Zandvoort, The Netherlands (July 8, 2013) — Competing against some of the best drivers in Formula 3, American Michael Lewis completed his second RTL GP Masters of Formula 3 race on Sunday, July 7, finishing. in 12th position.
Drivers from both the FIA Formula 3 European Championship and the British F3 Championship were invited to fill the 24 spots on the starting grid for the 23rd running of this prestigious race. Michael and his kfzteile24 Mücke Motorsport teammates took a break from their FIA Formula 3 European Championship season to participate in the annual event at the 4.307-kilometer Circuit Park Zandvoort on the North Sea dunes in The Netherlands.
Drivers, teams and fans alike were treated to beautiful weather over all three days of the event, with practice beginning on Friday, July 5. Two 40-minute practice sessions featured the 24 drivers. Maximizing tire efficiency became an integral part of the teams’ race strategy because the race organizers only allowed each team to use three sets of Kumho tires during the entire weekend. Michael’s kfzteile24 Mücke Motorsport team chose to send its drivers out for the first practice session on new tires. During Free Practice Session 1, Michael built a strong pace at the beginning of the session, and at the end placed P-12 in the ranking. Free Practice Session 2 was held later in the day on Friday and all kfzteile24 Mücke Motorsport drivers exited pit lane on the used tires from the first practice session. At the conclusion of the second 40-minute session, Michael was ranked P-15.
“The Masters event for Formula 3 drivers is one of the most prestigious races on the schedule,” admitted Michael Lewis. “I like racing here at Zandvoort, and the kfzteile24 Mücke Motorsport team has prepared a great car for me to drive. The weather is perfect, and the track is fast. Now I must concentrate on hitting my marks during qualifying on Saturday to give me a good starting position for Sunday’s race.”
The Zandvoort Masters qualification format is different than the usual FIA Formula 3 Championship. The qualifying procedure for this event consists of two 20-minute sessions, with the first taking place early in the day on Saturday and the second session late on Saturday afternoon. The fastest time recorded between the two sessions would determine the driver’s starting position in Sunday’s 25-lap main event. The kfzteile24 Mücke Motorsport team decided that each of its drivers would use one new set of the allowed three sets of tires for each 20-minute qualifying session.
During the first qualifying session, Michael recorded a best time of 1:31.916, which ranked him 12th. Later in the day, the qualifying times fell a bit, and Michael recorded a qualifying time of 1:32.153, which placed him 15th. The grid position for Sunday’s F3 Masters event was determined by the combined qualifying results for the two sessions, placing Michael in 13th place on the starting grid for Sunday’s race.
Sunday’s headlining event at Circuit Park Zandvoort was the Masters of Formula 3, as a crowd of about 20,000 fans filled the grandstands and the sand dunes for a full day of racing, which also included the DSSS Series, Formula Ford, Dutch Renault Clio Cup and Formido Swift Cup. Before the race began, Michael conferred with his race engineer about how to start the race and their strategy during the event. Michael climbed into his race car and left pit road onto the track and then into formation on the starting grid, where he was placed in 13th position. When the lights went out to start the race, Michael held his position and by the end of the first lap he moved up one spot. As the race progressed Michael was able to advance up to 10th position with five laps to go. Four drivers battled for the 10th position, including Michael, but still he kept his kfzteile24 Mücke Motorsport Mercedes Dallara firmly in command up until halfway through the white flag lap.
“It was a good fight all race long,” said Michael, “and I made progress toward the front. I was pushing hard, but eventually lost grip because I had been leaning on my tires all race long to make up positions. My goal was to hold on to the top-10 position, but on the last lap I dropped a wheel, which caused me to lose traction and slip back some in the field.” As a result, Michael crossed the finish line in 12th position.
Michael won’t have much down time as he returns to the FIA Formula 3 Championship this weekend when the series visits Norisring. This will be Michael’s second visit to the German street circuit. Follow Michael’s practice and qualifying this weekend by visiting www.fiaf3europe.com for live timing and scoring, and the races will be broadcast live on the website.
Michael Lewis’ 2013 sponsor lineup includes K&N Motorsports, Eibach, Mercedes-Benz, ASE, Cometic Gasket, GoPro, Bell Helmets, Puma Motorsport, Subè Sports, Braille Batteries, Formula Medicine, Klotz, and Racing Electronics.
In loving memory of Jason Leffler 1975–2013
For more information about Mücke Motorsports and photos to download, visit www.muecke-motorsport.de.
Meredith Kaplan Burns
Team kfzteile24 Mücke Motorsport Presse
Background information of the German Team kfzteile24 Mücke Motorsport from Berlin
Peter Mücke started in Formula motor sports with his team in 1998 and nowadays it is the one of the biggest and most successful private racing stables in Germany and it is involved in the DTM since 2005 as well. Already at the first year in Formula sports his son as the newbie in the field, Stefan Mücke, got the title for Mücke Motorsport at the Formula BMW, and at the offspring series there were three further titles, last time with Pascal Wehrlein in 2011 at the ADAC Formula Masters. The driver from Worndorf got the sixth Rookie title one year later as well as the fifth vice championship at the drivers ranking since the access of Mücke into the Formula 3 in 1999. Attached to that there were two wins at the Formula 3 Masters in Zandvoort as well as position two in 2012 at the Formula 3 Grand Prix in Macau of the Swede Felix Rosenqvist, who was championship third last year as well and who fights for the European Championship title in the actual team as well. Now in 2013 the team has four Dallara Mercedes at the FIA Formula 3 European Championship, as well as six Formula ADAC powered by Volkswagen at the ADAC Formula Masters.
Car master craftsman, car and bike shop owner Peter Mücke is involved in motor sports for about 40 years already. The 66 year old got more than 500 wins himself and has been Auto Cross European Champion three times in his self built Buggy as well as GDR Champion eleven times (seven times Auto-Cross, four times circular track) and is still behind the wheel of his Ford Capri RS at some Youngtimer races, if there is the time. His good feeling for talented drivers made his team to a well-known offspring team that offers the whole range, from rookies and beginners of motor sports up to the advancement into the royal league of the Formula sport. Until now, six former drivers of Mücke Motorsport started at the Formula 1. And one of them is the threefold World Champion Sebastian Vettel from Heppenheim. Five further drivers that were engaged in the offspring school of Mücke Motorsport in different series, also succeeded to drive at the Formula 1: Sergio Perez (Mexico), Robert Kubica (Poland), Sébastien Buemi (Switzerland), Christian Klien (Austria) and Markus Winkelhock (Germany).
Stefan Mücke (31), who is the consultant of his father’s team as well, switched 2007 to the sports cars scene after his time as Mercedes pilot at the DTM. In 2009, he was the champion of the Le Mans Series in the LMP1 sports car prototype, in 2011 vice champion at the FIA GT1 World Championship and in 2012 vice champion with his Team Aston Martin Racing at the FIA World Endurance Championship. At the WEC, the Berlin is behind the wheel in 2013 as well and this will be his sixth year in a row as Aston Martin works driver. In June he took part at the famous 24 hour race of Le Mans for the seventh time.