It is traditionally the first major event of the new season, and in 2018 BWT Mücke Motorsport will be there: on the weekend of 11th – 13th January, the illustrious outfit from Berlin will be competing in the 24 Hours of Dubai. After completing their debut season in GT racing, the team will be taking another major step forward with the entry of the Audi R8 LMS in this prestigious endurance classic. It will also be the first time they have contested a 24-hour race.
Since 2006, the 24-hour race in Dubai has counted as one of the big occasions on the calendar of the 24H Series. Every January, the top motor racing stars descend on the 5.39km Dubai Autodrome for the first event of the new year. The drivers battle for victory in various vehicle classes in the sand and heat of the Gulf state. The race is broadcast live and always gets full coverage in print, online and TV media.
Impressive driver quartet for the 24-hour classic
BWT Mücke Motorsport have put together a strong foursome of drivers for this inaugural challenge. Sharing the cockpit of the Audi R8 LMS will be Audi specialist Markus Winkelhock and Andreas Weishaupt together with two 24-hour rookies, Mike David Ortmann and Ricardo Feller. In preparation for Dubai, the squad have already done some testing at Hockenheim.
In Winkelhock, who drove for Peter Mücke in the 2017 ADAC GT Masters, the team has secured the services of a highly experienced long-distance racer. The ex-Formula 1 and DTM driver from Stuttgart won two of the biggest endurance classics in the past season, namely the Nürburgring and the Spa-Francorchamps, taking his tally of victories in 24-hour races to five. The only trophy missing from his cabinet is one from Dubai, hence his determination to rectify that omission in 2018 as a member of the BWT Mücke Motorsport line-up.
Andreas Weishaupt has prior experience of success in Dubai. The 45-year-old from Ulm has already made two appearances there and had one of the biggest successes of his career in 2016 driving an Audi R8 LMS. Weishaupt and his team-mates started from pole position and, at the end of the 24 hours, crossed the finish line in third place. The two rookies in this class, Ortmann from Berlin and Feller from Switzerland, are bound to benefit from his wealth of experience. They went on a steep learning curve in the 2017 ADAC GT Masters, which was their first season in GT racing.
Audi R8 LMS resplendent in new livery
BWT Mücke Motorsport fans can look forward to various other treats in addition to the strong driver quartet. The bright orange Audi R8 LMS, which has already delighted fans in the ADAC GT Masters, will be given a new and eye-catching makeover for the 24-hour race. The basic layout will obviously be retained, so that spectators can immediately recognise the car as belonging to BWT Mücke Motorsport.
This established team will also be incorporating another very special feature: during the entire race, an onboard camera in the Audi R8 LMS will relay some spectacular footage, allowing fans to feel personally involved with the action. Viewers can follow the race live as the experienced team from Berlin contends with high temperatures and desert sand in a field of around 400 entrants.
BWT Mücke Motorsport will travel to the United Arab Emirates with a full crew and will be doing their utmost to bring home a top result from Dubai. They have already demonstrated their credentials during their debut season in the 2017 ADAC GT Masters, finishing third in the team championship and notching up two race wins in the process. They also finished among the Top Five in their very first outing in the VLN Endurance Championship on the Nürburgring-Nordschleife.
Peter Mücke (Team Principal): “After almost 20 years of experience as a team, we are now making yet another debut with our first entry in a 24-hour race. With our successes in the ADAC GT Masters and the VLN, we have shown in 2017 that we are a force to be reckoned with in GT racing. I am well aware that other teams in the field have much more experience, but our expectations are still high. Our driver quartet is the perfect blend of experience and youth, and the high quality of our engineers and mechanics working away in the background has been proven countless times. I cannot wait to start our second season in GT racing with this classic event in Dubai.”
Matthias Kieper (Team Management): “The 24 Hours of Dubai is the perfect prelude to the second season in GT racing for BWT Mücke Motorsport, and I am very pleased that we will be competing there in our Audi R8 LMS. With such a large starting field, it is important to stand out from all the rest. We decided to make the kfzteile24 paint job even more eye-catching and dynamic. Over the years, we at BWT Mücke Motorsport have shown how important our fan base is to us. It was important to us to get them intensively involved in the event, and this is now possible with the onboard video throughout the race. Hopefully, at the end of the 24 hours, they can share our jubilation at a good result direct from the cockpit!”
Michael Weiss (Technical Director): “The first 24-hour race in the history of BWT Mücke Motorsport will be a challenge for all of us. Consequently, we have been making intensive preparations in the course of test drives at Hockenheim, repeatedly rehearsing all the procedures. Of course, the November temperatures in Germany are not comparable to what we can expect in just under two months in Dubai. It was nevertheless important to subject the completely rebuilt Audi to a final shakedown, to test all the components and to give the drivers the opportunity to get used to the car and the way the team works. Now we are looking forward to sending our R8 LMS into the fray in Dubai in January. The 24-hour race is a terrific experience for a team, one that will bond us even more tightly than before, so it’s the ideal launchpad for our 2018 season.”
Source. BWT Mücke Motorsport/Berzerkdesign