Young Driver AMR: Stefan Mücke and Darren Turner finish fourth in Portugal

Saturday, May 07, 2011

Young Driver AMR finished the Qualifying Race of the Portuguese Round of the GT1 World Championship in Portimão at the Algarve coast in a promising fourth position. Darren Turner (GBR) and Stefan Mücke (GER) drove a strong race in their Young Driver AMR-Aston Martin and finished fourth after starting from 13th position. Tomas Enge (CZE) and Alex Müller (GER) in the second Young Driver AMR-Aston Martin DBR9 had bad luck, when Müller felt victim of a incident in the first lap and subsequently had to retire.

The starting point into the Qualifying Race wasn’t easy for Turner and Mücke. The german-british duo qualified for the fourth position, but was set back in the starting grid due to an engine change and a rule infringement in the qualifying and therefore had to start from 13th place. After a brilliant first lap, Darren Turner was already in sixth position and subsequently overtook a Lamborghini and a Corvette. He handed the Aston Martin over to Stefan Mücke in fourth position halfway through the race, Mücke finally secured the fourth place finish for Young Driver AMR after 60 minutes of racing.

The Qualifying Race of Alex Müller and Tomas Enge had a very early end. Müller was stuck between two competitors in the third corner of the first lap. He got a push from a Ford and couldn’t avoid contact with a Lamborghini, which spun in front of him. The front right suspension of the Aston Martin broke in that contact and Müller had to retire on spot.

In Sunday’s Championship Race, Mücke/Turner will start from the second row of the grid, while Müller/Enge have a hard job, as they have to start from the back of the grid after the early retirement in the Qualifying Race.

Driver quotes after the race:

Alex Müller (#7 Young Driver-Aston Martin DBR9): „I was lucky to avoid contact in the first corner. But then in the third corner, a MarcVDS-Ford pushed me and I crashed into a Lamborghini, which was standing still in front of me after a spin. That was our race then, let’s hope for better luck tomorrow.”

Tomáš Enge (#7 Young Driver-Aston Martin DBR9): „I’m the starting driver in the Championship Race tomorrow and after the bad luck today, the race tomorrow will be a very hard job.”

Stefan Mücke (#8 Young Driver-Aston Martin DBR9): „In general, I’m satisfied with the fourth place, we made the maximum out of our starting position. We found a consistent set up and we were very good with on the tires. The Championship Race will be hard with the Nissan in front of us and the Lamborghini in the back. I hope for a Top-5 finish in the Championship Race.”

Darren Turner (#8 Young Driver-Aston Martin DBR9): „My start was average, I wasn´t too aggressive. I then lost a few places, as I was on the inside line and a few cars passed me on the outside. Then there was a carnage in Turn three and I was lucky to be on the inside, as I could slip through to sixth position. Then I passed a Lamborghini and had a really nice fight with a Corvette, which I could finally out-brake in Turn 1. Our team then did a very good job in the pits. Considering our Qualifying and the grid penalty which set us back, fourth place is a very good result.”
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