Young Driver AMR: Great Qualifying performance for season opener

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Young Driver AMR had an almost perfect start into the 2011 season of the GT1 World Championship. In the Qualifying session of the season opener at the epic Yas Marina Circuit in Abu Dhabi, Stefan Mücke (GER) and Darren Turner (GBR) briefly missed the Pole Position in their Young Driver AMR-Aston Martin DBR9. The German-British-duo secured a front row starting position for Saturday’s qualifying race with the second quickest time. Alex Müller (GER) and Tomas Enge (CZE) completed a great qualifying result for Young Driver with the fourth fastest time.
The first day of the two-day event in Abu Dhabi started already good, when Stefan Mücke and Darren Turner topped the timing sheets of the free practise. The strong performance continued in the Pre-Qualifying with Mücke/Turner fifth and Müller/Enge eight. During the three-parted knock-out qualifying session, held in the evening under floodlights, both cars easily made it to the final qualifying session of the eight quickest cars. Mücke, who was quickest in qualifying session one, was second in the final qualifying round, while Alex Müller was fourth in his first ever qualifying for Young Driver AMR. With both cars in the first two starting rows for Saturday Qualifying Race, Young Driver has a good starting position for the first race of the season.
"I’m absolutely delighted about the performance of the drivers and the team”, Young Driver team principal Hardy Fischer was pleased. “I bet before the session for a top-five position. To have both cars in the first two rows for the first race of the season is just great. It was a really big team effort today!”
Both races, the Qualifying Race (10.15 CET) as well the Championship Race (16.45 CET), will be held on Saturday, the latter in the evening under floodlights.

Driver quotes after the Qualifying:

Tomáš Enge (#7 Young Driver-Aston Martin DBR9): „We worked in every session on our race performance and concentrated on tire wear and tire reliability. We were not really trying to run quick lap times and focused on the race. So we didn’t exactly knew what to expect from the qualifying and I wasn’t sure we could make it into Q3. I’m bit of surprised that we eventually were so fast. For this season I have a new teammate and a new engineer, but right from the start, this works really well.”

Alex Müller (#7 Young Driver-Aston Martin DBR9): „On my fasted lap I made two small mistakes, so I lost a bit. I then tried to push really hard to make it up, but that didn’t worked out. Fourth place is a good starting position. But in the race, a good tire performance will be the key and we really worked hard for that during practise.”

Stefan Mücke (#8 Young Driver-Aston Martin DBR9): „We really found a good set up for the qualifying. It was the first time everybody ran in the night in much cooler ambient temperatures and it’s not easy to find the right tire pressure, but we got it on the point. Also my new teammate Darren made a really good job in the Q2 session, its looks very promising for tomorrow’s race.”

Darren Turner (#8 Young Driver-Aston Martin DBR9): „During free practise and pre-qualifying, I wasn’t really satisfied and struggled a bit with the car. But finally in the qualifying, it all came together and the car performed really good. I’m really looking forward now to the first race with my new teammate Stefan.”
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