02/03/2010 Estre Completes Mühlner's 2010 Driver Lineup
The Spa-Francorchamps, Belgium based Mühlner Motorsport Team travelled last week to Mugello (Italy) for a roll out test of their new Porsche GT3 R and then on to the FIA Balance of Performance test at Paul Ricard (France).
Gilles Vannelet (F), who ran-in the brand new R at Mugello, was immediately pleased with the balance of the car. Tim Bergmeister (Langenfeld), who put in a few quick laps, was also impressed with the newest development from the Weissach Motorsport division. Dr. Jürgen Häring (Bubsheim) and Dimitrius “Taki” Konstantinou (Waldalgesheim) got their first opportunity to drive the new 2010 machine at Paul Ricard during the official FIA Balance of Performance tests and confirmed what Vannelet (also present at Paul Ricard) had found at Mugello: the new car is very easy to drive.
That was also the unanimous verdict of the drivers appointed by the FIA to carry out the performance setting, Kurt Mollekens und Marc Gounon. With the new GT3 model, Porsche have followed the GT3 championship philosophy: the cars should be easy for an amateur to drive. In addition to the reworked suspension, the new ABS and traction control system also help. The newly introduced automatic blip on downshifts does not make the car any quicker but gives the not so experienced driver a much better feeling under braking and is kinder on the gearbox.
“In developing the new Porsche 911 GT3 R, what has been learnt with two seasons with the Cup S has been taken into account and the result is a car which is easy to drive for amateur drivers, for whom the FIA European GT3 Championship was created” was the judgement of team boss Renate-Carola Mühlner who led the team tests at Mugello and Paul Ricard.
Thus it is no surprise that Mühlner Motorsport have already filled all their seats for the FIA European GT3 Championship. As the regulations only allow certain driver pairings, all drivers are rated as platinum, gold, silver or bronze. Platinum drivers are not allowed in the championship and driver pairings of two gold or a gold with a silver driver are not allowed. The driver pairings of the successful Mühlner team from the Belgian Ardennes region are ideal. Gilles Vannelet is silver and will share one Mühlner GT3 R with the German Frank Schmickler (Rösrath), also silver graded. The bronze driver, Dr. Jürgen Häring, can be paired with a gold driver and the team have found one in the form of French Carrera Cup driver Kevin Estre.
“We are delighted to have been able to sign Kevin. I worked with Kevin’s manager, Christian Bouas and his company ICSport last season because they also act for Dino Lunardi. With these competitive driver pairings, the new GT3 R which meets the GT3 Championship philosophy, and our experience from 2008 and 2009, we should be able to score good points in the 2010 FIA European GT3 Championship” said Bernhard Mühlner with certainty.
It is also looking good in the other championships where Mühlner Motorsport will compete in 2010. In the UAE GT Championship, Rene Rast was able to with the race at the Yas Marina Circuit in Abu Dhabi in the CYTECH Porsche. In the Porsche Sports Cup the team will run 3 Cup S for Häring, Konstantinou plus Achim Dürr (Bühl) and Peter Scheufler (Aichtal). Häring and Konstantinou will also share a GT3 R in the ADAC GT series with the aim of fighting for the amateur championship. The pairing for the second GT3 R is in principle also settled but it will be a little while before the drivers’ names can be made public….