Young Driver AMR: Starting the second half of the season

Monday, June 27, 2011

The GT1-World Championship starts into the second half of the season with this weekend’s sixth round at Navarra in Spain. At the track located in the north of Spain between Logrono and Pamplona, Young Driver AMR will once again fight for the podium with it’s two Aston Martin DBR9 driven by Alex Müller (GER)/Tomas Enge (CZE) and Stefan Mücke (GER)/Darren Turner (GBR).

The premiere race of the GT1 World Championship at Navarra last season has already been a success for Young Driver AMR. Starting from last row into the Championship Race after an issue in the Qualifying Race, Darren Turner and Tomas Enge fought up to fourth place and only briefly missed the podium. “We had a good pace at Navarra last year”, Young Driver AMR team principal Hardy Fischer recalls. “This year we have to take the little bit different performance of the cars into account and also the warmer ambient temperatures. But I’m still cautiously optimistic. After the last round our mechanics made a big effort and rebuilt the No. 8 car. I hope we can score good points with both cars and move further up in the team championship.”

The first part of the season brought much joy for the Young Driver AMR team. In four of the five races, Young Driver AMR finished on the podium and also claimed the victory in the Qualifying Race of the most recent round in England. For the second part of the season, Young Driver AMR is well positioned in the team- and the driver championship. Young Driver AMR is third in team points, only three points behind the second placed team. Stefan Mücke/Darren Turner and Alex Müller/Tomas Enge are currently fifth and sixth in the drivers ranking, only 14, respectively 17 points behind the leader.

Driver quotes before the race:

Alex Müller (#7 Young Driver-Aston Martin DBR9): “Navarra is a nice new track. After we won the Qualifying Race at Silverstone and finished second in the Championship Race, I travel quite optimistic to Spain. Of course, after our recent success we have to carry some success ballast, but we will cope with that. Last year we saw that the track wasn’t too bad for the Aston Martin, but this year we have also to consider the temperatures, which will come into play. One year ago, the Navarra round was in autumn. This year we will be faced with much warmer temperatures in the heat of the summer. It would be great, if we will be able to score another podium at Navarra. But a fourth or fifth place would also be a ideal result, as we can reduce the success weight for the following rounds and further fill up our point score.“

Tomáš Enge (#7 Young Driver-Aston Martin DBR9): “We had quite a good race at Navarra last year. But this season it’s very difficult to predict, as the date of the race moved from October to July. It’s very hot down there and it will certainly be the same for the race. So we are not really sure if we will have the same performance with the car then last year, considering the very high ambient temperatures. After our success in the last round, we also have success ballast in the car. I hope that we will avoid any troubles during the race and score some good points.”

Stefan Mücke (#8 Young Driver-Aston Martin DBR9): “I don’t know Navarra quite well. Last year we had an issue during free practise and couldn’t start into the race. So I’m lacking a bit experience on that track. Our team principal Hardy Fischer gave us the opportunity last year to race a GT3-car at that track, but you can only hardly compare that to a GT1-machine. So I guess I will need some laps in the free practise to come up to speed. At Navarra, it will certainly be very difficult, but last year’s race of our sister-car showed that’s it’s possible for us to score a good result there. At the last race in England, we had some very bad luck, but this means also that we don’t have any success ballast in the car. Navarra is a very technical track. It’s narrow and twisty with many first and second gear corners. It’s very important for a good lap time to drive very clean there.”

Darren Turner (#8 Young Driver-Aston Martin DBR9): „We had a very tough weekend at Silverstone with the No. 8 car and have to leave that behind. Luckily our sister car had a good weekend there and scored a podium finished, which helped Young Driver AMR in the team championship. We are now looking forward to Navarra. Last year, we didn’t had a too bad race there. During the Championship Race, we went from last to fourth, which was a pretty good result. Navarra is the start into the second half of the season and our main objective is not to loose too much ground on the championship leaders. I hope for a clean race, then we will have a fair chance to collect a good amount of points. Last year we saw at Navarra that the track layout favours a little bit the rear-engined cars. But this season our Aston Martin DBR9 proved to be an allround car, which is fast on any kind of tracks. So we should be reasonable competitive in Spain.“

Young Driver AMR
Image: Markus Berns
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