It was a high-achieving debut year for BWT Mücke Motorsport in the ADAC GT Masters. This was the first season in which the illustrious outfit from Berlin has competed in GT3 racing, and it was a thoroughly impressive performance all round. Thanks to the team’s previous 20 years of experience in motorsport, it didn’t take them too long to make their mark.
And of course, playing their part in this were the six regular drivers. At the wheel of the number 24 Audi R8 LMS was ex-Formula 1 and DTM driver Markus Winkelhock partnered by Filip Salaquarda. Driving the number 25 Audi R8 LMS were Audi veteran Frank Stippler and rising talent Mike David Ortmann. In the cockpit of the number 26 Mercedes-AMG GT3 were Ford works driver Stefan Mücke and two-time ADAC GT Masters champion Sebastian Asch. Playing a vital role in the background were the engineers and mechanics, a mix of long-serving employees and new recruits.
The highlights of the season
Four rings and a star for success: The BWT Mücke Motorsport team never shies away from a challenge. And they proved this not only by entering the ADAC GT Masters but by becoming the only team in the entire line-up to field cars from two different manufacturers – the Audi R8 LMS and the Mercedes-AMG GT3 – a task that they mastered by assigning specialist crews to each of the two brands.
All good things come in threes: In only their first season in the ADAC GT Masters, BWT Mücke Motorsport have taken their place among the best three in the team championship. Having scored 152 points over the course of the 14 races in the campaign, they surpassed several of the established teams in the Super Sports Car League to take third place.
Three-pointed star shines in the points firmament: BWT Mücke Motorsport’s strong showing in the team championship can be attributed to one key factor – they scored points in every single race during 2017. The number 24 and number 25 Audis finished in the points on six occasions while the number 26 Mercedes did so in a further eight. Only one other team can claim to have done the same.
DTM goes ADAC GT Masters: A number of big name substitutes were brought in during the 2017 season. BWT Mücke Motorsport were the only team to bring three serving DTM drivers on board for the ADAC GT Masters. Lucas Auer drove the number 26 Mercedes at the Red Bull Ring and the Nürburgring, while Edoardo Mortara came in for the Sachsenring weekend. Jamie Green, who has twice been DTM championship runner-up, shared the number 24 Audi with reigning Audi R8 LMS Cup champion Alessio Picariello.
Double star glitter: The Berliners had to wait only 99 days for their first series victory. This came at the Nürburgring, where Auer and Asch immediately moved up from third on the grid to put the number 26 Mercedes in the lead, a position which they then resolutely defended through to the finish line.
Way out ahead: Auer and Asch took this particular victory in style, finishing a full 7.257 seconds ahead of the race runners-up. No other winners during the season pulled out a bigger lead.
Starfleet flagship: BWT Mücke Motorsport were the only team in 2017 to get a Mercedes-AMG GT3 crew onto the top rung of the podium. This first triumph at the Nürburgring was followed by a second at the Sachsenring, with Mortara and Asch in the cockpit. These two victories taken together with a further podium appearance and seven Top Ten results earned the Mercedes side of the garage the top position in the unofficial brand championship. No other Mercedes team finished the campaign higher in the drivers’ or team classifications.
Ten-time leader: On no fewer than ten occasions, BWT Mücke Motorsport emerged as the best brand in either qualifying or the race itself. The number 24 and number 25 cars were the best-placed of the nine Audis in the ADAC GT Masters in three sessions. The number 26 car was the best of the Mercedes contingent on seven occasions.
Rookie on the rise: Ortmann, who had already done exceptionally well in ADAC Formula 4 as a BWT Mücke Motorsport driver, once again attracted plaudits. As the season progressed, it was clear that Ortmann was on a steep learning curve, and he never became disheartened by bad luck. The GT3 rookie in the number 25 Audi made it onto the Junior podium, which also added an element of amusement when his 42-year-old co-driver Stippler – the oldest man in the field – joined him there.
Michael Weiss (Technical Director): “A long and intensive season is coming to an end. We have gained a lot of experience over the year and had a lot of fun at the same time. Overall, our concept has proved a success, with two victories and several podium places to show for it. We have really got to grips with the Mercedes-AMG GT3 and the Audi R8 LMS during the course of the season, made improvements here and there, and also made clear progress. With one exception, we had no real technical problems as such. That was the decisive factor for me in our debut season. However, when one season comes to a close, the next one is never far behind, and preparations for 2018 are already fully underway.”
Matthias Kieper (Team Management): “Even though we at BWT Mücke Motorsport can look back on many years of experience in motorsport, the challenge of making the switch to GT racing should not be underestimated. I was especially pleased with the team spirit. It didn’t matter whether you were technically a member of the Audi crew or the Mercedes crew, if the call went out for help, everyone pulled together. That’s just how I imagine a strong team to be. The results overall speak for themselves. Our Mercedes-AMG GT3 was the best in the entire field, and our Audi pairings also put in an impressive performance, even if the number 24 seemed to be regularly afflicted with bad luck. A big ‘thank you’ to all our fans, partners and sponsors – above all to our main sponsor BWT. Together, we have successfully mastered our debut season. Roll on the next one!”
Stefan Mücke (Driver and Team Management): “The ADAC GT Masters is a highly competitive and hard-fought series, and we can be very satisfied with third place in the team championship. Obviously, luck also always plays a major role in motorsport. In some races, we were up there with the front-runners, while in others we were dogged by bad luck. The number 24 Audi in particular seems to have finished below par through no fault of its own this season. But overall, we can hold our heads high. Next year, we intend to go on the attack and to be in contention for both titles.”
Peter Mücke (Team Principal): “If anyone had told me our season would go this well at the start, I would have thought they were joking. The ADAC GT Masters is a high-level contest, so third place in the team championship is really a respectable achievement, but it’s one that we deserved – even though our targets have been constantly revised upwards over the season, and of course, we were still in with a chance of taking both titles right up until the final weekend. I am delighted that the likes of Markus Winkelhock, Lucas Auer and Alessio Picariello, who all started their careers with us, have made a comeback. Our rookie Mike David Ortmann really impressed me. He has mastered the changeover from single-seater open-wheel cars to GT racing very well and has surpassed our expectations.”
Source. Mücke Motorsport/Photo. Gruppe C GmbH