Stefan Mücke
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Bad luck at Silverstone: P6 instead of win for Stefan Mücke

• Ford Chip Ganassi Team UK driver Stefan Mücke secures his first pole position of the season in the FIA World Endurance Championship • Vital championship points: Mücke is second in drivers' standings with deficit of just 14 points • Stefan: "There's still a long way to go in the championship, so you have to take all the points you can"

While the ADAC GT Masters, in which Stefan Mücke also competes, may be heading for the home straight with just two meetings remaining, the FIA World Endurance championship held only its third race at the weekend. Ford Chip Ganassi Team's UK driver Stefan Mücke and team-mate Olivier Pla travelled to the historic track at Silverstone, intending to build on their superb victory in the season opener at Spa-Francorchamps.
More than 60,000 spectators came through the gates in Northamptonshire over the weekend to watch the thrilling race action as Ford Chip Ganassi Team UK contested their home fixture. They were well-placed to achieve a top-class result in the six-hour endurance race at Silverstone, and things could not have been better. Mücke and team-mate Pla set the benchmark high with best time early on in first practice and were among the front-runners throughout during the remaining two practice sessions. In qualifying Mücke did not give the opposition a chance. Posting a peach of a lap, he secured best time in the Ford GT with start number 66.
Pla took the first stint this time for Ford Chip Ganassi Team UK. He got away to a great start, but some of the Le Mans prototypes collided with one another right at the start after the first corner. He had to take evasive action, lost the lead in the LM GTE Pro class, dropping back to the end of the field. The Frenchman made an impressive recovery, as did Mücke himself later on, and had caught the leader by the middle of the race.
However, a disastrous pit stop put paid to all hopes of a race win. Mücke headed into the pits for the driver handover but could not get the door to shut after his team-mate had got in. Another door was fitted, but that lost the team over a lap on the leaders. They both pushed to the end and secured a very respectable sixth place in the LM GTE Pro class, considering events earlier. Overall, Mücke and Pla took home nine championship points from Silverstone. They are in second place in the drivers' standings of the LM GTE Pro class with a deficit of just 14 points and five races still to go.
Mücke will contest his home fixture in the ADAC GT Masters at the Sachsenring (7th - 9th September) before heading off to take part in the next round of the FIA World Endurance Championship.
Four questions for Stefan Mücke
Stefan, Silverstone turned out to be unlucky for you despite your strong start. But nevertheless, you're not totally dissatisfied, are you?
Well, we can't really be satisfied after taking pole and only finishing sixth, can we? There's that to consider, but then there's also the fact that we secured nine championship points in all thanks to taking pole position and finishing sixth. The leaders secured more points with third place at Silverstone, but our deficit is still within manageable bounds. So, despite all the unfortunate occurrences at Silverstone, we still managed to practise maximum damage limitation, as people are so fond of saying.
You twice lost a considerable amount of time. What happened?
After taking the first stint at Spa and Le Mans, it was Oli's turn this time. Some LMP cars span in the first turn, causing a chain reaction. He had to go round them and then dropped back to the very end of the LM GTE Pro class. Fortunately, he did not damage the car as he moved to rescue the situation.
What happened next?
We caught up quickly. Oli and I really stepped on the gas and even managed to move up into second place. We were only seven seconds down on the leader towards the middle of the race. We'd had plenty of amazing scraps with the opposition up until that point - it was most enjoyable. And then the safety car came out around the middle of the race. We headed straight for the pits. As Oli got back in the car, we realised that the door wouldn't shut. That cost us about a lap by the time we'd fitted another door. Once again, the mechanics did an incredible job. We still pushed even though our chances of a finish up front had been destroyed. There's still a long way to go in the championship, so you have to take all the points you can.
Your next race outing will be in the ADAC GT Masters in just over two weeks' time...
Yes, that's going to be a terrific meeting. The Sachsenring is a home fixture for my team BWT Mücke Motorsport. I last drove there in the 2011 FIA GT 1 championship. I know the circuit quite well from my time in Formula BMW and in the DTM and am really looking forward to going back there. The track is very challenging, but that suits us. I hope we can repeat our success from the two previous race weekends at the Nürburgring and Zandvoort.

Copy: Ford Chip Ganassi Team UK