rallye Cup vorzubereiten. Der nächste Lauf findet vom 27. bis 28. Juli in Eisenach statt. Dort will ich bereit sein, wieder meine beste Leistung abrufen zu können.

Nun freue mich aber erst einmal unheimlich auf die anstehende Rallye am Wochenende im Norden von Luxembourg. Endlich wieder hinterm Steuer eines Rallye Autos sitzen – darauf habe ich lange gewartet! Wer das Event verfolgen möchte, kann dies via Livetiming auf der offiziellen Website.


Sean featured on Opel Motorsport

[English Translation]


Not only is Sean Johnston the first American to ever race in the ADAC Opel Rallye Cup, he also arrives in Europe's most competitive one-make rally championship from a highly unusual track. The newcomer from California is no stranger to tackling challenges in his path.

The fact that a circuit racing driver dares to make the switch to rallying doesn’t happen too often. Beyond that, Sean Johnston's racing career is not in line with the usual cliché, which in most cases today prescribes racing in a kart as the first step.  In an unusual path, the American earned his first stripes behind the wheel of a racing simulator, competing from his California home in video game based contests on the Sony Playstation 3. And successfully so: In 2011, he finished second in the North American GT Academy, a competition which put the best gamers in real racing cars. Although Sean did not win, the judges encouraged him to pursue his dream of racing - but this was at the age of 20, when others have been karting for 12 years.

The passionate racing fan put everything into this dream, interrupting his university studies to go on a search for sponsorship. And the hard work paid off: In his first season of racing in 2012, Sean Johnston won the IMSA GT3 Cup Challenge and then moved to Germany.  There, he not only raced in the national championship Porsche Carrera Cup Germany, but also in its international counterpart, the Porsche Mobil1 Supercup which took place on Formula 1 weekends. In 2015, he also competed in the Blancpain GT Series Endurance Cup for GT3 racing cars and clinched overall victory at the 24 Hours of Barcelona together with his team-mates Bernd Schneider, Harald Proczyk and Reinhold Renger in a Mercedes SLS AMG GT3. In addition he drove with the 24 Hours of Daytona and the 12 Hours of Sebring, two of the most famous endurance races in the world.

After Sebring 2016, he interrupted his racing career and returned to the States. Now Sean Johnston is back - in the ADAC Opel Rallye Cup, the 27-year-old from Mount Shasta in northern California enters into completely uncharted territory. He has never driven a rally before, and working with a co-driver and the making the pace notes are completely foreign to him. Beyond that, he is facing the switch from rear-wheel drive GT3 cars with 500+ horsepower to the 140 hp, front-wheel drive Opel ADAM Cup. But it wouldn’t be like Sean if he wasn’t excited for the big upcoming challenge: "My goal is to learn to learn as much as possible about the world of rallying, and especially aiming to develop my skills in working with co-driver and the pace notes.” For his Cup debut on March 2nd at the ADAC Saarland-Pfalz Rally, Johnston secured the services of a highly decorated co-driver - the Swede Joakim "Jocke" Sjöberg, who navigated Emil Bergkvist to the European Junior title in 2015 at the wheel of the Opel Factory ADAM R2, to help show the circuit ace the way of rallying.

Regarding the ADAC Opel Rallye Cup, Sean Johnston is particularly excited by two aspects: "Being able to compete with identical equipment with drivers from ten other countries is awesome! And the opportunity to participate in the German WRC event during the ADAC Rallye Deutschland. This World Championship event run in such a beautiful area of the country, and over a great distance during the 4 day event will be a huge challenge for me. As a spectator at the German WRC event back in 2015, I saw World Rally Cars in action for the first time; That first-hand experience reignited my passion for rallying!  I'm really looking forward to my rally debut next weekend!"

