How satisfied are you after your first season of fielding a BMW in the ADAC GT Masters?
Karsten Molitor: From a sporting perspective, I obviously cannot be completely satisfied. I would have hoped for more. Unfortunately, we struggled with technical problems on a few occasions. Fortunately, though, we were able to count on the support of BMW. Nevertheless, the car did not perform consistently well on every track. We were up against better all-rounders.
The car was often quite fast, but ultimately, your best result of the campaign was a P5. Why do you think that was?
Molitor: The main problem was that things would often break in free practice. We hadn’t been expecting that. If you miss two sessions, it’s bad. As a result, we were not one hundred percent in qualifying and sometimes ended up near the back of the grid.
Which race from last season will you remember in an especially positive light, and which in a negative?
Molitor: Our fifth place at Most was the highlight. For much of the race, we were actually up to second and in real contention for the win. That came as a surprise to us, because it was a track we didn’t know and hadn’t tested on. The low point came at the Red Bull Ring, which is where we should actually have shone. We had been hoping for great things there, but then we were undone by a fault in the air conditioning. I’ve never experienced this before. The air conditioning also cools the transmission control unit, and eventually we were no longer able to change gear.
Tell us about the drivers. How did Christopher Zöchling perform in his first GT3 season?
Molitor: I would say that Jens Klingmann and Christopher Zöchling are the most well-matched driver pairing in the entire field. Both in height and character, they are a perfect fit for each other. They approach the races with the requisite degree of seriousness, whereas away from the track, they have a great sense of humour. We know what we have in Christopher. He is explosively fast. With him, though, it’s sometimes down to his form on the day. Jens is a very precise racer. He drives at a consistently high level.
To what extent has it helped the team understand the BMW having a works driver in the shape of Jens Klingmann who already knew the M6 GT3 well?
Molitor: That was very important. He used his technical knowledge of the car to further develop it. This obviously made our job much easier and saved us a lot of test kilometres. Our setup was, in my opinion, better than that of the other BMW. Unfortunately, we haven’t so far been able to translate that benefit into results.
How does your record compare to the more established Schnitzer team which has longer experience of fielding the M6 GT3?
Molitor: Surprisingly well. I’m very satisfied, as I didn’t think that we could assert ourselves so well and compete on even terms, sometimes being just a little bit faster. I also think it’s important that we have Schnitzer as a benchmark. It’s the only way that we as a team can develop further.
How are the preparations for the new season going? What target will you be setting yourselves?
Molitor: Of course, we basically want to carry doing what we’ve done so far. That’s our intention. We will be entering at least one car. There’s not a lot more I can say at the moment. I’m hoping we’ll have the same driver pairing. But we also have to do our homework and focus more on sponsorship acquisition. We are lagging behind in that area. In sporting terms, it would be presumptuous to speak of winning the championship. Essentially, we want to start winning races first. But things are so tight in the ADAC GT Masters. Impressively so: very often, there is not even a full second separating the Top 30 cars.