The number three played a central role at the weekend as BWT Mücke Motorsport travelled to the third ADAC GT Masters meeting of the season at the Hockenheimring. Igor Walilko and Mike Beckhusen in the BWT Audi R8 LMS #25 and Ricardo Feller and Stefan Mücke in the BWT Audi R8 LMS #26 battled for points and trophies in a field of 33 super sports cars. After Saturday’s race, Feller won a cup for coming third in the Junior classification, having taken points overall for eleventh place along with Stefan Mücke.
The weekend’s highlights
Celebrating a Junior podium: After Saturday’s race at Hockenheim, Swiss driver Feller was pleased to have taken third place in the classification for drivers under 25. He had already shown his pace in practice for Junior and Trophy drivers by coming second and was only 0.090 seconds down on the best time achieved in this particular session. Feller took a strong tenth place in Q1 with all 33 drivers and was just half-a-second down on the leader. In Saturday’s race, Feller and Mücke took their first five points of the season for eleventh place.
In Race 2, Mücke and Feller made a strong charge up the field in the BWT Audi R8 LMS #26 from 32nd on the grid. They came home in 21st place despite sustaining minor damage to the car after a contact with another competitor.
Success hidden in the rows of results: Beckhusen and Walilko made more progress in only their third race weekend in the ADAC GT Masters, but the two rookies will have to wait a little longer before that progress is reflected on the results sheet. In such a highly competitive field, a few tenths or even hundredths of a second, make a big difference. 26 cars were covered by one second in Q1, so that puts Walilko’s P30 into perspective. It may not look too inspiring at first glance but is actually quite good. In the race, they worked their way up into 25th place. However, a retrospective time penalty served to drop them back down to 28th place.
Beckhusen qualified 29th on the grid in the second session on Sunday morning. The BWT Audi R8 LMS #25 went on another charge that turned out to be trickier than expected. A fellow competitor made contact with the rear of Beckhusen’s car just as he was turning into the pit lane to change drivers, resulting in a spin which cost him valuable time. Walilko crossed the finish line in 24th place after putting in a strong second stint.
BWT Mücke Motorsport will be back racing in the ADAC GT Masters in two weeks’ time when the Super Sports Car League will be at the Sachsenring, 2nd – 4th October. The famous Berlin-based outfit did well there last year.
Comments about the weekend
Stefan Mücke (BWT Audi R8 LMS #26): “Saturday’s race went well. Our points and Ricardo’s finish on the Junior podium were a good result, and we wanted to go out and do it again on Sunday, but unfortunately, it didn’t work out. We didn’t change anything on the car, and yet the performance wasn’t the same as it had been the day before. We’ll have to analyse the data and find out just why that was. It might have something to do with the tyres, because we didn’t have the grip needed in qualifying or in the race. We were able to move up a couple of positions but couldn’t improve much on where we started out on the grid.”
Ricardo Feller (BWT Audi R8 LMS #26): “I made a step in the right direction on Saturday by securing P10 in qualifying, P11 in the race and a place on the Junior podium, but I want to achieve even more and will fight to do that. Unfortunately, results on Sunday were not as positive. We started from a position down the field and did not move as far forward as we’d hoped. We must work on some more points and stay on the ball, because the standard this year is extremely high. We’ve got huge potential and should be able to move further forward, to where we actually belong.”
Igor Walilko (BWT Audi R8 LMS #25): “We’ve had a pretty tough weekend. We started from the rear of the field in both races, so we had our work cut out. We gained position in both races but ultimately didn’t get the results we’d hoped for. We must find more speed and improve if we’re going to take a bigger part in the action in the future.”
Mike Beckhusen (BWT Audi R8 LMS #25): “The qualis didn’t go as we’d hoped. The potential was there to qualify further forward. Unfortunately, we made some small mistakes, which you mustn’t do in this close-fought field. Still, we shouldn’t be too self-critical. After all, we’re going up against some works drivers who are much more experienced. We have proven our pace in the races. We’re making progress with every race.”
Michael Weiss (Technical Manager): “Saturday was the highlight of our weekend. Finally, you could actually see our real form. Ricardo succeeded in taking an important step forward by qualifying tenth on the grid, because you have to qualify as far up the field as possible. The gaps were still very small as before. Ricardo got his reward with third place on the Junior podium. Our other two juniors, Mike and Igor, had a great race, especially on Sunday. They were excellent on the long runs and Igor had a superb second stint. Looking at the results, it may not be all that apparent, but you can see that our showing is improving. Sometimes, you need to practise taking small steps before you can take big ones.”
Peter Mücke (Team Principal): “I’m pleased with Saturday’s result. In view of the extremely small gaps between cars in the ADAC GT Masters, a finish in the Top Ten is well worth celebrating. I was particularly pleased that Ricardo also got a Junior podium. The second race was, of course, tricky from the outset, because we started from the rear. Some damage was done in the scraps, which is unavoidable in such a highly competitive field. We just had a weekend that was a mixed bag – the first part good, the second not so good. What I see as being very positive is that our juniors performed well.”
Source. BWT Mücke Motorsport/Photo. Gruppe C Photography