The Mountain takes a hard bite at Miedecke Stone AMR

Tuesday, February 07, 2017

Australian team Miedecke Stone Motorsport's dream of a podium finish in class at last weekends liqui-Moly 12 Hours of Bathurst unfortunately came to an untimely and painfully abrupt end just before the end of the three hour mark of Sundays race.

With Porsche specialist, Ashley Walsh already having qualified the #35 AM Class GT3 onto the second row of the grid during the Top 10 Shoot out it would be George Miedecke who would take the green flag in the dark for the very early 05:45 start.

The opening laps over The Mountain would result in just a single place drop for Miedecke which, considering the gaggle of Pro-Pro driver line ups around him was an astronomical achievement in itself. 

Early problems arose for the team after just twenty minutes racing when a spinning Audi brought out the first Safety Car of the race. At the much reduced speed and proximity to the cars in the train Miedecke reported back that he was being affected by fumes entering his cockpit from the cars in front. Enduring this for as long as possible Miedecke was finally forced to pit slightly earlier than expected due to being physically sick in the car. 

That handed the car over to the Am driver in the team, fellow Porsche driver Tony Bates who then headed out just as dawn was breaking over Bathurst having dropped down to P30 overall. Steady progress from Bates at least started to lift the #35 car slowly back up the timing screens at the end of his first stint.

It was still a concern for the team however that the drivers were still complaining about fumes in the cockpit!

As the 'faster' of the teams two Pro drivers Walsh soon picked up with the car from where he left off in qualifying, progressing the car up to P22 overall and P8 in class by the time the second racing hour had elapsed. At that rate (and forgoing any further issues) the team would be back towards the top of the AAM class by the end of the race - there was still a chance of a podium!

Further transgressions by others on track would bring out many more Safety Car periods, each bunching back up the remaining 45 or so remaining runners on to what was already a tight circuit and two in relatively quick succession would finally see a Lambourgini stranded in the gravel trap at the final corner. 

It would be on the restart to that incident and having just taken over again in the #35 that Miedecke would miss his turning in point, along with his braking point into turn one to end crashing heavily into the concrete retaining wall.

With extensive frontal damage the Aston Martin was clearly going to be out of the race but there was concern for the well being of its driver but, and having waited in car for the medical teams to arrive, miedecke did at least remove himself from the car before being taken to the Medical centre for check.

When the TV feed went to to the MSM team, Walsh did say that they had been struggling with a leaking master cylinder potential braking issues in car however that line of thought was soon quashed by George Miedecke as he admitted to his mistake.

Incedentally, post race the issue of fumes in the cockpit was confirmed by the team as being from one of the cars air ducts becoming detached within the engine bay allowing fumes to enter the cockpit rather than fresh air!!

This was an ending to an event that the team simple didn't deserve having taken the race/qualifying and practice to those more experienced than themselves. A car can always be repaired or replaced but it is good to know that George Miedecke is no other than slightly sore and groggy for his exploits on the Mountain.

The team will now cast their racing eye to the start of their domestic GT and Endurance Championship and for that we wish them well! 

Photo credits - MSM

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