Michael Schein Shows Promise in First GT3 Challenge Season
Tavares, FL., (Oct. 8, 2010), Michael Schein closed out his first IMSA Patron GT3 Challenge Series presented by Yokohama season last weekend at Road Atlanta with his No. 21 Alex Job Racing Porsche 997 Cup car.
The youngster from Glen Cove, New York showed a lot of natural talent and speed in his first season behind the wheel of the Alex Job Racing IMSA Challenge Porsche 997 Cup car. Highlighting the year was his maiden win at Mid-Ohio and his pole position at Road Atlanta. He finished sixth in the Platinum series points, an excellent run considering he did not join the series until the second race of the series at Laguna Seca.
"Michael is one of the most naturally talented drivers I've seen behind the wheel of a Porsche in a long time," Alex Job, team owner said. "He has a lot of raw talent that shows up on the timing chart, usually toward the top. He has the ability to take it up a step when qualifying which was proven at Road Atlanta in very tough track conditions and is learning how to pace himself during the races. He can sometimes try and push too hard when it is not necessary, but that type of race craft will come with a few more starts and some more tutelage. He posted his first win at Mid-Ohio, but that is one of what I am sure will be a lot more in his future. We are looking for a very strong run with him next year."
Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca
In the first race Schein started from the front row, second position, and got passed by two cars in the first third of the race. With four laps to go he was hit in the rear by the 55 car in Turn Two resulting in a broken right rear wheel forcing him to pit. This resulted in a 24th place finish.
In the second race Schein started fourth, based upon his fastest race lap from Saturday's race. On the second lap he was exiting Turn 11 onto the front straight and spun it into the wall ending his race early.
New Jersey Motorsports Park
Schein recovered from a rough last race at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca last month where he got into the Turn 11 wall Schein qualified tenth for the first race with a time of 1:25.096 which started him on the fifth row. In that first race Schein got a good start and was able to finish seventh in class.
Based on his fast lap from the first race, a time of 1:26.068, Schein would start seventh for the second event. Running as high as fourth, Schein found Turn One at New Jersey tricky and spun. At the checker the young New Yorker finished sixth.
Miller Motorsports Park
Schein posted a season's best podium finish of third in the IMSA Patron GT3 Challenge Series at Miller Motorsports Park. In the second race Schein posted a seventh in class finish.
AJR took the opportunity to get Schein some additional track time by bringing the car out to Utah a couple of days early. Schein worked with Porsche Factory Driver Patrick Long to try and get every bit of performance out of car and driver for this weekend.
In qualifying for the first race, Schein put the No. 21 Alex Job Racing Porsche on the second row in third with a time of 1:55.948.
In the first race, Schein had a good start from his second row grid position. Shuffling down into Turn One he settled into third. Defending his position and looking for more Schein ran a well crafted race. The last 10-minutes of the 45-minute event were hampered by a two car wreck resulting in the race ending under yellow and Schein settling for his first podium of the year in third.
In race two, Schein started from the second row in fourth, based upon the fastest race lap from the first race. At the start he was able to move up from the second row to third. Later in the race he had an aggressive spin in The Attitudes and again in Turn Four. The result was a seventh place in class.
Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course
In just his seventh Patron GT3 Challenge race, Alex Job Racing driver Michael Schein proved just what a good young driver he is by winning Round Nine of the Patron GT3 Challenge presented by Yokohama at Mid-Ohio Sports car course.
Schein started second in the No. 21 Alex Job Racing Porsche GT3 and immediately put pressure on the pole sitter Ross Smith for position. In fact, Smith went off into the turn three gravel on lap five. This allowed Schein to inherit the lead. By this time, Schein had a good lead over second-place driver Darrell Carlisle.
Unfortunately that lead was erased when the race went full course caution on lap nine. This was the first of three cautions in the 45 minute race. To earn his first platinum cup victory, Schein had to weather the pressure put on by the veteran Carlisle following each of three restarts.
In the Round 10 race, Schein started second due to his lap time from Round Nine. For the first 21 laps of the 30 lap race, Schein looked poised to capture his second platinum cup podium finish of the weekend. He was running a solid second, with no serious pressure from the third place driver, when Schein's No. 21 Porsche found the turn 10-gravel. This dropped Schein from second in class to eighth in class and 13th overall.
Over the next eight laps, Schein fought hard to regain some of the spots he had lost when he spun off. On Lap 29, he moved up one spot to seventh (12th overall). But, his stay in that spot was short lived because on the last lap Schein spun again in turn 13. Schein finished eighth in the platinum cup and 13th overall.
Schein finished fourth in the IMSA Patron GT3 Challenge Series presented by Yokohama race at Road America. In the second race Schein was hit from behind and his day ended just three turns into the 45-minute race.
AJR had Schein engaged in the extra practice session prior to the race. Schein has many laps at Road America and quickly got the No. 21 down into the 2:15 range. In qualifying, Schein posted a time of 2:15.285 which put him on the outside of the first row for race number one.
In race number one Schein had a clean start and came around on lap one in third. Following Smith into Turn One a competitor got a run on him at the exit dropping him back a few spots.
In race number two, Schein started from the inside second row based upon his fourth fastest race lap in the first race. At the drop of the green Schein positioned himself on the inside going into Turn One and took the second position. Heading into Turn Three the New Yorker was hit by the 88 car under braking causing damage to the left rear wheel and suspension ending his day just three turns into the race.
Schein check RA Michael Schein had an up and down weekend in the No. 21 Alex Job Racing Porsche 997 IMSA Patron GT3 Challenge Series presented by Yokohama car at Road Atlanta. The young New Yorker won the outright pole in qualifying to start the first race.
In the 40-minute qualifying session, the series officials declared it wet, having all competitors run on Yokohama rain tires. Early in the 30-minute session Schein locked up the brakes going into Turn Ten and put the No. 21 into the gravel. After being extracted and through quick work by the AJR crew, Schein rejoined the fray and on his very last lap went from fifth on the timing screen to pole. The time of 1:35.103 is particularly impressive considering the changing track conditions from wet to dry.
The first race had the Patron Cup competitors start the race on Yokohama wet tires. Schein took up point and led the first five laps until he went off line in Turn Three, returning to the fray in fifth. On lap eight running near one-second faster lap times than the field on his wet tires the New Yorker moved up to fourth as the track dried. On lap 12 the race director stopped the event and allowed the teams to put on slick tires for the remaining 14-minutes of the race. Schein was running fast laps in fourth when he entered Turn Seven and lost power, the result of an alternator belt coming off. Schein had to pull off of the track and was classified in 18th.
In the season finale, Schein started from the seventh position on the grid, as a result of his fastest lap time from the first race. Getting a slow start, Schein used the attrition of the cars in front of him to make his way to second. On lap 18 he put two wheels off outside the fast Turn One and hit a hole, which resulted in the radiator being cracked and ending his day early.