BWT Mücke Motorsport headed to Styria’s Red Bull Ring at the weekend for the ADAC GT Masters anniversary event and Races 9 and 10 of the current 2020 season. Driving the BWT Audi R8 LMS #26, Stefan Mücke and Ricardo Feller had to face cool, autumnal conditions on the Formula 1/MotoGP circuit. The sister car – the BWT Audi R8 LMS # 25 – did not see action, as Igor Walilko was unable to compete due to an injury.
The weekend’s facts and figures
Points in anniversary race: Sunday’s round at the Red Bull Ring was the 200th race in the ADAC GT Masters since records began. Stefan Mücke started the anniversary race from P17 in the BWT Audi R8 LMS #26 and was soon involved in hard-fought scraps over the first few laps. After the driver handover, Switzerland’s Ricardo Feller also had some exciting battles with his rivals as he fought his way up into P12 and a points-scoring position. Shortly after crossing the finish line, however, race stewards handed Feller a 30-second time penalty for not reacting properly to the waving of the yellow flags, which bumped him back down into 16th place. A few hours later, however, the stewards reconsidered their decision and withdrew the time penalty. Feller and Mücke were classified eleventh and scored points as a result.
Best time in practice: Feller had already demonstrated his pace at the start of the weekend on Friday afternoon in FP2 which took place on a track that was wet initially but then began to dry out. Feller posted the fastest lap of the session with a 1:29.841 and also set best time on the day of any of the 30 GT3 crews. On a wet track in Friday morning practice for Junior and Trophy drivers, Feller was sixth, and prior to that in FP1, the BWT Mücke Motorsport duo had finished 23rd.
Winter tyre weather: The two qualifying sessions took place in some very chilly temperatures. Feller completed his qualifying on Saturday morning on a wet track in temperatures of four to five degrees. He finished 13th, seven tenths adrift of pole position. The Red Bull Ring was dry when Mücke started his qualifying session on Sunday morning but showed a track temp of three degrees. Qualifying in 17th position, the veteran GT3 driver was just four tenths of a second down on best time. 26 cars were covered by a single second in this particular session.
Plenty of superb overtaking moves: Feller was 13th for the start of Saturday’s race. With a track temperature of eleven degrees, conditions were much milder than they had been for the practice and qualifying sessions, and it remained dry, apart from a few drops of rain a couple of minutes before the end. Feller went into the gravel trap on Lap 1 but was able to continue. Now at the rear of the field, he mounted a charge to regain position, producing a fine series of overtaking moves. The driver handover went without a hitch. Mücke subsequently attempted to make up even more ground during the second stint, but P19 was the maximum possible in view of conditions.
Points in three categories: Mücke and Feller took five points in the drivers’ championship for P11 in Sunday’s race. In the Junior classification, Feller added another 18 points to his total while BWT Mücke Motorsport scored seven points in the team competition.
The 2020 ADAC GT Masters season will end with a double header. Super Sports Car League teams and drivers will travel first to the DEKRA Lausitzring (October 30th-November 1st) and the season finale will then be held the following week in the Motorsport Arena Oschersleben (November 6th-8th). Looking at the original calendar, the recently rebuilt Circuit Zandvoort should be the venue for the penultimate round of the season, but measures in place in the Netherlands to prevent the spread of Covid-19 mean that the DEKRA Lausitzring, which is where the season started, has had to step in at short notice.
Comments about the weekend
Stefan Mücke (BWT Audi R8 LMS #26): “Our weekend was a pretty turbulent affair. Ricardo drove superbly in Race 1 after spinning off into the gravel trap and regained a lot of positions. The pit stop and my stint went as planned. We’ve made considerable progress as a team and are now closer to the top. I was 17th as Sunday’s round got underway and the start went OK. Unfortunately, we lost a few positions in the chaos on the first two laps. Things went better after that, fortunately. We had some nice scraps and worked our way forwards. We gained even more positions thanks to an early pit stop. Ricardo did a great job once again and won a few more places. We can be very satisfied with P11, and I would like to particularly thank our engineers and strategists. We are all now keen to make further progress in the last two races of the year.”
Ricardo Feller (BWT Audi R8 LMS #26): “We had the potential to do really well this weekend. We found an excellent setup. Many thanks to our engineers for doing a first-class job! I had high hopes for the quali after being the quickest in practice. Unfortunately, my timing was a little bit out. I had a spin in the race and was last after that but made a successful charge up the field and had some superb, but always fair, scraps along the way. We also had to charge our way up through the pack again in Sunday’s race after the tricky phase at the start and had some very enjoyable battles. The potential was clearly there, but luck was not entirely on our side. The Lausitzring will suit our Audi, and so, we can hardly wait to get cracking!”
Michael Weiss (Technical Manager): “We were determined to use tried and tested methods again this weekend. That was the key to success. We were able to focus our energy and make big progress. It might not be immediately obvious when you check out the results initially, but after taking a more detailed look at the car’s speed and drivers performance, you’ll see there’s hope. In this season’s last two race weekends, we intend to show the progress we’ve made by achieving outcomes that we can point to in black and white. Hopefully, our junior car will be back in the line-up. It had to miss all the action this weekend, unfortunately, as Igor Walilko is still injured.”
Peter Mücke (Team Principal): “I’m very pleased with the weekend. However, the results still do not fully reflect our potential. We’ve made great progress in terms of performance and have the pace to finish in the Top Ten. Ricardo’s best time in practice is an indication of where we’re at. We’re now looking forward to racing at the Lausitzring which is not what we would call our home track exactly, but we always love competing there. We think our junior car will be back in action. Igor couldn’t race this weekend, unfortunately. He’s got a badly swollen foot, but if things go as expected, he should be fit again for the Lausitzring weekend.”
Source. BWT Mücke Motorsport/Photo. Gruppe C Photography