Young Driver AMR: Tough Championship Race in Navarra

Monday, July 04, 2011

Young Driver AMR experienced a tough Championship Race in the third round of the GT1 World Championship in Navarra/Spain. Stefan Mücke (GER) and Darren Turner (GBR) were en route to a top-five finish with the Young Driver AMR-Aston Martin DBR9, when a drive train problem ended their race early. Tomas Enge (CZE) and Alex Müller (GER) also had bad luck and finished in 13th place after a drive trough penalty and puncture in the first half of the race.

The Spanish round of the GT1 World Championship was the toughest round for Young Driver AMR of the season so far. It was known that the track in the Navarra region in the north of Spain wasn’t the best track for the Aston Martin DBR9. But despite that, Young Driver AMR showed a good speed in the Qualifying and the Championship Race and could have grabbed some good amount of points. Darren Turner started from 12th of the grid, after a five-place grid penalty was applied on the Young Driver AMR-Aston Martin due to an incident in the last round in England. Turner made steady progress in the race and gave the car to Stefan Mücke in 10th position halfway to the race. A quick pit stop of the Young Driver AMR-pit crew brought Mücke out in a great sixth position. But only two laps later a problem with the driveshaft brought Mücke´s race to an early end.

Also Alex Müller and Tomas Enge had a challenging race. Enge was penalised with a drive-trough-penalty after a contact with a Nissan in the second corner right after the start and also suffered a puncture shortly afterwards. Due to the two incidents, the No. 7 Young Driver AMR-Aston Martin DBR9 lost a lap and Müller brought the car to the finish in 13th position.

“It was much better then expected today with the car of Darren and Stefan running in sixth position after the pit stop”, team principal Hardy Fischer said after the race. “We gained four positions with a good pit stop, but then had a technical issue. For the No 7. car, all chances of a good position were lost after the drive-trough-penalty and the puncture. But we will keep fighting and will attack again after a short break in the next round in France in two weeks. In France we will once again give our best and hope for better luck.”

Driver quotes after the race:

Alex Müller (#7 Young Driver-Aston Martin DBR9): “This was certainly not the best track for us, but we should have coped with that. We had a drive-trough penalty, of which I think, that it wasn’t fair, because things like that happen at the start and we had also an issue with a broken wheel gun. All bad things came together today. I hoped that we ended our streak of bad luck after the Silverstone round, but the bad luck returned. Now we hope for a good weekend in France in less then two weeks.”

Tomáš Enge (#7 Young Driver-Aston Martin DBR9): “After the start, I was pushed from behind and bumped into a Nissan. I got a penalty for that and after I served that penalty, and I suffered a puncture and was lucky to stop the car without damage. This was a bad weekend for us and we lost a lot of ground, but we certainly will fight back and there are still four races to go in the Championship.”

Stefan Mücke (#8 Young Driver-Aston Martin DBR9): “The start was bit chaotic in the second corner, but Darren had a really good start. When I took over the car from him, we were in a really good position but then something broke in the drivetrain. That was a shame, because we could have finished on the fifth today.”

Darren Turner (#8 Young Driver-Aston Martin DBR9): „I had a good start and gained a few position. But all in all, it was a very difficult race and in these conditions, it was really frustrating. It is not a big fun when you can not really defend yourself and permanent have to prevent yourself from spinning. But we made a really tremendous pit stop and could have get some good points, but were unlucky at the
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