Source: FROM THE VIDEO CONSOLE TO THE RACE CAR (Original German Article featured on Opel Motorsport)

Interview on Fox at Rolex 24 Hours of Daytona

Complete Rolex 24 Hours of Daytona coverage:

Project 1 / The Countdown Begins

After the toughest year of my life, I’m ready for the new season... I’m looking forward to getting back onto the race track this year with the strong and unbreakable racing team, Project 1.
— Sean Johnston

Via Project-1

Slowly but surely it’s getting serious. Our boys are back from the last test in Budapest and, after being able to relax for a few days over Easter, at 8am last Monday it was back to the workshop; the clock is ticking relentlessly towards the start of the season on the first weekend in May. This is of course absolutely no reason for us to panic. In the last few weeks, we’ve gathered a huge amount of experience during the various tests. It’s now a case of analysing and implementing the results so that, on the 3rd May in Hockenheim, we can achieve great results with all 4 drivers. A glance at the times this Spring shows that this is possible. At the last official test, at which our competitors also took part, Phillip Eng made his mark – on the first test day he achieved second position and on the second test day he achieved first position. He now wants to build on this: “It’s my goal for the 2014 season to establish myself among the top positions and to win as many points as possible. The official tests were very promising and showed that we are well prepared as a team. I also feel well prepared myself, both physically and mentally.” Sven Müller views things similarly. The Porsche Junior driver made people sit up and take notice with his second place in Hockenheim and wants to improve and establish himself from race to race during his first season for Project 1. “It’s my goal to become best rookie! Positions in the top 10 are good for me.”

The precise analysis after each stint by Rene Eder and Phillip Eng contributed significantly to the good performances. In this way we got to know the 911s better and better and were able to correctly react to every problem at any time. Cameras installed in the cars allowed us to do this with pictures and sound, which offered a great opportunity to evaluate individual laps.

That’s exactly how Ola Nilsson sees it. He is beginning his first season and is looking forward to the new challenge: “I think that I have one of the best teams around me. The test results prove that to me. I’m really happy with the performance of the car. However, we won’t see exactly where we stand until the first qualifying session of the season on 3rd May in Hockenheim. It will no doubt be difficult, but I’m sure that we’ll be able to continually improve the car and that I’ll be able to establish myself as one of the top 10 drivers. I can only say that I’ll give it my best.”

After last year, the confidence with which the entire P1 team is entering the new season certainly can’t be taken for granted. The team had a number of blows of fate to deal with, and they affected Sean Johnston particularly deeply, but he has a new mental strength: “After the toughest year of my life, I’m ready for the new season. It’s crazy that two really important members of our team were taken from us too early; Sean and Kosta were mentors and good friends for me. I have come through this deep sadness mostly with gratitude that I had the opportunity to work with them both. I learnt a lot from both of them last year and I’m looking forward to getting back onto the race track this year with the strong and unbreakable racing team, Project 1.”

We wish you lots of fun enjoying the races. We can hardly wait to press down the accelerator and we hope you are keeping your fingers crossed for us!

Your P1-Team

Zandvoort / Post-Race Press Release

Turbulent Race in the Dunes of Zandvoort.

 Stopped race, safety car, drive through penalties and a huge number of damaged vehicles. The Porsche Carrera Cup races in Zandvoort could not be topped for turbulence. No-one at Project 1 was really happy with the weekend. And yet in the practice session, everything ran to plan, especially for the rookies, who were driving on new tyres. Sean Johnston finished his first outing in the Zandvoort dunes in P2 and Jeffrey Schmidt in P4.

For Sean Johnston, the weekend was a rollercoaster of emotions. After his brilliant performance in practice, he hoped for a similar result in qualifying, and at first everything looked good. For a long time he lay in 2nd position, until his own driver error led to his hopes disappearing over the horizon, as he made contact with a crash barrier and his damaged radiator meant that he could no longer compete effectively. While his good first time meant that he started in seventh position in the second race, on Saturday he had to make do with starting in 21st position. These ups and downs continued in the race. Starting in P21, Sean Johnston battled in a great race to 9th position. “The performance in qualifying was great, unfortunately I cost myself an even better position because of a mistake. A huge thank you to my team, which got my car going again so quickly. To get from P21 to P9 is a great result and just shows what’s possible.” The second race was, however, sobering. “Starting in 7th position, I was counting on more but unfortunately in turn 1 I braked on the cooling fluid of an opponent and had to go into the pits to get a new front wheel. It was a shame for me and the team, which had worked so hard.” At the end of the day, the 22-year old Sean Johnston had to make do with 25th place in the second race.

