Young Driver AMR : GT1 Navarra preview

Monday, October 18, 2010

As the GT1-World Championship leaves Europe, the coming race at Navarra in Spain is the last round of this year’s championship in the old world. Spanish and Portuguese are the dominating languages at the end of the first season of the GT1-World Championship. After the last round in Portugal, this week in the North of Spain, the cars and equipment will be loaded into containers and shipped to South America where the season will conclude in Brazil and Argentina.

This week, at the brand new track at Navarra, the Young Driver AMR-team aims to secure a good position for its two Aston Martin DBR9 before for the final two race of the GT1 World Championship in South America. Christoffer Nygaard (DAN), who had to skip the last round in Portugal, returns to the #8 Young Driver AMR-Aston Martin DBR9 alongside Stefan Mücke (GER). The second Aston Martin DBR9 of Young Driver AMR will as always be shared by Darren Turner (GBR) and Tomas Enge (CZE).

The 3.993-meter long “Circuito de Navarra” near Pamplona is a new territory for almost all drivers in the GT1 World Championship, as it opened only a few weeks ago. But the Young Driver AMR driver squad has a slight advantage in Spain as they already gathered some valuable experience on the new track, when they all took part in a race for the national Spanish GT-Championship at Navarra.

After a tough weekend at the last round in Portugal, where Darren Turner and Tomas Enge struggled with the success weight in the very warm conditions, things are looking much better for Spain. Now rid of the extra weight and in what is expected to be much cooler ambient temperatures, the British/Czech pairing is set to fight for third place overall in the GT1-World Driver Championship. All four “Young Drivers“ will also battle for second place in team standing as Young Driver AMR is only eleven points behind the second placed team in the championship of the best GT1-teams in the world.

Driver quotes before the Navarra race:

Stefan Mücke (#8 Young Driver AMR-Aston Martin DBR9): “Basically, it’s very good to have some knowledge of the track, even if it was not with our Aston Martin DBR9. But we know what to expect. After my first impressions, Navarra is not a track that will suit our Aston Martin quite well. The track offers many stop-and-go corners and seems to be very slow. There is only one relatively quick corner. Our main goal will be to get our set up right during free practise and pre qualifying. We will give our best in Spain, as it’s still our aim to finish on the podium this season.“

Christoffer Nygaard (#8 Young Driver AMR-Aston Martin DBR9):
“At Navarra, the Qualifying will play an even more important role than at the other races. After my first impressions of the circuit, I think it will be difficult to overtake there. The layout is not very fluent and all places where you can possibly overtake, are quite risky. So it’s important to start the races from a really good position. Our target is to finish at least one race on the podium and I hope this will work out in Spain.“

Tomas Enge (#7 Young Driver AMR-Aston Martin DBR9):
“The track doesn’t impress me much so far. There are too many slow corners and no really exciting fast corners. I expect the average speed to be even slower then at Portimão. In terms of speed, this track could be a perfect test track for Monaco….. A prediction for the weekend is very difficult, as the track is much different to the tracks were we usually race. But the weather will be much cooler there than in Portugal and we are rid of the success weight. These are two important factors, which should help us. We will see if the track suits our car. Maybe some of our competitors will have a better traction in the slow corner, but we should be quick going into the corners.”

Darren Turner (#7 Young Driver AMR-Aston Martin DBR9): “Portimão is not that long ago, but it feels like a long time since I last time raced the car. We are running towards the end of the championship, only three races left. Thanks to our team boss Hardy Fischer, we got the opportunity to learn the track in a GT3 car some weeks ago. The whole facility is new and nice, but the track itself is not the most exciting circuit in the world. It’s definitely not a driver’s track, there are many slow speed corners. But we will try to make the best of it.“

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Driver’s Championship GT1:
1. Bartels/Bertolini - 122 pts
2. Mutsch - 95
3. Hennerici - 80
4. Turner/Enge - 66

Team Championship GT1:
1. Vitaphone - 152 pts
2. Reiter - 109
3. Sumo Power GT - 99
4. Young Driver AMR - 98
5. Matech - 95

Timetable GT1-World Championship
Saturday, 23. October
10:00 – 11:20 Free Practice

12:20 – 13:40 Pre-Qualifying
16:45 – 17:45 Qualifying
Sunday, 24. October

08:00 – 08:30 Warm Up

10:00 – 11:00 Qualifying Race
16:00 – 17:00 Championship Race
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