Catalunya: Charouz Racing qualifying report

Charouz Racing System team has enjoyed an excellent qualifying debut. The team will start tomorrow's race from the second row after German Stefan Mucke set the fourth fastest time in qualifying. The Berliner shares the brand new Aston Martin...

Charouz Racing System team has enjoyed an excellent qualifying debut. The team will start tomorrow's race from the second row after German Stefan Mucke set the fourth fastest time in qualifying. The Berliner shares the brand new Aston Martin powered prototype with Czech Jan Charouz. The pair was also the fastest among of the petrol cars and moreover out-qualified of the Audi diesels.

The closed prototype prepared by Aston Martin Racing showed a great pace on Saturday after the first day was used for testing different settings. The team was second in this morning's practice session and second overall based on the amalgamated practice session times.

This afternoon's qualifying was just 20 minutes long and Stefan Mucke put in a fabulous performance to earn a place in the second row of the Barcelona 1000 km. The result even more impressive because the German was unable to finish his first flying lap because the session was red flagged. Hist fastest time from this morning's practice would have been good enough to take the third spot on the grid.

Mucke and Charouz are not the only Aston Martin Racing works drivers who are happy with today's qualifying result. Tomas Enge is equally delighted that tha Team Modena Aston Martin DBR9, which he shares with Antonio Garcia, will start as the lead car in the LMGT1 class, thanks to an excellent performance by the Spaniard.

Jan Charouz: "I am excited like everybody in the team and congratulations to Stefan for a great qualifying. Everything went very well both today and yesterday. I am really looking forward to the race. Stefan should start. I must say that I am surprised by our speed. I did not believe that we would be that close to the more powerful diesel cars. If we manage to keep development of the car, which is still very young, we could be close even to Peugeots that are fastest at the moment. At least in the qualifying."

Stefan Mucke: "We did not have a lot of luck in the qualifying. I was doing my first flying lap on new tyres when they put out red flag. I had the same set of tyres for the second run and I felt that their peak is gone. Anyway, I am really happy with the position I was able to get. It is the debut of the car and we are in the second row in a sandwich of factory Audi diesels. It is not that bad."

Antonin Charouz, Team principal: "I am overjoyed. I had hoped that we would be the fastest car with a petrol engine but we managed to get even more -- we beat one works Audi. Of course, it is only qualifying and tomorrow's race will be very long but we have already shown that our pace is really good. We showed it not only in the qualifying but also in the morning's practice."

George Howard-Chappell, Aston Martin Racing Technical director: "Stefan drove a very good lap and was lucky to get a clear lap with so many prototype cars. Overall we are a little surprised to be in this position, but also very pleased with the speed of the car and the performance of our Aston Martin engine. That said, the programme is still very new and our first 1000 km race will be a big challenge."

-credit: charouz.cz

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About this article
Series European Le Mans
Drivers Tomas Enge , Antonio Garcia , Stefan Mücke , Jan Charouz , George Howard-Chappell , Antonin Charouz
Teams Aston Martin Racing