Rookie Jeffrey Schmidt wanted to attack the rankings in the best rookie championship in Zandvoort. Only 5 points separated him from Porsche Junior driver Connor de Phillippi. But here too things didn’t work out as intended. After qualifying, the Swiss driver started in P15 and P11, well within striking distance, but unfortunately the race ran far from smoothly. In the first race, Jeffrey Schmidt was caught up in the chaos at the start. “In the first race, I had really bad luck. The collision left my car too badly damaged. The race stop after 2 laps meant that the cars had to go into the parc ferme and we therefore had no chance to repair the 911. I therefore had to miss the re-start on Sunday morning so that we could prepare the car for the second race.” In the second race, the 19-year old junior driver finished in 11thposition, thereby winning a further 5 points in the championship. Championship competitor de Phillippi finished his races in 4th and 8th place, and is on his way home with a total of 109 points. The gap to Jeffrey Schmidt has now grown to 22 points before the final in Hockenheim.

After the two races, Sean Edwards did justice to his ambition to take home the title for ‘overtaking the most cars’. Starting as championship favourite, the bad luck which has been true to him all season stayed loyal in Zandvoort. Qualifying for P4 and P2, he was the main and wholly innocent casualty of the collision at the start of the first race. A puncture on the second lap sent him right to the back of the field, shortly before the race was stopped. And as if that wasn’t enough, in the second race his hopes didn’t last long. During the formation lap he had problems with his coolant and Sean Edwards had to start from the pit lane. He himself was appropriately reserved: “In qualifying, everything went well and I hoped that everything would run smoothly this time. I’ve no idea who’s jinxed me but this Carrera Cup bad luck seems to be sticking to me like a curse. There’s only one thing left for me to do: to say a big thank you to my team. Again, the team gave me the quickest car. Maybe in Hockenheim I should just start at the back, without bothering with qualifying.” The championship is, even theoretically, no longer attainable, but 3rdplace in the championship is a realistic and attainable goal for Hockenheim.

Despite everything, ‘Team Deutsche Post by Project 1’ wants to say goodbye in style at the final in Hockenheim, and win the 40 points that are still up for grabs. Team boss Paul Schlotmann is hoping for a significantly less turbulent race: “The races here in Zandvoort were really nerve-wracking. Despite all the set-backs, my team did an amazing job and I’m sure that in Hockenheim, we’ll show what we can really do.”


Zandvoort / Post-Race Press Release (Deutsch)

Turbulente Rennen in den Dünen von Zandvoort.

Rennunterbrechung, Safety-Car, Durchfahrtsstrafen und jede Menge Blechschäden. Die Rennen des Porsche Carrera Cup in Zandvoort waren an Turbulenzen nicht zu überbieten. Bei Project 1 war mit dem Wochenende in Zandvoort keiner so wirklich zufrieden. Dabei verlief im freien Training speziell bei den Rookies, die mit neuen Reifen gefahren sind, alles nach Plan. Sean Johnston beendete den ersten Aufmarsch in den Dünen von Zandvoort auf P2 und Jeffrey Schmidt auf Platz 4.

