Young Driver AMR: Stefan Mücke & Darren Turner sixth after big chase from the back

Sunday, July 03, 2011

Young Driver AMR impressed with a big chase in the Qualifying Race of the sixth round of the GT1 World Championship in Navarra/Spain. Stefan Mücke (GER)/Darren Turner (GBR) started from the last position of the grid in their Young Driver AMR-Aston Martin DBR9 into the Qualifying Race in very hot ambient temperatures of about 36 degrees and finished in a strong sixth position. Alex Müller (GER) and Tomas Enge (GBR) had bad luck in the second Young Driver AMR-Aston Martin DBR9 and didn’t saw the chequered flag in the Qualifying Race.

The race started challenging for Stefan Mücke and Darren Turner. A ten-place grid penalty was applied on Mücke after an issue during the last race in England, so the German had to start from the back of the grid. From the very back, he fought his way forward as soon as the lights turned to green. With the help of a super-quick pit stop of the Young Driver AMR-pit crew and a strong stint of Darren Turner in the latter part of the race, Mücke/Turner finally finished in sixth place. This gives the drivers of the No. 8 Young Driver AMR-Aston Martin an excellent starting position for Sunday’s Championship Race.

Alex Müller and Tomas Enge also had a good start, but experienced soon problems with overheating in the very hot conditions in the north of Spain. When the engine temperature went up in up in the second part of the race, the team decided to retire the No. 7 car from the race to prevent further damage.

But the best part of the day came in the evening, when the four “Young Drivers” in conjunction with the GT3-drivers of Young Driver AMR sister-team Fischer Racing took part in the Young Driver AMR Kart Challenge with Young Driver AMR VIP guests. The race was won by Darren Turner, who took a shortcut in clever move after the start, That kept him in front of Alex Müller and Tomas Enge until the end of the race.

Driver quotes after the race:

Alex Müller (#7 Young Driver-Aston Martin DBR9): “I had a good start and gained a few places. But then we had a problem with high water temperature and had to drive with less engine power due to that. I gave everything I could, but it was very difficult in these hot conditions. The temperature then went down, but got up again during Tomas stint and we decided to stop.”

Tomáš Enge (#7 Young Driver-Aston Martin DBR9): “We were quite unlucky today. Alex had a great start and we also gained positions with a quick pit stop. But then the temperature was too high again and we had to stop. There is chance that it will be raining on Sunday and I really hope for rain. Then we should have good chance in the Championship Race.”

Stefan Mücke (#8 Young Driver-Aston Martin DBR9): “The start went quite well, although I was tagged in the third corner by a Ford, but my car was o.k.. Then I had a problem with the temperature. The engine was running too hot and I had to back off a bit to cool it down. Beside that, our race was trouble free and I’m really happy the sixth place.”

Darren Turner (#8 Young Driver-Aston Martin DBR9): „It was a very hot race. We had an amazing good pit stop, which gained us several track positions. After I took over the car from Stefan, I had a good out lap, but soon struggled with the rear of the car. Then I had the Nissan of Dumbreck in my mirror for 20 or so laps, which was not really nice. It’s very difficult to keep someone behind you over such a long distance, when you know that he might be faster then you. I’m really happy with today’s result, for tomorrow we will try to make the car a bit faster.”
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