Michael Schein Shows Speed in Patron GT3 Challenge Debut with AJR Monterey, Calif., Michael Schein made his IMSA Patron GT3 Challenge Series debut this weekend in the Alex Job Racing (AJR) No. 21 Porsche 911 at Mazda Raceway Laguna...
Michael Schein Shows Speed in Patron GT3 Challenge Debut with AJR
Monterey, Calif., Michael Schein made his IMSA Patron GT3 Challenge Series debut this weekend in the Alex Job Racing (AJR) No. 21 Porsche 911 at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca.
Schein AJR Laguna The youngster from Glen Cove, New York showed a lot of speed in his first professional series start. In Saturday's qualifying session, Schein (pronounced shine) posted a lap time of 1:29.171 good for second position on the Patron GT3 grid. The time was a near second-and-a-half faster than he ran in either of the practice sessions. This was an impressive feat for his first series start and first visit to the tricky 2.2-mile, 11-turn Laguna Seca circuit.
"I came into the weekend with a fresh mindset, being my first time in the series," Schein said. "Thursday's practice was a little disappointing. I started over and thought about where I needed to gain some time and went over the data with the team. I was able to get a clear lap in qualifying, had the speed and was able to get it done."
In the first race on Saturday Schein started from the front 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 and forcing him to pit. This resulted in a 24th place finish.
"At the start of the first race the No. 92 got me on the outside into Turn One. It was a clean pass. I was running in third and we had a few early cautions. After that into Turn Five the 58 car went by. After that I was battling with the 55 car. I was faster in places and he was good in others. I think he got a little frustrated and hit me going into Turn Two, costing us both top finishes in the race."
"The series is a lot more serious than what I was used to, I am happy to be a part of it."
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.
Alex Job, team owner, came away from the weekend suitably impressed with Schein.
"We had him in a couple of PCA events and he was fast there, but that is not quite the competition you see in this series," Alex Job, team owner said. "At first we thought he was getting his feet on the ground and running conservatively in practice. Then in qualifying he put in a blistering lap that put us second on the grid! In the first race he fell back a little and then started to settle in and find his rhythm until he was hit in the rear and that broke the wheel. In the second race I think he was just over anxious and got to the gas a little too early and spun it into the Turn 11 wall. That is a tricky turn and gets a lot of sand on it making the surface very slick. We witnessed around eight such spins in the ALMS race yesterday. It was a good baptism to professional racing. We will have him and the car ready for round two in New Jersey."
The Patron GT3 Challenge will travel to New Jersey Motorsports Park to run a double race weekend on June 26 - 27.