Für Sean Johnston war es ein Wochenende im Wechselbad der Gefühle. Nach der tollen Leistung im freien Training hatte er sich für das Qualifying ebenso viel ausgerechnet und es lief zu Anfang auch dementsprechend gut. Lange lag Sean Johnston auf Platz 2, bis sich die Hoffnung durch einen eigenen Fahrfehler in Wohlgefallen auflöste, als er die Leitplanke kontaktierte und ihn der kaputte Kühler anschließend nicht mehr in das Geschehen eingreifen ließ. Dennoch reichte die gute erste Zeit für Platz 7 im zweiten Rennen, für den Samstag blieb dann aber lediglich Platz 21 in der Startaufstellung. Genau diese ‘Ups and Downs‘ sollten sich dann auch im Rennen fortsetzen. Gestartet von P21 kämpfte sich Sean Johnston in einem tollen Rennen bis auf Position 9 vor. „Die Performance im Qualifying war top, nur leider hab ich mir durch einen Fehler eine noch bessere Position verbaut. Ein riesen Dank an mein Team, die das Auto so schnell wieder hinbekommen haben. Von P21 auf P9 vorzufahren ist ein tolles Ergebnis und zeigt was möglich ist.“ Das Zweite Rennen verlief dann allerdings wieder ernüchternd. „Gestartet von Platz 7 habe ich mir natürlich mehr ausgerechnet aber leider habe ich mich in Turn 1 auf dem Kühlwasser eines Kontrahenten verbremst und musste mir an der Box einen neuen Vorderreifen holen. Schade für mich und das Team, die so hart gearbeitet haben.“ Am Ende reichte es bei dem 22-jährigen Sean Johnston nur für Platz 25 im zweiten Lauf.

Rookie Jeffrey Schmidt wollte in Zandvoort in der Wertung des besten Rookies voll zuschlagen. Lediglich 5 Punkte betrug der Rückstand auf Porsche Junior Connor de Phillippi. Aber auch hier ging die Rechnung am Ende des Wochenendes nicht auf. Der Schweizer war nach dem Qualyergebnis P15 und P11 in guter Schlagdistanz, jedoch verlief das Rennen weitaus ungünstiger. Gleich im ersten Rennen war Jeffrey Schmidt im Startgetümmel verwickelt. „Das erste Rennen war wirklich großes Pech. Durch die Kollision war letztlich das Auto zu sehr kaputt. Durch die Unterbrechung nach 2 Runden,  mussten die Fahrzeuge in das Parc Ferme und somit hatten wir keine Chance den 911er wieder zu reparieren. So musste ich sogar auf den Re-Start am Sonntagmorgen verzichten, damit wir das Auto für Lauf Zwei vorbereiten konnten.“ Im zweiten Rennen konnte der 19-jährige Junior dann Platz 11 nach Hause bringen und so weitere 5 Punkte im Meisterschaftskampf für sich verbuchen. Meisterschaftskontrahent de Phillippi beendet seine Rennen auf Platz 4 und 8 und geht nun mit insgesamt 109 Punkten nach Hause, so dass der Rückstand von Jeffrey Schmidt für das Finale in Hockenheim jetzt auf 22 Punkte angewachsen ist.

Sean Edwards hat nach den beiden Rennen seine Ambitionen auf den Titel ‘die meisten überholten Autos‘ wieder alle Ehre gemacht. Als Meisterschaftsfavorit gestartet bleibt das Pech über die Saison treu an seiner Seite, so auch in Zandvoort. Qualifiziert für Platz 4 und 2 in den beiden Rennen, war auch er Leidragender und unschuldige Unglücksrabe der Startkollisionen im ersten Rennen. Ein Reifenschaden in Runde zwei spülte ihn kurz vor Abbruch des Rennens wiedermal komplett ans andere Ende des Feldes. Damit aber nicht genug, auch im zweiten Rennen lebte die Hoffnung nicht lange. Schon in der Einführungsrunde gab es Probleme mit dem Kühlwasser und Sean Edwards musste aus der Box starten. Er selber war entsprechend reserviert: „Im Qualifying lief es durchaus gut und ich hab gehofft das es diesmal ohne große Probleme läuft. Ich weiß nicht wer mich verwünscht hat, aber dieses Carrera Cup Pech scheint wie ein Fluch an mir zu haften. Mir bleibt nur eins: meinem Team einen großen Dank auszusprechen. Die Mannschaft hat mir wiedermal das schnellste Auto gestellt. Vielleicht sollte ich in Hockenheim ohne Qualifying direkt von hinten starten.“ Die Meisterschaft ist nun auch theoretisch nicht mehr zu erreichen aber Platz drei in der Meisterschaft ist ein realistisches und erreichbares Ziel in Hockenheim.

