BWT Mücke Motorsport competed for the second time this 2020 ADAC GT Masters season at the Lausitzring over the weekend. The season opener took place at this circuit in the summer, and the Super Sports Car League was now back there to contest the penultimate race weekend of the season. Races eleven and twelve were originally calendared to take place at the Circuit Zandvoort, but the Covid-19 pandemic stopped that happening, so the 30 super sports cars, including the BWT Audi R8 LMS #26, raced on the 4.57-km version of the Lausitzring instead. Ricardo Feller and Stefan Mücke were in action without team-mates Igor Walilko and Mike David Ortmann again. Walilko’s recovery is taking longer than expected, so the crew of the BWT Audi R8 LMS #25 were out of contention again.
The weekend in facts and figures
P9 and Junior podium: Ricardo Feller and Stefan Mücke achieved their best result of the 2020 season in Saturday’s race with a P9 finish. Feller also took third place in the standings for drivers under 25 years of age despite starting the first race of the weekend with a spin. Feller had been in P11 as the race got underway but spun off the wet track, went through the gravel bed and dropped back to the rear of the field. However, he made up for spinning off by going on a determined charge. The pairing in the BWT Audi R8 LMS #26 then continued to catch up thanks to a late pit stop that was beautifully executed. Mücke did not put a foot wrong during his stint and moved up into the Top Ten as a result.
Charging up the field for a second time: Once again in Sunday’s race, Mücke and Feller proved their determination not to give up until the chequered flag had fallen. However, they were in a tricky starting position in P29. The team mounted slicks for qualifying on Sunday morning, but rain began to fall just as Mücke was going out on track. After switching to full wets, there wasn’t enough time to get the tyres into the optimal operating window. In the race, Mücke had worked his way up into P21 on the wet track by the time the pit stop window opened. After Feller had taken over, the sun made a brief appearance and the track slowly dried out. Still running wet weather tyres, these variable conditions posed a big challenge that Feller mastered well, crossing the finish line in P17 just outside of the points.
Top Ten results in practice: The weather at the Lausitzring was cold and wet all weekend with a track temperature that varied between eight and twelve degrees Celsius. BWT Mücke Motorsport coped well with the conditions. In first practice with all 30 supercars, Feller and Mücke finished ninth and were the second-best crew in an Audi. Feller was tenth in the practice session for Junior and Trophy drivers. In FP2 when the entire field was in action, the duo in the BWT Audi R8 LMS #26 finished tenth once more.
Adding to the haul of points: Mücke and Feller collected seven points towards the drivers’ championship at the Lausitzring. Feller added 25 points to his tally in the Junior competition and is now on 99 points. BWT Mücke Motorsport scored eleven points in the team classification.
BWT Mücke Motorsport have no time to relax now in the run-up to the 2020 season finale. The last two ADAC GT Masters races of the year will be held this weekend in the Motorsport Arena Oschersleben (November 6th to 8th). BWT Mücke Motorsport won a podium there last year, scored a result in the Top Ten and took other points.
Comments on the weekend
Stefan Mücke (BWT Audi R8 LMS #26): “It was a turbulent weekend with tricky conditions from start to finish. The track was dirty, so we got dirt on the windscreen, which impaired visibility. On Saturday, Ricardo went into the gravel trap as the field was jockeying for position at the start and fell back to the rear of the field. However, we worked our way forwards, drove cleanly and are therefore satisfied with the result in Saturday’s race. In the quali on Sunday, we decided to go out late, as we reckoned that track conditions would improve towards the end of the session. Unfortunately, it started to rain just as we were going out on track. We had no chance of posting a good result even after switching to wet weather tyres and adjusting tyre pressures to suit. I gained a few positions at the start. We drove with an aggressive setup that worked well initially, but tyres suffered a bit later on. Ricardo was able to gain more ground during his stint, but it was simply impossible to do better. We hope to secure a points scoring finish at Oschersleben to end the season.”
Ricardo Feller (BWT Audi R8 LMS #26): “This weekend was anything but easy, especially in view of the conditions. The level of grip on the track was low and it was difficult to set the car up properly to suit. We’re pleased with Saturday’s result, especially after my trip through the gravel trap at the start of the race. We had an error-free drive subsequently. On Sunday, the track dried out towards the end and that proved challenging on wet weather tyres. We are satisfied with P17, because more was no longer possible after starting out from the last row.”
Michael Weiss (Technical Director): “We managed to take the impetus we gained at the Red Bull Ring with us to the Lausitzring. We showed in the practice sessions that we have the pace to compete in the Top Ten. In qualifying, getting timing right was crucial. Our tactics worked in Q1 but not in Q2, unfortunately. We set up for dry conditions, and the rain that started after just a few minutes took us by surprise. We made the best of the situation in Sunday’s race. We made it into the Top Ten in Saturday’s race after Ricardo’s spin by posting strong lap times. Also, our strategy was good and we turned in a performance that could not be faulted. We were particularly pleased with Ricardo’s Junior podium.”
Peter Mücke (Team Principal): “Conditions were tough and it wasn’t easy to get everything dead right. Our qualifying result on Saturday was okay. Unfortunately, Ricardo spun off into the gravel trap during the first lap of the race, so P9 after a charge up the field was an excellent result. By the way, our engineers played a major role in that happening by getting on the pit radio and stopping our drivers from making the same mistakes that many of the others were making. As for Sunday, we were just very unlucky. Our strategy of using slicks in qualifying didn’t work out, unfortunately. It started to rain at precisely the wrong moment. We had to switch to full wets, which cost us valuable time, so a good result was no longer possible. We tried to limit the damage in the race, but nothing more could be done. I hope that Igor will have recovered completely by next weekend so that we will be back to full strength and can do battle again.”
Source. BWT Mücke Motorsport/Photo. Gruppe C Photography