Young Driver AMR: Impressive fourth in Spain

Monday, October 25, 2010

Young Driver AMR: Impressive fourth in Spain

The Spanish round of the GT1-World Championship brought lots of mixed emotions for Young Driver AMR. After a huge disappointment in the Qualifying Race in the morning, when Darren Turner (GBR) and Tomas Enge (CZE) had to overcome an early retirement after running third, both drivers showed a brilliant driving in their Young Driver AMR-Aston Martin DBR9 in the Championship Race. Starting from 19th on the grid, the British-Czech combination finished in great fourth position. On the downside, Stefan Mücke (GER) and Christoffer Nygaard (DAN) had to sit out both races on Sunday, as necessary spare parts, which where flown in from Germany, didn’t arrive at the track in time.

The Qualifying Race began very promising for Young Driver AMR. Tomas Enge started fifth and was already third after a great first lap. The former Formula 1 driver from the Czech Republic then put heavy pressure on the second placed Maserati, but had to retire after six laps with a gearbox failure. The early retirement meant Turner/Enge had to start from 19th position in the Championship Race.

In the Championship Race, starting driver Darren Turner drove a first lap, which can only be described as amazing. The Brit overtook not less then eleven cars on the first lap. He subsequently overtook three further cars and handed the Aston Martin DBR9 in fifth position over to teammate Tomas Enge. The Czech also had a strong stint. He overtook one competitor and saw the chequered flag in fourth position, only one second behind the second placed car.

Stefan Mücke and Christoffer Nygaard experienced a crow-black weekend, although Nygaard enjoyed an early success, when he won one of two kart races of the GT1-drivers on Friday. The hopes of Mücke/Nygaard for a good result in Spain got a major setback in the free practise, when Nygaard spun and found himself in the Armco barrier. The spun caused severe damage to the rear end of the Aston Martin and new parts needed to be flown in from the Young Driver AMR team base in Germany. The necessary parts were sent and were expected to arrive at the track at midnight. Unfortunately the airline lost the parts on the flight to Spain and the parts only appeared again Sunday afternoon after the race. So the hugely disappointed Mücke and Nygaard had to sit out both races in Spain.

Quotes from the Young Drivers AMR team after the race

Tomas Enge (#7 Young Driver AMR-Aston Martin DBR9): “Darren had a fantastic start and first lap, I think that was 90% of our result today. Our pit crew performed as always a super fast pit stop. My stint was also not too bad, the car handled really well. At the end of the race, I had a fight with a Nissan. I was slightly faster, but unfortunately not enough to overtake him. But I think we couldn’t have hoped for a better result, after our bad luck in the Qualifying Race. Thirdplace would have been great, but to finish 4th after starting from 19th place on the grid is almost perfect.”

Darren Turner (#7 Young Driver AMR-Aston Martin DBR9): “I had a really good first lap, but I have to say some of the other drivers are really driving crazy. There were very many crashes and incidents on the first lap. Someone also touched the back of our car, but fortunately that didn’t cause any damage. I gained eleven positions on the first lap, which is not too bad. I think that’s the first time, I gained so many positions in one lap in my racing carrier. Our boys performed a perfect pit stop as always and to finish fourth after starting 19th place on the grid is a really great result.”

Hardy Fischer (team principal Young Driver AMR): “The fourth place finish is very positive, after we had so many troubles this weekend. Darren and Tomas did a very good job, as did our mechanics and the pit crew. The mechanics prepared a perfect car after the transmission failure in the Qualifying Race. I’m really sorry for Stefan and Christoffer, because I think we would have had very good chances with our second car. We really tried everything to make that car running and it’s really a pity that Lufthansa lost our parts last night. But I expect them to sent us some first class tickets for the flight to Brazil as compensation….. We don’t bury our heads in the sand now and will fight back in the next round in Brazil.”
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