Dennoch will sich das Team ‘Deutsche Post by Project 1‘ beim Finale in Hockenheim gebührend verabschieden und sich die noch offenen 40 Punkte holen. Teamchef Paul Schlotmann wünscht sich dafür ein deutlich weniger turbulentes Rennen: „Die Rennen hier in Zandvoort waren schon nervenraubend. Mein Team hat trotz der ganzen Rückschläge einen gigantischen Job gemacht und ich bin mir sicher, dass wir in Hockenheim nochmal zeigen, was wir können.“

Zandvoort / Pre-race Press Release

Using chances

Juniors in battle for best rookie place. Edwards not giving up.

“First we had no luck then we had bad luck” – this quote from footballer Jürgen Wegmann pretty much sums up the season for Sean Edwards and ‘Team Deutsche Post by Project 1’ in the Porsche Carrera Cup. In the last race in Oschersleben, Sean Edwards’ battle to catch up was again destroyed by unfortunate decisions and a drive-through penalty. If anyone were to get a special prize for overtaking the most cars during the season, then it would be the Project 1 driver. 

In Zandvoort, the English driver wants to show what’s possible under normal circumstances. Sean Edwards is lying in 5th position in the Porsche Carrera Cup championship rankings, 55 points behind the leader. Even though it doesn`t appear possible to catch leader Kévin Estre, ‘the yellows’ from Project 1 are not giving up. Sean Edwards is using the smallest opportunities as big motivation and is well aware of the strength of his team and the speed of his car: “The results of the last races weren’t satisfactory but we always had the fastest car of the entire field and that makes us positive. When we demonstrate our performance on Saturday in qualifying, then I’m sure that the opposition will only see my rear lights in the race. We know what we can do and we’ll put that into action in Zandvoort.” Sean Edwards looks forward to the mammoth challenge in North Holland.

Team boss Paul Schlotmann adds: “Sean Edwards is the strongest and quickest driver in the whole field. Fifth place in the championship is not a true representation. With better luck and fewer drop outs, we would be in the running for the drivers` title. But would have, could have, should have, there isn`t a ‘re-start’ button like on a Sony Playstation. We`re not going to give up, we’re going on the attack. We want to use our minimal chance in Zandvoort.”

The performance level of both Project 1 junior drivers, Sean Johnston and Jeffrey Schmidt, is rising sharply and, in Zandvoort, both rookies want to continue the top performances they put in in the previous races.

Sean Johnston, who is taking part in his first season in European Porsche motorsport, has set his sights high after his good result inOschersleben. “In Holland, I want to repeat my performance in race 2 in Oschersleben, but this time I want to start from further forward.” The biggest challenge for the rookies is to get used to the new circuits as quickly as possible. They have an hour’s time in practice. Every metre driven counts and the smallest mistake is punished by significant loss of time and experience. “Practice is about getting used to the circuit with the car. In qualifying, the foundation of both races, everything then has to fit together. It’s exactly this performance that we’re going to work further on. In the races, things mostly run significantly better.”

It’s the task of Jeffrey Schmidt, second rookie at ‘Team Deutsche Post by Project 1’, to attack the leader in the rookie of the year championship. In the last few races, Jeffrey Schmidt has been able to nibble away at the lead. He’s currently lying only 5 points behind, and is within striking distance of Porsche Junior driver Connor de Phillippi. For the team surrounding the 19-year old Swiss driver, the season’s goal is tantalisingly close. However, he knows what’s at stake. “Connor is a tough opponent. Even though I’ve been able to constantly narrow the gap, he’s consistently won points. The smallest mistake can result in one of us falling right back. For that reason, for me it’s a question of holding on and winning points at Zandvoort.”

Team boss Paul Schlotmann is pleased with the learning curve of his young charges in ‘Team Deutsche Post by Project 1’. “The development that both drivers have undergone this season has been great to watch. Despite their lack of experience with the car and the circuits, they are doing a fantastic job. It’s shown both me and our entire team that we’re on the right path with our project. Learn from the professionals and pass experience on to the rookies, our plan is working out. The driver mix of championship favourite and rookies was pretty explosive at the start of the season, but it’s worked well.” said the good-humoured team boss.

