DTM vet Schmid set for LMGT3 debut at Spa

DTM racer Clemens Schmid is set to make an FIA WEC debut this weekend at Spa-Francorchamps, after an unexpected late call-up to AKKODIS ASP Team’s LMGT3 effort to stand in for Timur Boguslavskiy.

Boguslavskiy is unable to take part in this weekend’s race after falling ill, prompting AKKODIS to sign up the Austrian on short notice to partner up with Arnold Robin and Mitomo Miyata in the No. 78 Lexus RC F LMGT3.

While Schmid is new to the FIA WEC, he has plenty of relevant GT3 experience to draw from. He currently competes in DTM with Dörr Motorsport and is the reigning World Challenge Europe Endurance Silver Cup champion.


However, this switch means Robin will be racing with two new teammates this weekend as Ritomo Miyata is competing in the seat usually filled by Kelvin van der Linde. This is because the South African has been called up to stand in for Peugeot Hypercar driver Nico Muller in the Formula E race this weekend in Berlin with ABT Cupra.

“Timur is OK but he didn’t feel good and isn’t capable of doing a double stint, for instance,” Robin explained to RACER. “So he admitted he was unable to compete in this race. It’s not good news for us before Le Mans — it makes it difficult. But he will be back at Le Mans.”

“It’s going to be a challenge. Ritomo knows the car well and has been so successful in his career, he’s a perfect teammate, while Clemens is someone I don’t know. Obviously he has good experience in GT3 and currently races in DTM with McLaren. But this is a very late change — we only found out this morning. But I trust Jerome (Policand, ASP’s team owner) and Toyota. He was on the shortlist and it was their choice.”

So far AKKODIS ASP has found hard going in the FIA WEC, getting up to speed with new drivers and a new manufacturer following a lengthy association with Mercedes-AMG. And with new drivers in the fold, Robin has the added challenge of helping his new teammates get acclimated in the highly competitive LMGT3 class, with no prior testing or experience working together as a unit.

“Last time at Imola was tricky,” Robin noted. “My stint was good and we were in P5, then we got a penalty for track limits and changed to wets later in the race when it rained, we lost so much time to that.

“I don’t know what to think about this one. Our expectations this weekend are similar to Imola. On lap time it will be difficult, but we know that if we don’t make errors, don’t suffer penalties and don’t hit anyone we could get a strong result. Maybe P5 to P10. But in qualifying I don’t expect too much.

“I do feel that the Lexus should be better suited to Spa than Imola too, as there are more high-speed corners.”

Story originally appeared on Racer