Young Driver AMR: Aiming for a podium in Portugal

Tuesday, May 03, 2011

The GT1-World Championship travels all the way down to Portugal this weekend for the third round of the season in Portimão at the Algarve coast. After a good performance in the first two rounds and the first podium finish of the season in the last race in Belgium, Young Driver AMR hopes for more podium joy in Portugal. Alex Müller (GER) and Tomas Enge (CZE) aim for their second consecutive podium finish in the #7 Young Driver AMR-Aston Martin DBR9, while Stefan Mücke (GER) and Darren Turner (GBR) want to execute their brilliant speed into a good amount of championship points. With the German round of the GT1-World Championship at the Sachsenring scheduled only seven days later, the Portugal event is the start of a very busy week for Young Driver AMR.

„We showed a good speed in the two opening rounds of the championship in Abu Dhabi and Zolder, on two very different tracks“, Young Driver AMR team principal Hardy Fischer says. „So I see no reason why we shouldn’t be quick in Portugal. Last year, we were running in second position, when we had some tires issues. I hope that we will have two trouble free races in Portugal. Alex and Tomas showed a very good performance at Zolder and Darren and Stefan had one of the quickest cars in the opening two rounds, but had bad luck in the race. I hope our Aston Martin will have two trouble free races, then we have a good chance for further improvement in the championship rankings.“

During the first visit of the GT1 World Championship in Portimão last year, Young Driver AMR was en route to a podium finish, when tire issues prevented Darren Turner und Tomas Enge from scoring a top result. Due to the earlier date of the event and the cooler ambient temperatures, it’s expected that this will not be an issue like last year.

Once the Portuguese round is finished, the Young Driver AMR team will busy load the trucks and head to back to Germany for the „home race“ of Young Driver AMR. The scenic Sachsenring near Chemnitz will host the GT1 World Championship for the first time only seven days after the Portugal event.

Driver quotes before the race:

Alex Müller (#7 Young Driver-Aston Martin DBR9): „Portimão will certainly be a very hot race. The track is amazing, it’s a bit like the Nordschleife in Germany and I’m always very happy to race at Portimão. Tire wear will be an issue there, the key for a success in the race is to have a consistent tire performance. I expect that we will have a good speed there. A podium finish is our goal.“

Tomáš Enge (#7 Young Driver-Aston Martin DBR9): „Our Aston Martin showed a very good performance in the first two races of the season, so I see no point why we shouldn’t be competitive in Portimão. Before the Zolder event I would have been cautious to say something like this, but we were on the pace there and so I expect us to be on the pace also for the remaining tracks this season. But nevertheless it will be hard, although it will be not as warm as last year due to the earlier date. This will be helpful for the tire performance and also help our aero. I don’t expect a drop in the tire performance like we had last year, because this season we have two sets of tires more for the free practise, that helps our tire strategy for the two races.“

Stefan Mücke (#8 Young Driver-Aston Martin DBR9): „Portimão is a great track, though one which not necessarily favours the Aston Martin. The track is very hard on tires and the key will be to find a set up, which is consistent and not hard on tires. Considering the performance we had in the two opening rounds, a podium finish will not be easy, but should be possible.“

Darren Turner (#8 Young Driver-Aston Martin DBR9): „I’m really looking forward to Portimão, it’s a very challenging circuit and I love this track. Last year we were ok in Portugal and this season we were ok in the first rounds, so I’m quite optimistic for Portimão. In the first two round of the championship, we had a good pace. If we will have a weekend without any issue, I’m confident we can grab a big bag of points.“
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