The important qualifying session starts on Saturday at 12.55pm in the Zandvoort dunes. The drivers start the first race on Saturday at 5.10pm. The second race begins on Sunday at 9.55am.


Oschersleben / Video - 1st Lap

Sean Johnston, Project-1, Start Lauf 13 Porsche Carrera Cup Oschersleben Production: racecam.tv http://www.racecam.de Filmed with REPLAY XD Onboard-Cameras http://www.replayxd.eu http://www.replayxd.com

Dominic Jöst, Attempto Racing, Start Lauf 13 Porsche Carrera Cup Oschersleben Production: racecam.tv http://www.racecam.de Filmed with REPLAY XD Onboard-Cameras http://www.replayxd.eu http://www.replayxd.com

Oschersleben / Post-race Press Release

Project 1 experiences many ups and downs in Oschersleben. Both rookies put in top performances. Run of bad luck for Sean Edwards continues.

What you have achieved once, you can achieve again. Before the Porsche Carrera Cup weekend in Oschersleben, ‘Team Deutsche Post by Project 1’ was on the attack. Both Jeffrey Schmidt in the rookie championship and Sean Edwards in the A-championship had legitimate hopes in respect of the championship. For one, everything ran exactly to plan, for the other it was a weekend to forget.

Just like at the Norisring, the bitter blow came on Saturday in qualifying. A transmission failure and complete loss of drive meant position 30 for the first race and position 11 for Sunday’s race. But those who know Edwards know that he never gives up. In both the first and the second races, he impressively demonstrated his pace and competitiveness and was the fastest on the track. On Saturday, his furious race to catch up led him to overtake 21 other cars and he was rewarded with a finish in eighth place. On Sunday too he showed everybody who was master of the track. At one point he was in third position, and it was only a decision of the race managers that stopped his battle to catch up. He therefore couldn’t take the podium place and the 14 associated points. Sean Edwards himself is taking the weekend and the season to date calmly. “Fortune has never really shone on me in the Porsche Carrera Cup. To have so much bad luck yet again in qualifying is really hard. In the race, you then have to take a higher risk on board and more critical situations can occur. Neither race was ideal for the championship but a lot is still possible and there are still enough points to collect. In the last four races in Zandvoort and Hockenheim we’ll be on the attack again.”

After the low point score at the weekend, Edwards has fallen back to fifth place in the championship. Paul Schlotmann comments for the record “As usual, we will analyse the weekend in peace at home. Sean E. was, as he showed in both races, the fastest driver in the whole field and he deserved a lot more. Nevertheless, we won’t lose our nerve and we’ll carry on showing what we can do!”

The two Project 1 rookies, Sean Johnston and Jeffrey Schmidt, rewarded themselves with top performances in the Magdeburger Börde. Swiss driver Jeffrey Schmidt’s clear goal for the season is to win the rookie championship and he is letting nothing stand in the way of his goal. In both races in Oschersleben he was able to reduce the gap to Connor de Phillippi, and he is now lying just 5 points behind: “Eighth and tenth is a good overall result for me. Thanks to the whole team for a great car and their perfect work. Another place or two in front may have been possible for me, but for that I would have had to take a higher risk. So shortly before the end of the season, every points counts for the championship” said the 19-year old Jeffrey Schmidt.

Project 1 junior driver Sean Johnston drove at Oschersleben with the mental support of his parents from California. It was a weekend full of highs and lows. Saturday, and particularly qualifying, wasn’t ideal aftersuffering from technical problems, and he therefore qualified in positions 28 and 23. In the first race, he could only put in two laps before finishing. However, on Sunday Sean Johnston showed what skill he has in him. The rookie had a go at opponent after opponent and, on a circuit which he only knows from a test day, overtook 12 cars. “Wow, I’m really proud of my performance and that of the team. My speed was bombastic and I had a sensational car. After the messed up Saturday, I had the satisfaction of finishing Sunday with brilliant, fair battles for position. Tenth place gives me confidence and motivates me for the forthcoming races.”

