At the Sachsenring (15th to 17th September 2017), the pink of BWT Mücke Motorsport will be just a bit more eye-catching than usual, as DTM stars Lucas Auer and Jamie Green each occupy a cockpit for the illustrious outfit from Berlin in the ADAC GT Masters. Meanwhile, the third newcomer is a familiar face: Alessio Picariello is returning to the team with whom he won the Formel ADAC championship in 2013.
This high-calibre reshuffle of the driver’s squad has been necessitated by a busy third weekend of September, with numerous motor racing events taking place simultaneously. Team regulars Markus Winkelhock and Frank Stippler have a prior commitment to the Blancpain GT Series, and Stefan Mücke, son of team principal Peter, is off to Texas in his capacity as a Ford factory driver, competing in the six-hour race at Austin, which counts towards the 2017 World Endurance Championship (WEC).
A brief look at the new pairings for the Sachsenring
Orange Power with Green and Picariello: In the number 24 Audi R8 LMS are two drivers who are set to make their ADAC GT Masters debut. One of them is no less a figure than Jamie Green, who has twice finished runner-up in the DTM. The Englishman arrives on the back of two DTM race wins this season. He has also competed in the Blancpain GT Series and the 24 Hours of Spa-Francorchamps at the wheel of an Audi R8 LMS. He will be sharing a cockpit with Alessio Picariello. The 24-year-old Belgian and BWT Mücke Motorsport have already enjoyed success together in the past, winning the drivers’ championship in the 2013 Formel ADAC series, the predecessor of today’s ADAC Formula 4. Last weekend, Picariello clinched the title in the Audi R8 LMS Cup and is therefore well equipped to handle the car he will be driving at the Sachsenring.
Star allure with Auer and Asch: A well-known duo with pedigree are DTM driver Lucas Auer and two-time ADAC GT Masters champion Sebastian Asch. In this debut season for BWT Mücke Motorsport, they have already registered a maiden win for the team at the Nürburgring as well as making a podium appearance at the Red Bull Ring in Austria. Auer, who is about to make his third foray into the ADAC GT Masters, has had a string of successes with BWT Mücke Motorsport in both the FIA Formula 3 European Championship and the DTM. The main objective of the weekend will be to support team-mate Asch in his attempt to win a third championship. He is currently fifth in the table, just ten points behind the second-placed contestant.
‘Pink Energy’ with Ortmann and Salaquarda: As regards the number 25 Audi R8 LMS, it’s a case of recombining already proven talent. Rookie Mike-David Ortmann, who has already finished in the points several times this season with veteran co-driver Frank Stippler, is getting another strong partner in the shape of Filip Salaquarda from the Czech Republic. Salaquarda normally shares the cockpit of the number 24 Audi R8 LMS with Markus Winkelhock. At the Sachsenring, they are targeting Top Ten results together.
Jamie Green: “These races will be my first in the ADAC GT Masters, and at the same time, I’m going to be making my Sachsenring debut. I’ve heard a lot of good things from other drivers about this ‘mini Nordschleife’, and I just can’t wait to get going there. In any case, I’m looking forward to the race weekend with BWT Mücke Motorsport and a new GT3 challenge. I hope that I’ll have a lot of fun and put in a good performance.”
Alessio Picariello: “It is a special privilege for me to be competing for BWT Mücke Motorsport in the ADAC GT Masters. We have won so many races together in the past, and I’m looking forward to seeing all the familiar faces and the whole environment. The Sachsenring is a really fast-flowing and technically demanding circuit that leaves no room for mistakes. The differences in elevation can be especially challenging in wet conditions. I cannot wait to get out there in the Audi R8 LMS.”
Lucas Auer: “BWT Mücke Motorsports have become like family to me. I look forward to driving for them in the ADAC GT Masters again. At the Sachsenring, I’ll have to get used to it all over again and find my rhythm. I last drove there in Formula 3, and it’s so long ago that I don’t have any detailed memories of the track. I’m looking forward to this challenge and to my next GT outing.”
Peter Mücke (Team Principal): “We have decided to fill the unoccupied seats for the Sachsenring with drivers who are in no way inferior to the standard of our regular line-up. In Lucas Auer, Jamie Green and Alessio Picariello, we’ve managed to do that. There’s not much more you can say about Jamie. He’s been contesting the DTM for 13 years, and with his speed and experience, he counts as one of the top drivers in any competition. I am especially pleased that Lucas is joining us for the third time in the ADAC GT Masters and that Alessio is also returning to us. Both have been successful with BWT Mücke Motorsport in different junior racing series. They have now established themselves in motor racing and are proof that we are on the right track with our programme for training up young talent.”
Matthias Kieper (Team Management): “This is only our debut ADAC GT Masters season, but we are already in third place in the team championship, which is a position we obviously aim to defend or even improve on. With our top-class driver line-up, we definitely have the potential, and we’re feeling upbeat in the run-up to the Sachsenring. With nine victories, the Audi is by far the most successful car on this track, and the Mercedes-AMG has already won there too. So the cards have now been dealt, and it’s up to us to play them to best effect.”
Michael Weiss (Technical Director): “For us, the Sachsenring is a ‘new’ circuit where we’ve done very few test kilometres. Consequently, we attended the test day on 10th September, like most of the other ADAC GT Masters teams. We were able to log valuable data and work out a good setup for both cars. However, this seems to be a highly competitive field. I think there is no clear favourite. With its differences in elevation, the track is one of the most demanding on the calendar and has also dished up surprises in terms of weather. We’re going there with our motivation high, and we are well prepared for this penultimate event of the season.”
Source. BWT Mücke Motorsport/Photo. Gruppe C GmbH