When the series kicked off, Thomas Schöffler’s driving went almost unnoticed by the public. In Monza it was Oliver Mayer from Ingolstadt in the red and black speedster’s cockpit, with most of the driving duties in the second race in Brno being assumed by the Swede Johan Kristoffersson. Both of them were up against a pack of Ferraris, Porsches and Corvettes, managed to hold their own with the favourites but without yet playing a decisive part in the action.
The Slovakia Ring was the first time Thomas Schöffler really made his mark, ending one of the qualifiers in third place and the other in fourth. He emerged victorious from the first of two runs in this race, outstripping favoured competitors such as Roberto Del Castello in the fast Corvette Z06R, local duelist Andrj Studenic in a Ferrari 458 and his toughest rival, Glauco Salieri in a Porsche 911. “He drives almost like an old hand”, Roland Mayer said of his driver’s courageous showing. “Dependably fast but without fanfare that’s our style.”
Together with his Belgian comrade-in-arms, Laurens Vanthoor, he ended both races of the fourth meeting in Zolder in second place. Thomas Schöffler won a podium placement in six of a total of nine meetings, finally clinching his crown at the penultimate race in Imola: first in the first qualifier, second in the second run and winner in both races. “That was when the title was within grasp”, Schöffler recalls. And: “our performances were of a consistently high level; that is without doubt the key to success.” A success that makes Thomas Schöffler the youngest champion in the history of the GT Sprint Series.
True to the tried and tested formula, he would like to return to the fray again next year, but his future as a racing driver has not yet been decided. That is why for the time being he is resuming his economics studies with renewed vigour and following a carefully crafted fitness regime. “Only if I am as as fit as the mtm R8 LMS will the competition have to come up with something special over the winter. It would be nice to be able to carry this success story forward.
The continuation of mtm’s success story is a done deal but “we haven’t yet made a final decision on the programme” says Roland Mayer, mtm GmbH’s Managing Director. “The first thing is what I hope will be a Merry Christmas for everyone then a good start to the New Year then we’ll see.”