W2W Racing Bring Home Second National Championship

December 5th 2021 – Austin, TX.

The Will-to-Win Racing team secured their second consecutive World Racing League National GTO Championship on Sunday at Circuit of the Americas. The 2016 Porsche Cayman GT4 Clubsport MR #983 – affectionately known as Bart – has locked in what Schmied considers the seasons “grand-slam”: the 24 Hours of Sebring, the Eastern GTO Championship, the Western GTO Championship, and the National GTO Championship. 

“It’s just incredible the amount of effort the team puts into this championship.” said Schmied. “From winning the historic race last month at Sebring, and now bringing home the national championship for the second year in a row… it’s just amazing and hard to describe. The crew, coaches, mechanics, and drivers all put in so much effort and have so much talent. Several drivers I shared the seat with this year are moving up to pro racing next year, and I’m just so happy and proud of them as well and can’t wait to follow their progress. I’m ready to take this momentum into 2022!”

The team struggled on Friday to put in a fast lap time, and worked extensively on set-up over the day’s qualifying sessions. Variable weather washed rubber off the track at critical moments, lap traffic was constant and endless, and the team could never line everything up to squeeze in a competitive lap for the day. The #983 qualified 26th with a time in the mid 1:31’s.

091A4413On Saturday, a low-grip track kept laps times for most competitors relatively high, and the #983 drivers made their way through the field throughout the day with no major incidents or accidents. In P7 with an hour to go, the car experienced a tire blow out which took out the ABS loom and put the car into limp mode. The team tried several times to fix the issue and get the car back on track, but by the time the car was back up and running the damage had been done. The car finished 23rd overall and 18th in class on Saturday.

Now fixed and ready to go for the Sunday race, and with drivers confident they can make the charge, the #983 was back on the grid Sunday morning for the last race of 2022. While the car didn’t experience any mechanical issues on Sunday, a couple of early contact penalties and some bad luck when the team didn’t have video to protest getting penalized heavily for passing under yellow set the car off to a struggle of a final race of the season. Despite improving the cars lap times and overall traffic management on Sunday, the car could only seem to move backwards in the standings due to the lap penalties. Ultimately it was a P17 overall and P16 in class to send off the 2020 season.

The #983 had locked down the championship with the win at Sebring race more than a month ago as it was a triple points race. The team celebrated and shared champagne after the Sunday evening awards ceremony. While it was a tough weekend for the team, Schmied reflected on the season as a whole:

“It really feels great to bring this championship home.” Schmied said. “I know we didn’t have much pressure this weekend but given how things went, I’m glad that was the case! My co-drivers Aidan Yoder, Aidan Kenny, Mark Martin, and Derek Bietzel gave it their all this weekend, but sometimes that’s not enough and things just go south on you anyways. Endurance racing is as much about not getting unlucky as it is about getting lucky. Even though the races this weekend didn’t go our way, it’s nice to be able to share this second national championship with the team and celebrate it here together. It was some really great effort from everybody for the whole season, and it’s one we can all be really proud of. I’m really looking forward to 2022!”

Kenny Schmied returns to the race track with W2W Racing in March 2022 for a seven-race WRL campaign. His first race of the 2022 season is at a track he’s new to – Barber Motorsports Park in Birmingham AL. When asked, Schmied began smiling and mentioned “I’m really excited to race at Barber. I love driving the track in the simulator and I can’t wait to get out there and experience it.”

Photos from the event can be found below or at the photo gallery page here.