Young Driver AMR: Tomas Enge Silverstone report

Tuesday, May 04, 2010

Tomas Enge (CZ) and Darren Turner (GB) driving Young Driver AMR-Aston Martin DBR9 won the GT1 World Championship race in Silverstone, the second round of the championship. Unfortunately, the winning Young Driver AMR-Aston Martin car was excluded after the race.

The qualification race on Saturday brought a good starting position for Turner/Enge in Sunday’s Championship race. Tomas Enge started the qualifying race from Pole-Position and clearly leaded, when the Young Driver AMR-Aston Martin DBR9 was penalised with a drive trough penalty and a stop and go penalty for crossing the white line on pit entry. Enge/Turner eventually finished fourth, giving them a good starting position for the Championship Race.

Starting from fourth on the grid Darren Turner reached the third position already in the first curve, and followed two Aston Martins of Hexis AMR team. The leading trio has been taking advantage until an early safety car period, due to a burning car on the track. The safety car period lasted approximately 10 minutes, then the race restarted. Darren Turner maintained the third position until an obligatory pit stop.

Young Driver AMR managed the pit stop in a perfect time, and Tomas Enge returned to the track in the second position behind leading Thomas Accary. Having successfully hounded the leader, Tomas Enge benefited from Accary’s penalty – the drive through. Then, Tomas Enge claimed the lead for Young Driver AMR. He pulled away in front and claimed an emotional victory by 12 seconds, despite Czech driver enjoyed the last lap and entertained the audience with drifting.

Unfortunately, the race winning Young Driver-Aston Martin of Tomas Enge and Darren Turner was excluded after technical checks (Breach of Article Appendix J and article 5 FIA GT1 World Championship Sporting Regulation). The measurement of the friction block of the flat bottom of the car #7 was found not to be in accordance with the minimum thickness (24.2mm instead of specified 25mm). The team has appealed against the exclusion, the result of the race remains provisional.

Tomas Enge, Young Driver AMR driver: “Little bit we have profited from a safety car period, because one of Hexis AMR team’s car had been going to hinder their rivals. Well, with the safety car period they weren’t able to follow the tactics. Darren drove perfectly during his stint and reached the third position. After our very fast pit stop I returned to the track in second position, having focused on fast laps to hound the leader. I awaited a hard fight, but Accary got the penalty. Then I tried to keep up the speed, and finished in the first position.

Unfortunately, even that wasn’t enough. The measurement of the friction block of the flat bottom of our car was 0.8mm thinner, which didn’t give us any advantage. The track at Silverstone is bumpy, so may be we ground off tenths of millimetres. It’s a big shame and the whole team is disappointed. I and Darren feel wronged, but the regulations are given.

Now my home round in Brno is ahead of us, and I am looking forward to it a lot. After a long time I will perform ahead of Czech audience within an important international race. I hope our achievement in Silverstone would be a good invitation to Brno.”

GT1 World Championship continues with its third round at Brno Circuit, Czech Republic, on May 21/23.

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