San Luis: Aston Martin Front Row Lockout as Mucke and Lopez Celebrate

Aston Martin dominated qualifying with Lopez and Mucke ending on top

Jose Maria Lopez and Stefan Mucke celebrated the first pole position of the 2010 FIA GT1 World Championship for the nr8 Young Driver AMR Aston Martin DB9. Lopez last raced with the FIA GT at San Luis in 2008 in a Ferrari and the Argentinean driver relished the opportunity to race an Aston Martin in front of his home crowd. Lopez and Mucke set the fastest time in all three sessions and Lopez recovered from an early spin in the final session to take pole 0.358s ahead of Fred Makowiecki and Yan Clairy in the nr9 Hexis Racing AMR Aston Martin DB9.

Championship leaders Andrea Bertolini and Michael Bartels will take P3 on tomorrow mornings grid, just edging out the nr25 Reiter Lamborghini of Frank Kechele and Sergio Jimenez but, more importantly, also finishing well ahead of their championship rivals Darren Turner and Tomas Enge in the nr7 Young Driver Aston, who were eliminated in the first qualifying session after posting the 17th fastest time. Bertolini and Bartels only need to finish ahead of Turner and Enge in the Qualifying Race to be crowned the 2010 FIA GT1 World Champions.

The nr25 Reiter Lamborghini will start the Qualifying Race five places further back after receiving a penalty in Round 9 at Interlagos for causing a collision with the nr5 Matech Competition Ford GT of Thomas Mutsch in the Qualifying Race in Brazil.

The Qualifying Race for Round 10 of the FIA GT1 World Championship will start at 09:15 (13:15 EUR) tomorrow morning, with the Championship Race at 15:00 (19:00 EUR). Both races will be streamed online at

Nissan struggled with only one car getting out of Q1

Jose Maria Lopez
Nr8 Young Driver AMR Aston Martin DB9

“I really enjoy driving these GT cars. 2008 was the last time I drove one – the Ferrari 550 and even maybe if we didn’t have the greatest results at the end of the year, it was a great experience. The Aston Martin is my favourite car as a road car so for me it was a dream to get to race one from the first time I drove it this morning it felt great. Stefan (Mücke) did a good job to get the car on P1 in Q2 because he only did five laps before Qualifying and didn’t really know the circuit. I think we make a strong pair. This is a category that depends on team work, you rely on your mechanics and your co-driver a lot. I had a moment this morning and I nearly hit the wall and in Q3 I was on the limit and not knowing the car I spun but I was relieved to cross the line in P1 after that. For tomorrow I think we will be strong.”

Stefan Mücke
Nr8 Young Driver AMR Aston Martin DB9

“It couldn’t have gone better. It’s a really challenging track and it’s the first time for me here. Unfortunately I did just four timed laps in Free Practice before Qualifying so we didn’t have a lot of data to work from so I was really surprised we did so well. The team did a mega job and gave us a really strong car. My last pole position was last year so I’m really looking forward to the race tomorrow starting P1. I can’t wait. The car should be strong. It will definitely be hot tomorrow so let’s see how we can get the car to be consistent and manage the tyres over the race distance.”

Frederic Makowiecki
Nr9 Hexis AMR Aston Martin DB9

“It is really important for us to finish strongly here in the races so we can fight for the top three in the teams’ championship. I am really happy with the job the team has done so far this weekend and also my team-mate. This was a great team effort.”

Yann Clairay
Nr9 Hexis AMR Aston Martin DB9

“I pushed very hard. I made some small mistakes on two of my laps in Q2. We hope to make a good start tomorrow because that will be the key to the race.”

Michael Bartels
Nr1 Vitaphone Racing Team Maserati MC12

“First of all congratulations to the Aston they did a great job, the gap is nearly a second so I don’t know how they managed this performance! It was important for us today not to make a mistake because the walls are very close and you never know if you if you can race the next day if you have an accident and the chassis is broken. We did the best job we could to be safe, to be quick, to be in Q3 and to stay ahead of our direct competitors for the championship. There’s still an important job to do.”

Andrea Bertolini
Nr1 Vitaphone Racing Team Maserati MC12

“We have 40 kilos taken off take off 40 kilos and the car is in another world. Michael and I know this track well so we are quite confident for a good race. Everyone in the team has to remain our focus. We do our race and after we see what happens for the championship.”