Young Driver AMR: Second and third in France

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Young Driver AMR took a great second and third place in today’s Qualifying Race of the seventh round of the GT1 World Championship in Le Castellet/France. Tomas Enge (CZE)/Alex Müller (GER) finished second with their Young Driver AMR-Aston Martin DBR9 after a great last lap move. Stefan Mücke (GER)/Darren Turner (GBR) completed a great team effort of Young Driver AMR with a third place finish.

The race started well for Young Driver AMR. Darren Turner could take fourth place after starting fifth and was running right behind Alex Müller, who kept his third starting place and chased the two leading Nissan. The running order was unchanged until the mandatory driver change halfway through the race. After the driver change, Tomas Enge and Stefan Mücke were still running in third and fourth place behind the two leading Nissan. In the last laps of the one-hour race, Tomas Enge kept the second placed Nissan under pressure and could make a great move on him in the final lap. In the slipstream of Enge, also Mücke could overtake the Nissan and secure a great second and third place finish for Young Driver AMR.

The good result of the Qualifying Race gives Young Driver AMR an excellent starting position in Sunday’s Championship Race with Enge/Müller starting from the front row and Mücke/Turner from the second row.

“I didn’t expect that we could crack the two leading Nissan, but our drivers drove a really fantastic race”, Young Driver AMR team principal Hardy Fischer said after the race. “This gives us an excellent starting position for tomorrow. I hope the result in the Championship Race will be similar to today, then we would be back in the business in the world championship standings.”

Driver quotes after the race:

Alex Müller (#7 Young Driver-Aston Martin DBR9): “I had a really good start, but after a few laps the Safety-Car came out. Due to that, I think it was today a little bit easier for the first drivers, then for the second drivers. We had a good and consistent car and a very good pit stop. At the end of the race, Tomas made a great move on the Nissan and took second position.”

Tomáš Enge (#7 Young Driver-Aston Martin DBR9): “We were hoping that a good pit stop could bring us out in front of the Nissan, but they also had a very good stop and the order stayed the same. I stayed behind the Nissan of Westbrook, but couldn’t overtake him as he was faster on the straights. I thought about a good place to overtake him and got the idea to pass him in the chicane at the back straight, because we have slightly better brakes. I dived in, he went a bit wide and I could overtake him and keep him behind.”

Stefan Mücke (#8 Young Driver-Aston Martin DBR9): “My stint was a bit boring, I had good gap to the cars in front and behind me. We had some understeer in the car, but at the end that wasn’t too bad, because due to that I could save my rear tires. After Tomas overtook the Nissan, I saw that he was running not at full speed. He left the door open and I slipped through. We have a good starting position for tomorrow and if the weather forecast is right, and it will rain, we will have a very interesting race.”

Darren Turner (#8 Young Driver-Aston Martin DBR9): „I was surprised by the last-lap move of Tomas and even more surprised to see that also Stefan could overtake the Nissan on the final lap. My Start was o.k. and I could take fourth place. Then I battled with a Corvette and a Nissan, but could defend my position. To have both cars in second and third place is great for the team.”
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