‘Deutsche Post by Project 1’ team boss Paul Schlotmann says of his junior drivers: “Both of them have again convinced me today and both have done a top job. Jeffrey has reduced the gap to the leader in the rookie championship to just 5 points with an almost perfect weekend, and kept the leader behind him in both races – a strong performance. After the accident on Saturday, Sean J. dealt with everything well and properly and overtook 12 cars. He also put in a brilliant performance.”

Hans-Bernd Kamps, who commented from America, is also suitably positive. “Our Project 1 junior programme is well on track and I’m delighted about the performance of the rookies. At the end of the season, both are showing what they have learnt. My thanks go to the whole team. We will cope with the disappointment involving Sean Edwards and we will give it everything at the end.”

The next two races will take place in the dunes of Zandvoort on 28th and 29th September.

Via Project1


Oschersleben / Pre-race Press Release

Race to Catch Up 2.0

Edwards pursues his chance in the championship. Project 1 has two highly motivated junior drivers battling for the best rookie position.

How closely joy and misery lie next to each other in motorsport was shown at the last racing weekend at the Nürburgring. On Saturday, glowing winner of race 1 and just 5 points behind the leader, Edwards was back in business in the championship. However, Sunday was a sobering day for Edwards and the ‘Deutsche Post by Project 1’ team, with a failure to finish and no points. The result is a gap of 23 points to leader Kévin Estre. It’s not how we had imagined it would be. However, Sean Edwards is feeling optimistic about the weekend in the Magdeburger Börde: “I would obviously prefer to be right up there in the battle for first place, but that’s the way it is in motorsport. Small mistakes are punished hard, even when the setback isn’t always your own fault. The season is still long and a lot can and will still happen.”

Edwards is ambitious about the forthcoming race in Oschersleben: “I will be fully on the attack at the weekend. If we’re offered a chance to reduce the gap to Kévin Estre, we’ll be there. There’s no reason to mope. On the contrary, such a challenge motivates me.” A look at the remaining season shows clearly that nothing is fixed yet. With Oschersleben, Zandvoort and the final in Hockenheim, there are still six races left for the title contender to win, and a total of 120 points to be taken.

The two Project 1 rookies, Sean Johnston and Jeffrey Schmidt, are motivating themselves in different ways. 22-year old Sean Johnston is looking forward to his parents visiting; they have made the long journey from Mount Shasta in California to Europe. This is of course no reason for Johnston to push work on to the back burner: “Of course I’m delighted about my parents’ visit, it gives me additional motivation. It’s really special for me to be able to show them my new motorsporting life here in Europe, and it makes me really proud. But I’ll be totally and utterly concentrating on my job at the weekend, namely driving the car fast.” For Sean Johnston, the trip to Oschersleben will be a new challenge, for although he has driven numerous test laps on the track, the adrenalin-filled races are always something completely different.

Jeffrey Schmidt’s incentive is his newly won prospects in the battle for the rookie championship. After the two races at the Nürburgring, the ‘Deutsche Post by Project 1’ team youngster has narrowed the gap to the leader, Porsche Junior driver Connor de Phillippi, to just 10 points. “My goal is clearly to win the ‘rookie of the year’ title in the Porsche Carrera Cup 2013. I’m sure that, at the end, I’ll be right at the top of the table” says the young Swiss driver, confidently. For him, it’s the logical result of having whole package. Jeffrey continues “My performances are improving from race to race and I’m getting more and more used to the car. Sean Edwards is one of the best drivers, if not the best driver, in the field. To have someone like him in the team pushes us unbelievably and we rookies can learn a lot from him, particularly on the circuits which we don’t know that well. Together with top engineer Konstantin Kotitsas and the best team, we have a great package for getting successful results in the last six races.” For the rookies too there are 120 points still up for grabs. Jeffrey Schmidt is the only one of the ‘newbies’ who has so far managed a podium place.

For the team surrounding Project 1 team boss Paul Schlotmann, the expectations for the season haven`t changed. “To win the championship with Sean Edwards and to take the rookie title are still our goals. Nothing has changed even after the sobering result on Sunday at the Nürburgring. Mistakes happen, but that means we carry on fighting, not give up. That’s exactly what we’re going to do and we’re again going to put in top performances with our team. We’ll see what result it leads to in the end. Our two rookies still haven’t maximised their full potential. I’m sure there’s more to come. We know what we’re capable of and I’m looking forward to it.”

