Stefan Mücke secured a top ten starting sport for the ADAC Zurich Nurburgring 24 Hours for Aston Martin Racing after the team battled into the top-30 shootout for the race.
In the climax to the race’s qualifying Mücke had just two flying laps around the 26km track, the best of which was to set the grid position for the start of the race at 4pm (local time) on Saturday. After setting the 17th fastest time on his first flying lap Mucke improved onto an 8:15.834 on his second attempt, taking ninth fastest.
“We were three seconds faster than last year’s qualifying time where qualified in second place but everyone else was faster this time, too. It was a tough qualifying for us thanks to the weather this morning that made it difficult,” said Mücke, who shares the Bilstein and Castrol backed Vantage GT3 with Darren Turner and Pedro Lamy. “However, we made it into the shoot-out and I think we can be happy with ninth.”
Mücke had been the man to move the car into one of the transfer spots to the top-30 shootout as the second of the whole field qualifying sessions entered its final minutes.
The team’s qualifying plans had been derailed by a mechanical problem in Saturday night’s first session that was only repaired after the conditions had deteriorated, preventing the drivers from setting any laps that reflected the pace in the #7 car. The rain remained overnight and into Sunday morning presenting a wet track for the start of the second session.
However as the track dried the window opened for faster and faster laps, Mucke moving into 23rd fastest with seven minutes of the session remaining.
Aston Martin’s involvement in the race extends beyond the top class of GT3 cars. The SP10/GT4 spec V8 Vantage N340 shared by motoring writers Chris Harris and Richard ‘Dickie’ Meaden and Nürburgring regulars Oliver Mathai and Andreas Gülden will start third in class while in the SP8 class Aston qualified second and fifth, a near production spec V12 Vantage ahead of another N340 model.
The race is scheduled to start at 4pm local time. www.theCheckeredFlag.co.uk will have regular updates throughout the race on the website and on the @tcfsportscars Twitter account.