With pole position, fastest lap, victory and podium, the opener at the Autodrom Most could not have gone better for BWT Mücke Motorsport. For this second round of the ADAC GT Masters season, the team travelled from Berlin to the Czech Republic, about 90 kilometres northwest of Prague, where the three Audi R8 LMS cars with the driver pairings of Jeffrey Schmidt and Stefan Mücke in the #26, Ricardo Feller and Christopher Haase in the #25 and Markus Winkelhock and Mike David Ortmann in the #24 racked up quite a few impressive performances..
Debut after debut! The weekend highlights
Debut win times three: All done and dusted! BWT Mücke Motorsport clinched their first victory in the third race of the season at the Autodrom Most. From pole position, Jeffrey Schmidt immediately took the lead in the Audi R8 LMS #26 and did not relinquish it until the pit stop. Stefan Mücke took over and managed the race, maintaining a clear lead of about five seconds at the finish line. This was BWT Mücke Motorsport’s third win in the ADAC GT Masters. The well-established team twice finished on the top rung of the podium just last year and have now made a successful debut with Audi at Most as they celebrated success with the four rings from Ingolstadt for the first time. BWT Mücke Motorsport also entered their name in the ADAC GT Masters record books, taking the first pole and the first victory at this inaugural ADAC GT Masters meeting in the Autodrom Most.
Debut win for Schmidt and Mücke: For the two drivers, this was also their first success in the ADAC GT Masters. Schmidt’s best result so far in the Super Sports Car League had been a second place and Mücke’s a P4. What’s very interesting is that this was the first race ever that the Swiss driver and the son of Team Principal Peter Mücke had ever contested together, as Schmidt partnered DTM star Jamie Green at Oschersleben. The duo were again impressive in the second race. Mücke had been stuck in traffic during qualifying, which is why they only managed to book P18 on the grid. However, they fought their way up into ninth place helped by a strong driving performance, the pace of the Audi R8 LMS #26 and some great overtaking manoeuvres.
Debut pole: It was also possible for the first time to have a clear view of the track at the start in BWT Mücke Motorsport’s 17th race since joining the ADAC GT Masters. Schmidt produced a perfect lap in qualifying with a time of 1:31.582 minutes, becoming the first pole-sitter in the ADAC GT Masters for the Berlin-based team and laying the foundation for their eventual success.
Junior and senior do well: It was the turn of Christopher Haase and Ricardo Feller to shine in Sunday’s race as they worked their way up from tenth place on the grid to P7. This was Feller’s best result to date in the ADAC GT Masters and his second Junior podium for second place. However, they did not see the chequered flag in the first race of the weekend, because Feller was sandwiched between several cars in the pile-up at the first corner and his Audi R8 LMS was too badly damaged to continue. Car #25 was back in action on Sunday thanks to a superb effort by BWT Mücke Motorsport mechanics who began repairs even as the race was still running.
Charge par excellence: Ortmann and Winkelhock in the #24 produced a charge par excellence in Saturday’s race. The duo qualified in grid position 25 after a tough session. Ortmann maintained a perfect grip on things during the chaos at the start, kept out of all incidents and overtook several rivals before the driver change. Winkelhock came out of the pits in P16 and produced some real fireworks. Posting lap times consistently in the 1:34s, his was the fastest car on the track to the very end as he worked his way up into eleventh place with the help of some impressive overtaking manoeuvres, missing the points by the narrowest of margins. The same fate befell the two drivers of car #24 in Sunday’s race. Starting from 14th place, Winkelhock leapt forwards at the start but lost all his gains when he had to avoid the mayhem at the hairpin. Once again, no more than P11 was the result and a strong performance ultimately went unrewarded with no points.
Championship times three: After a strong showing at the weekend in Most, BWT Mücke Motorsport are championships contenders in all categories. The team are on 36 points, putting them in third place in the team classification. Also, Schmidt has moved up into fourth place in the drivers’ championship and is even higher up in the Junior classification in P3 just 4.5 points adrift of the leader. Team-mate Feller rounds off the team’s excellent showing with seventh place in the Junior class.
Comments about the weekend
Stefan Mücke (BWT Audi R8 LMS #26): “It doesn’t get any better. Saturday’s result was simply amazing with the first Mücke victory in an Audi, my maiden win in the ADAC GT Masters and my first victory in 17 years with BWT Mücke Motorsport. I won back then when I was in Formula 3, funnily enough, with the same race engineer. A big thumbs-up to the whole team! The engineers gave us a fantastic car. It ran perfectly all weekend. The car’s balance was good on Sunday too despite the additional 30 kilogrammes. We were a bit unlucky in qualifying, unfortunately, because we got held up by another car on our hot lap. Nevertheless, we managed to score points in the race. That was the maximum.”
