Young Driver AMR: Bitter-sweet start in Argentina

Saturday, November 05, 2011

Young Driver AMR is still in fierce competition for the team’s world championship-title after one of two round at this weekends final round of the FIA GT1 World Championship at San Luis in Argentina. Alex Müller (GER) and Tomas Enge (CZE) finished fifth in Saturday’s Qualifying Race in their Young Driver AMR-Aston Martin DBR9 at the scenic south American track, which circulates around a volcanic lake. On the downside, Stefan Mücke (GER) and Darren Turner (GBR) are out of the drivers world championship title contention, as Young Driver AMR had to withdraw the No. 8 Aston Martin DBR9 after an incident in Friday’s Pre-Qualifying session.

Alex Müller and Tomas Enge qualified for ninth position of the grid and where promoted to eight spot, when a Nissan starting in front of the Young Driver-Aston Martin DBR9 got penalised for an engine change. Tomas Enge had a clean start into the 60-minute race and subsequently moved up to sixth position. The Czech kept this position and handed over the Aston Martin to Müller still in sixth place. During his stint, Müller overtook the Hexis-Aston Martin of Clivio Piccione in a spectacular move and finally finished fifth, bringing himself and teammate Enge in a good position for Sunday´s all-deciding final Championship Race of the 2011 season. With the fifth-place-finish, Müller/Enge move up from fifth to third position in the driver’s world championship.

Even if Stefan Mücke and Darren Turner can’t chase for the world championship-title anymore, the two drivers of the No. 8 Aston Martin can still maintain the runner-up spot in the World Championship, as they have a solid 18-point gap to the third placed driver’s. Young Driver AMR had to withdraw the No. 8 car from Mücke/Turner early Saturday morning from the event. After a spin, followed by a contact to the wall from Mücke in Pre-Qualifying, even the highly skilled Young Driver-Crew couldn’t repair the car on site with only limited resources.

“Our race today was quite good”, Young Driver AMR-team principal Hardy Fischer said. “Tomas had a good and clean start, but at the pit-stop, the engine wouldn’t restart immediately, which cost couple of seconds. Alex then also drove a great stint and brought the car home in a strong fifth place. I hope that we can maintain our gap in the team championship through Sunday’s race. After we had bad luck on Friday, we are left with one weapon. I would like to congratulate Lucas Luhr and Michael Krumm for winning the driver’s championship today.”

Before the final race of the World Championship, Young Driver AMR now leads the team’s GT1 World Championship by three points.

Driver quotes after the Qualifying Race:

Alex Müller (#7 Young Driver-Aston Martin DBR9): “We made the maximum out of our race with the fifth place finish today. We may not forget that we are carrying 30kg success ballast around this track, which is worth 0,6 seconds each lap. Considering this, our lap times were really good and the car was o.k. in the race. We are still in the lead of the team-championship and our goal for tomorrow is to finish in front of the Basseng/Winkelhock-Lamborghini to secure our third position in the championship, and finish in front of the Krumm/Luhr-Nissan, to seal the team-world championship for Young Driver AMR.

Tomáš Enge (#7 Young Driver-Aston Martin DBR9): “Our race was not too bad, we did best as we could considering our position on the grid and the weight, we have at this event. I did my bit at the start with avoiding any contact during the first lap and then Alex had a really good stint and could bring the car home in fifth position after he overtook the Hexis-car. We have now to see what will happen tomorrow. We are still leading the team championship and we saw some of our competitors run into problems in the race today, so anything can happen tomorrow. Tomorrow will be another day and we will keep fighting until the end for the teams world championship.”
  • Digg
  • StumbleUpon
  • Yahoo! Buzz
  • Technorati
  • Facebook
  • TwitThis
  • MySpace
  • LinkedIn
  • Live
  • Google
  • Reddit
  • Sphinn
  • Propeller
  • Slashdot
  • Netvibes