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.