Jeffrey Schmidt (BWT Audi R8 LMS #26): “Saturday was just perfect. Everything worked as it should from start to finish. We had the perfect setup and I posted a terrific lap in qualifying. My pole position was the foundation for our eventual success. The Audi R8 LMS was fast in qualifying and in the race. I’m very pleased to have secured BWT Mücke Motorsport’s first pole position and their first Audi victory in the ADAC GT Masters. In the second race, of course, not much was possible from P18 on the grid. It’s a pity, because had Stefan’s progress not been impeded in qualifying, we could have started much further up the field. Our car was super fast despite the success ballast. At least we took some points towards the championship with ninth place.”
Christopher Haase (BWT Audi R8 LMS #25): “I was very pleased with the second race. Things did not go according to plan in qualifying, but we quickly made up for that at the start of the race. I gained several places at the start and was suddenly in seventh place. I pulled away from my rivals in pursuit during my stint but struggled to catch the guy in front and mount an attack, because I was in dirty air. Ricardo completed another first-rate stint. This was a great success for the whole team as we scored more points and took another Rookie podium with Ricardo.”
Ricardo Feller (BWT Audi R8 LMS #25): “We started well, but unfortunately, I lost my edge a little bit. I’m not entirely satisfied with my performance in qualifying on Saturday, but the car did not sit quite right either. In the race, unfortunately, we got caught out in the mayhem at the start. I found myself sandwiched in by several cars and had nowhere to go. As a result, a tyre got damaged and we subsequently had to finish the race. We regrouped for Sunday. Christopher drove a good qualifying. He fought his way up into P7 in the race, and I maintained that position until the end. We must ensure that we get it together on Saturdays, because the potential is there.”
Mike David Ortmann (kfzteile24 Audi R8 LMS #24): “We had a tough scrap with a Lamborghini in the second race. It was really tricky for me, as I had a slow puncture, but I kept the Lambo behind me. However, pushing forwards was not really possible in view of our problems. Things went very well in Saturday’s race. Markus and I had good stints, the car was great and the pit stop went well too. I’m already really looking forward to the weekend at the Red Bull Ring. We are now focusing on that and intend to attack again there.”
Markus Winkelhock (kfzteile24 Audi R8 LMS #24): “The car was really good on Saturday. I really enjoyed myself carving my way up through the field. We had a good setup and our basic balance was right for qualifying on Sunday. However, I had a bit too much understeer on my two hot laps with the car exerting a little too much force on the front axle. We could, otherwise, have done better in the tightly bunched field. I got through the chaos at the start quite well and gained a few positions. A car spun in front of me a little later, and I had to pass on the outside and lost position as a result. Unfortunately, I was then stuck behind a slower car and couldn’t do quite enough to secure a top-ten finish.”
Team Principal Peter Mücke: “I’m very pleased. We took vital points and finished twice on the Rookie podium. Obviously, we know we can’t win here every day of the week. We could have at least finished in the Top Three on Sunday. One thing that stopped that happening was being impeded in qualifying. We should perhaps ask ourselves whether it might in future be possible to have a more level playing field for everyone. I mean something like an individual time trial or qualifying in groups. Basically, though, I think our rookies are on the right path. The fact that we are in the Top Ten with our young drivers confirms our philosophy of taking on young drivers. But I’m also very happy with our more experienced guys, who are helping out with the youngsters. Of course, our win is the highlight of our weekend. A big vote of thanks to the whole team. We now just have to go out and do it all over again!”
Matthias Kieper (PR & Team Management): “We’re thoroughly pleased with the Most weekend. The win on Saturday is obviously the icing on the cake. We’ve had to wait a long time for our first victory with the Audi R8 LMS and have now finally taken a well-deserved win. We left our mark on the Autodrom Most and are now immortalised forever in record books for this track as the first pole-sitters and winners in the ADAC GT Masters. Of course, there are always things that could have gone better, but we’re more than satisfied after such a terrific and, above all, successful weekend with a victory in the overall standings and a win and second place in the Junior class. A top job by all the drivers and the whole team. A big round of thanks to all concerned!”
Michael Weiss (Technical Manager): “This was a terrific weekend. The performance of our Audi R8 LMS was a real eye-opener. Everything just came together perfectly on Saturday in qualifying and in the race. Jeffrey drove an amazing lap, the car was amazingly fast and, and finally, Stefan and Jeffrey successfully implemented a fabulous team strategy. We were able to manage the race from the front and comfortably secure the win thanks to our lead. Obviously, it’s a pity that Ricardo was forced to retire on Saturday, but things went even better for him and Christopher on Sunday. Mike David and Markus also produced some great overtaking manoeuvres in both races. To work your way up to P11 in such a tightly bunched field from P26 to P11 takes some doing. We never really expected to do quite so well in Most but thoroughly deserved it in the end.”
Source. Mucke Motorsport/Photo. Gruppe C Photography