Young Driver AMR: Mücke and Turner close season as GT1 Vice World Champions

Monday, November 07, 2011

Young Driver AMR closes it’s second season in the GT1 World Championship with a runner-up spot in the driver’s world championship. Stefan Mücke (GER) and Darren Turner (GBR) are newly crowned vice-world champions with their Young Driver AMR-Aston Martin DBR9, while Alex Müller (GER) and Tomas Enge (CUZE) finish their first common season in the Young Driver AMR-Aston Martin DBR9 in fourth place. A turbulent final race at San Luis in Argentina prevented Young Driver AMR from winning the team championship title.

“At the end, a little bit of luck was missing to win the team championship”, Young Driver AMR team principal Hardy Fischer said after an exciting weekend in Argentina. The final race at the scenic San Luis track was an emotional rollercoaster ride for the German based team. At the start, Alex Müller had a big moment, when his Aston Martin DBR9 got hit by a Nissan and Müller spun at high-speed two times on the front straight. Müller managed to survive the spin without touching the walls and could also take the lead during a very chaotic first lap. But soon after Tomas Enge took over the Gulf-coloured Aston Martin from Muller, he had to serve a drive-through penalty, as the stewards decided that Müller overtook under yellow flag-conditions, when taking the lead on the first lap. After serving the penalty, which cost Young Driver AMR´s vital chances for the team championship, Enge dropped to 10th position.

Stefan Mücke and Darren Turner could only follow both races from the outside line, after their Young Driver AMR-Aston Martin DBR9 couldn’t be repaired with the limited resources on site after a crash in Friday’s practise. Fortunately, Mücke/Turner maintained their runner-up position in the championship over the two races and finished the season as vice-world champions, despite not racing in the final event of the season.

“At the end, we lacked our second car this weekend to be victorious in the team championship”, Young Driver AMR-team principal Hardy Fischer said after the race. “When you can only score points with one car in the title deciding two races, were our competitors have two cars, it’s really difficult, especially when you run bit out of luck like what happened to us. But I’m not too worried that we lost the team title, because this championship was really tight and we only lost the title by a bit. That is really no shame and we proved to be one of the best GT-teams in the world. And also today everybody saw that we had the speed to win here.”

Driver quotes after the final race in Argentina:

Alex Müller (#7 Young Driver-Aston Martin DBR9): “Right at the start, I had a really big moment, when I got hit by a Nissan and turned two three-sixties on the front-straight. But even as the impact from the Nissan was hard, the car was o.k. I then overtook some other cars and grabbed the lead, but we were penalised for overtaking under yellow flags. But there were no yellow flags, no safety-car board, nothing. Later in the video replay I saw only one yellow flag, but then there were three marshal posts without any flags. So this situation wasn’t very clear from a driver’s perspective and I was not the only driver who saw it this way. Considering the speed of our car, we could have won the race today, as our Aston Martin was really quick. After the restart, I could pull away from the second placed Corvette and was very easy in the lead.”

Tomáš Enge (#7 Young Driver-Aston Martin DBR9): “What a race! I expected something would happen in the first lap, but I didn’t expected it at the start line. I had big expectation in this race, albeit we had the weight ballast. We still had a good chance to fight for the team championship. But after Alex got hit at the start, all what followed after that was just a consequence of the start. We tried our best this weekend and haven’t done a foot wrong and wanted to end the season a high for the team. I’m pleased to work with Young Driver AMR and hope to continue with them in the future, as it’s a great team and we share some really great memories. Thanks also to my teammate Alex Müller. We raced for the first team together this season and get really well together, he has been a great teammate this season.”

Stefan Mücke (#8 Young Driver-Aston Martin DBR9): „I would have liked to help the team this weekend to win the team championship and of course also try to win the driver’s championship. But we had bad luck in the pre-qualifying and things like these unfortunately happen in motorsport. Nevertheless it has been a great and successful season for us. At the end it’s a bit of an odd feeling to be second in the world championship and watch the final race from the outside line. But I would like to thank the team, which has done a fantastic job the entire season.”

Darren Turner (#8 Young Driver-Aston Martin DBR9): „I’m very pleased to finish this season in the runner-up spot, because even before our accident at Friday, we saw that it would be very difficult for us to defend this position. It has been a difficult year with many ups and downs and to finish second, is a great result. I feel disappointed for the team, as they did a tremendous job this year and to win the team championship, would have been the icing on the cake. This was a very interesting weekend at the end of an interesting season. It feels very strange to finish second in the championship and not taking part in the last two races. The Young Driver AMR team has been great again this year and I hope to see everybody back next year.”
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