Young Driver AMR: Podium joy in Belgium

Monday, April 11, 2011

Young Driver AMR collected the first podium of the season in the Championship Race of the second round of the GT1 World Championship in Zolder/Belgium. Alex Müller (GER) and Tomas Enge (CZE) finished third in their Young Driver AMR-Aston Martin DBR9, while Stefan Mücke (GER) and Darren Turner (GBR) filled up their point score with a seventh place.

Alex Müller had an almost trouble free start into the Championship Race and was racing in a strong third place until the mandatory driver change halfway though the race. After Tomas Enge took over the Aston Martin DBR9 for the second part of the race from Müller, he maintained third position despite heavy pressure from his pursuers and finally secured the first 2011 podium finish for Young Driver AMR.

Stefan Mücke and Darren Turner had an even more challenging job, as they had to start from back of the grid, after Mücke was victim of a first corner incident in Saturday’s Qualifying Race. Turner and Mücke steadily fought their way up forward and finally finished in a strong seventh position.

Young Driver AMR moved up to third position in the team championship with the strong result in Belgium, Alex Müller and Tomas Enge are fourth in the drivers championship, Stefan Mücke and Darren Turner are ninth.

Driver quotes after the race:

Tomáš Enge (#7 Young Driver-Aston Martin DBR9): “It was not an easy race today. I was really afraid that my tires could have a huge drop in performance until the end of the race. Fortunately, that did not happen, and the tires worked well until the end of the race. Our pit stop was really good today. We lost one place, but I could gain another position on my out lap, so we were still running in third place. The podium finish is a great result for the whole team, they once again did a very good job. With the third place finish in both the Qualifying Race and Championship Race, it was a good weekend for us as we collected many points.”

Alex Müller (#7 Young Driver-Aston Martin DBR9): “At the start I had a light contact and it was very tight going trough the first corner. But luckily everything went well and apart from the first lap, I had a clean race. With two third places this weekend, we scored more important championship points. It’s crucial for the championship to score constant points. For the next round in Portugal our car is not too heavy in terms a success penalty weight and we will aim for another podium there.”

Stefan Mücke (#8 Young Driver-Aston Martin DBR9): „The race today was very hard. After the incident yesterday, Darren had to start from the back. When I took over the car from Darren, I could pass two cars. But then things were difficult, as I had a huge drop in the tire performance early in the race. I had to defend my position, but also attacked the car in front of me and due to that, I couldn’t save my tires and I lost tire performance earlier then expected. Considering we had to start from the back, seventh place means really good points.”

Darren Turner (#8 Young Driver-Aston Martin DBR9): „The start of the race was very chaotic, but I was able to find a way through the first lap without any damage to our car. Then there was an incident between a Nissan and Ford and I gained two places, but then there came a Safety Car and I handed the car to Stefan. He then had a really good run and in the strong competition in the GT1 World Championship, it’s important to score some points.”

Hardy Fischer (team principal): “I’m quite happy with the podium finish of Alex and Tomas and also seventh place of Darren and Stefan is good, as they started from the back. It was a shame that Darren and Stefan had to start from the back, after Stefan was victim of a contact in the Qualifying Race yesterday. They drove a really strong race, but deserved an even better finish. The last weeks were very stressful for the whole team, with a lot of races, preparation and travelling for everybody, I’m quite happy everybody stands behind our team and does a very good job. That we scored points with both cars today is a testament of a good team work. Until the next race in Portugal we have fortunately now a little bit more time and can work on some things to be even better prepared for the next race.”
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