Young Driver AMR: On to the Ardennes Rollercoaster

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

It’s not often the case that racing drivers favour a track in such way as this weekend’s venue, the legendary track of Spa-Francorchamps in Belgium. The seven kilometre track in the Belgian Ardennes belongs to most popular racetracks in the world with both fans and drivers alike. The thrilling Ardennes “rollercoaster” is a perfect playground for race car drivers and offers everything that drivers and fans enjoy in highperformance racing: high-speed corners, long straights, elevation changes and the infamous „eau rouge“, one of the most famous corners in motorsports.

The Belgian race is the fifth round of the GT1 World Championship and marks the second time this year, that the Young Driver AMR and the teams two Aston Martin DBR9 travel to Spa. The team last went In May when Young Driver AMR and the trio of Mücke, Nygaard and Enge took part in the 1000km of Spa in preparation for the 24h of Le Mans and collected valuable experience for the GT1 World Championship event.

For the race at Spa, which counts to one of the highlights of the inaugural season of the GT1 World Championship, teams and drivers have to get used to a slightly different timetable. The GT1 races take place just before the legendary 24h of Spa. The Qualifying Race is already scheduled for Friday afternoon (Start 15.00 o’clock), while the green flag for the Championship Race will be waved Saturday at 12.05 o’clock.

Quotes of the Young Driver AMR drivers before the Spa race:

Tomas Enge (#7 Young Driver-Aston Martin DBR9): “Spa certainly belongs to my favourite tracks. The Aston Martin DBR9 was always very good at Spa and also our performance in the test race back in May was rather promising. At the last round at Le Castellet, our car was heavy loaded with success ballast, which made things really difficult in France. Now we are rid of this extra weight. Most important thing for us in Spa is to collect good points. It will not be very easy, as the competition will be very strong. But since the start of the season our team has done a perfect job in terms of strategy and pit work. We could always rely on this and I hope this will continue in the second part of the season.”

Darren Turner (#7 Young Driver-Aston Martin): “Spa should suit us much better than Le Castellet. My team colleagues have a small experience advantage at Spa, because all three raced with our GT1 car there back in May, while I drove a GT2 car. I know the track with Aston Martin quite well from many races in the past, but I guess it will take me some laps to get used to the 2010 spec of the car. The most important thing for this weekend is to finish both races in a good position and to collect points. We still have a chance in the championship, but to keep our chances alive, we have to have a trouble free weekend and have to score points.”

Stefan Mücke (#8 Young Driver-Aston Martin): “I always like to race at Spa and the track should suit our Aston Martin DBR9 well. In the last races we collected all the bad luck one can imagine, so I hope Belgium will be the turnaround point. The biggest issue we have for Spa is the Balance of Performance’, as the last races showed that the performance of our car got too heavily penalized by the organisers.“

Christoffer Nygaard (#8 Young Driver-Aston Martin): “It’s nice to return to Spa after our test in May, our speed and the performance of the car was really good. I collected valuable experience with the car. However, there seem to be some corrections of the Balance of Performance’ necessary. In the last races all cars were racing very close, but not necessarily to our advantage. I hope the bad luck we have experienced in the last races will end at Spa, as we haven’t been able to finish the last couple of races without various troubles. What is always important at Spa is the weather, it’s incalculable. This can also play a big role on the results this weekend.“

Hardy Fischer (principal Young Driver AMR): “We prepared both cars for the Spa round after the last race in France. After that, the team was on vacation for some days. The first half of the season was very stressful for everybody and our boys really earned some days off. We are well prepared for Spa and will certainly attack after we had so much bad luck in France.”

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