Monza / Pre-race Press Release

Mental Exercise in Italy

Sean Johnston starts with special preparation in Monza. Sean Edwards and his team are concentrating on the basics.  via Project-1  

Germany is heading slowly but surely into autumn and winter. The temperatures are falling and the dreary, wet weather is putting in an appearance. Reason enough for the Formula 1 circus to flee to the south of Europe. With the race in Monza in Italy, the final EuropaGP and the third-to-last race of the Porsche Mobil 1 Supercup of the 2013 season is taking place. 

‘Team Allyouneed by Project 1’ is focussing on its strengths and on a professional racing performance. Rookie Sean Johnston is approaching the race in Italy with somewhat different preparation. “With my friend and partner Tom, I have spent a couple of days in Italy to work on my mental attitude and my physical strength. As a racing driver, you have to be constantly highly focussed and every second in the racing car has to be spent focussing on making the right decisions. With inner balance, you can reach your goals and be successful.” This mental training plays a very significant role for Sean Johnston. If you look in the cockpit before the race, you will often see him with closed eyes. For the technicians and engineers it’s then a case of – get ready to rumble. From this point, Sean sees his goals clearly in his mind’s eye. The details and what exactly he sees remain his secret. He also recommends such an approach to everyday life: “Basically, I reflect on myself and keep reminding myself of my goals: ‘Who am I? What do I want? Where do I want to get to? What do I need to do to get there?’ That makes me strong and self-confident”. Mentally, Sean’s attitude fits well to Monza. He wants to continue his sporting performances from the previous weeks. In the last race, the Project 1 junior driver unfortunately only took 16  place, despite a strong performance, and accordingly he didn’t take any points for the championship. “In Monza, I’d be really happy with a finish in the top 15. My performances are right and I want to reward my team and myself with my best race of the season.” 

For favourite Sean Edwards, everything is running to plan in respect of the championship. Despite missing out on a victory at Spa, Sean Edwards was able to celebrate as the clear victor of the weekend. He has again built upon his lead in the championship. The situation of the table leader and his competitors is as follows: with 106 points, Edwards is lying 26 points ahead of Nicki Thiim, 30 points ahead of the German driver Michael Ammermüller, and 36 points ahead of Porsche Junior driver Michael Christensen. But he is not home and dry yet. Theoretically, as there are still 60 points up for grabs, even the seventh placed driver still has a chance. No-one at Project 1 is reckoning upon an early championship victory in Italy. Team boss and driver point to a good and professional performance in accordance with the P1 philosophy. Paul Schlotmann, team boss and manager of the Project 1 team, warns against too much euphoria: “I don’t want to hear it. We are not going to waste any thoughts on the championship in Monza. It’s taboo for us. In our current situation, we can’t make the mistake of being too sure of ourselves. We need to concentrate and focus on our work. The smallest mistakes are severely punished and the position you thought was secure can quickly disappear.” His driver Sean Edwards also knows how to appraise the situation: “The last race was perfect for me, but nothing has Mental Exercise in Italy  been won yet. In the Porsche Carrera Cup we’ve seen how quickly newly won euphoria can disappear in respect of the championship. It’s our goal to finish the last three races without incident and to bring home as many points as possible. I know how perfectly my team works and I have the utmost faith that we can deliver a strong performance. We’ll see on Sunday how the situation looks after Monza.” 

Together with the double race in Abu Dhabi, there remain three races on the schedule for the Porsche Mobil 1 Supercup teams. 

Practice starts on Friday at 4.45pm and qualifying starts on Saturday at 12.25pm. The hunt for the third-to-last championship points in the Porsche Mobil 1 Supercup starts on Sunday at 11.45am. As usual, the race can be viewed on pay-tv channel Sky and on Eurosport. 

News and background information about the race and about Project 1 can be found on the Project 1 website and on Facebook, or on the partner website www.racecam.de.