Stefan Mücke
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Dream start to the new season: Victory for Stefan Mücke at Spa-Francorchamps

? Ford Chip Ganassi Team UK driver Stefan Mücke wins the season opener of the World Endurance Championship ? Stefan Mücke and his team-mates Olivier Pla and Billy Johnson take an immediate lead in the standings ? Stefan: "These top results have really boosted my motivation for the rest of the season"

What a great start to the season! After the victory in the ADAC GT Masters at Most in the Czech Republic, Ford Chip Ganassi Team UK driver Stefan Mücke went one step further. In the classic event of the World Endurance Championship contested on the Ardennes rollercoaster at Spa-Francorchamps last weekend, the Berliner and his co-drivers, Olivier Pla and Billy Johnson, converted P2 on the grid into a magnificent victory.
 
Mücke was up with the front-runners right from the first free practice session. The two Ford GTs entered by Ford Chip Ganassi Team UK set the pace for the rest of the field in qualifying, and the two sister cars duly monopolised the front row. Mücke put in a brilliant first double stint, taking the lead on the first lap. The Berliner was later pushed off the track by a faster LMP2 car that was lapping him. This temporarily cost him the lead through no fault of his own, but he remained in contention right through to the end of his stint. In the latter part of the race, team-mate Pla pulled off the decisive move to claim the victory.
 
Mücke now has a very busy period coming up. Next weekend (9th - 13th May), he will be contesting the ADAC Zurich 24h race, before preparations begin for the second major highlight of the campaign, the 24 Hours of Le Mans.
 
Four questions for Stefan Mücke 
 
Stefan, first the win in the ADAC GT Masters race weekend at Most, and now you're back on top of the podium again. Congratulations!
Many thanks. The season has indeed begun well for me. We've been on song right from the start. Spa Francorchamps is such a lot of fun, and our Ford GT is great too. These top results for me and my two teams - BWT Mücke Motorsport and Ford Chip Ganassi Team UK - have really boosted my motivation for the rest of the season.
 
You started from second on the grid. How did your double stint go?
The whole weekend was very tightly contested, especially between Porsche and us, and that was also the case in the race. I took the lead right at the start on the first corner. For the first one and a half hours of my double stint, we and our sister car had a real fight on our hands with one of the Porsches. Unfortunately, the Porsche got past me when an LMP2 car pushed me into the grass. I handed over our Ford GT to Billy Johnson in second place.
 
You had the right idea as regards strategy...
Yes, we deliberately opted for a tyre strategy that would give us enough potential to push hard at the end. We had saved fresh tyres for the final stint, whereas the leading Porsche opted for a different strategy. Olivier then perfectly extracted peak performance from the new tyres and got past the race leader with a spectacular overtaking manoeuvre in Eau Rouge. I held my breath for an instant, but everything worked out great. When the field is so incredibly well matched, every little mistake is punished severely. But each of us drivers and the team as a whole did a fantastic job.
 
You have quite a busy schedule for the coming weeks. Is this stress of the positive kind?
Sure, even though I can't look forward to the occasional free weekend, the season cannot really have enough races. Next on the agenda is the 24-hour race at the Nürburgring with my team BWT Mücke Motorsport, and I'll be back in an Audi R8 LMS. Then we have the Le Mans test for the main event, which means I will be ably represented once again by Jamie Green on the next ADAC GT Masters race weekend. This will be our first 24-hour race at the Nürburgring for the team, so we are all very excited! With the victory in our Audi at Most still fresh in the mind, I'll be travelling to the Eifel feeling upbeat.
 
Copy: Ford Chip Ganassi Team UK