Kevin Rohrscheidt (31/Stuttgart) and Wolfgang Payr (59/AUT, both Racing Experience) are the only Bronze-Bronze pairing in the Prototype Cup Germany field, but they aren’t letting that get them down. At the Norisring they finished ninth to secure their best race result, and in the trophy rankings – in which only Bronze drivers are classified – they are currently in second place, just eleven points behind leader Mark van der Snel (52/NLD, More Motorsport by Reiter).
Kevin Rohrscheidt and Wolfgang Payr didn’t apply to the Racing Experience team as a duo, they were placed in the same car by team principal Christian Hauser. Germany’s Rohrscheidt came from the GTC Race in the Prototype Cup Germany, while Austria’s Payr previously contested offroad motorcycle races, including Dakar 2022. But he had previously tried his hand at formula racing and the prototype area on an informal basis.
It was the dream of the 24 Hours of Le Mans that lured Rohrscheidt to the Prototype Cup Germany. “The LMP3 is currently the best way to get there. And with its events as part of the DTM, the Prototype Cup Germany is also a very attractive platform for partners and sponsors. I always need to make sure that I can offer my partners a good return on their investment, for example, by creating high-quality social media content or enabling them to experience motorsport and all its emotions live at the track.” The car was also a factor for Payr when choosing the race series. “I was briefly involved with the 24 Hours of Dubai. Then I came across the Prototype Cup Germany on Creventic’s website. They are the organisers of the 24-hours series and, in collaboration with the ADAC, the Prototype Cup Germany, and that series was more appealing to me from the outset. The cars taking part are pure racing cars through and through, which I love.”
So, Rohrscheidt and Payr were searching for a suitable LMP3 team independently of each other. Payr: “I searched online and contacted a few teams. I explained what I was looking for – primarily to learn a lot – and it seemed like Christian Hauser was the person who best understood my situation. I also felt from day one that it was the right fit in terms of personalities. After two thirds of the season, all my expectations have been met and I haven’t been disappointed at all. I can wholeheartedly recommend Racing Experience to any driver.” Rohrscheidt encountered the Prototype Cup Germany at the 2022 GTC finale, when both series were at the same race weekend in Hockenheim. “I spoke to various LMP3 teams at the track, which also gave me an initial impression of how they work and whether they came across well. On top of that, Laurents Hörr had already recommended the Duqueine chassis. And ultimately, I wanted to work with teams who had experience with the Duqueine. So, I ended up at Racing Experience and haven’t regretted that choice for a single day.”
So, after Payr and Rohrscheidt both agreed on Racing Experience, they became a driver pairing. “I didn’t know Wolfgang previously, but it made sense for me to share my care with a Bronze competitor. I thought that would allow me to break myself in more gently than with a Gold driver, for example, who would likely have very different aspirations.” Payr was also happy when he met his new colleague. “I get on really well with him and his family.”
They both often finish at the back of the field, but they are realistic in their assessment of their performance. “We want to learn as much as possible and improve over the course of the season” agree the LMP3 rookies. “Our own learning progression is the basis for measuring whether the season was a success in the end,” said Rohrscheidt. Payr added: “The journey is the destination. Even if we are last in the field all the way to the end of the season, we might still have made significant improvements. My personal plan is a two-year one, with the end goal of having caught up with the back third of the field. To do that I need to get in a lot of driving, to get systematically closer to the capabilities of the LMP3 car.” In addition to the lack of LMP3 experience, the duo each see another factor that limits them. “I had a really tight budget, initially I only had the first four race weekends sorted. And a major accident would have endangered even those races. You always have that at the back of your mind, so you are a bit more careful,” explained 31-year-old Rohrscheidt, who has indeed managed to make it through the season so far without any damage and is now working on being able to contest the races in Assen and at the Nürburgring as well. Payr, who is 28 years older, has identified a different issue: “When you get older, you aren’t able to improve your physical performance – that’s a fact. But then I look at Dino Steiner, for example, who is a little bit older. He is very fast and shows that even older drivers can still move an LMP3 quickly. His performance motivates me to get even more stuck in.”
Will the two Bronze drivers be able to benefit from the experience of their team-mates Markus Pommer and Gary Hauser, who currently lead the drivers’ standings of the Prototype Cup Germany? “I have been in the simulator with Markus, that was really cool,” said Rohrscheidt. “He gave me loads of tips and it was a lot of fun. And the rest of the crew is great as well: They are very professional, but also know how to have fun.” “Each team member makes sure that we have an atmosphere that is positive but constructive,” Payr says. “It’s important for me to have a good time with them. Markus and Gary also help us where they can and are always available for a chat. They even look at our data with us, when that isn’t their job – which I really appreciate, and it shows that we have a fantastic team spirit here at Racing Experience.”