Published on August 30th, 2016 | by Amirul Mukminin0
Endurance victory for Miedecke Stone Motorsport in Sydney
Making their debut in season 2016, Miedecke Stone Motorsport had big ambitions, and after the purchase of three of the most successful Aston Martin Vantage GT3s in the Asia-Pacific region, it was clear their intentions were serious, so it was perhaps no surprise that the new operation claimed a dominant victory in round two of the Australian Endurance Championship over the weekend at Sydney Motorsport Park.
Sharing the very car which led Hong Kong-based Craft-Bamboo Racing to the 2015 GT Asia Series driver’s title, Team Principal Andrew Miedecke and son George claimed an emphatic victory in the 101-lap endurance event, leading a race high 45 laps and in the process, establishing a new outright GT3 lap record for the venue.
“Coming in, Dad [Andrew] was pretty confident we could win the race, but I have to say, against a field like we were racing where any one of 10 or 12 teams were capable of a podium finish, I was a little more cautious,” George Miedecke admitted.
“Heading into qualifying though I knew we would be in the mix, because I was able to run with just about anyone, and even on my quickest lap I’d been baulked by other cars, so we had the pace.
“Clearly Craft-Bamboo had a lot of experience with these cars and were able to dial them in to be fast very quickly, so it was only a matter of time before Matt Stone and the boys were able to find the sweet spot for the car, and they did, it was a jet from lap one.”
On combined qualifying times, the #95 MSM/Lubrimaxx Vantage would start third, right behind the pole-sitting Porsche GT3 R campaigned by V8 Supercar team Walkinshaw Racing, and very quickly as the race began, it was clear that these two teams would be the ones battling for the top step of the podium.
“Right from the outset I could match them on pace, and we just pulled away from the field ahead of the first pit stop, but these modern day GT3 cars develop so much aero, that as I got close to the Porsche to attack for position, the car would develop quite severe aero understeer so I just tucked in behind him and followed him down pit lane for the first stop,” George explained.
Emerging more than 15 seconds clear of the Porsche by virtue of their driver grading (the pit stop compensation times for Australian GT take into consideration driver experience), Andrew Miedecke charged across his 46-lap stint to hand George back the car with the lead intact at the second stop.
“Dad was quick, and had clearly gained benefit from a test day we’d had at SMP in the leadup to the race, and together with the setup and put together, we were just able to continue to push, the car felt fantastic.”
“I always knew the potential was there with the Aston, so it was just a matter of time until we found the right benchmark,” Andrew Miedecke added. “The test day at Sydney was the key, we found an inherent issue with our entry speed to corners which once we’d resolved it, transformed the car and it was so much better balanced. From there we didn’t have any issues and the car was flawless all weekend.”
In fact the #95 MSM Aston was so quick, George Miedecke – in his second stint – punched out a best of 1:27.7611 on lap 73 to set a new outright GT3 lap record for Sydney Motorsport Park, breaking an established record set three years prior..
“The car was on rails, the best Aston I’d ever driven,” George admitted. “I also knew that I wanted to break the back of the Walkinshaw team who had slipped into second and were looking to challenge. After that we were able to continue pushing and we ultimately crossed the line 12-seconds clear of the Porsche and 50-seconds up on the third placed Audi.
“On a personal level the race was very satisfying. To win with Dad, who despite being now in his late 60s is still incredibly quick, was a dream come true, but on a personal note, to battle drivers like Miguel Molina, Warren Luff and David Russell – and out-pace them – was terribly satisfying.”
For Andrew Miedecke, the result was made all the more enjoyable by sharing victory with his son, for whom he had nothing but praise. “As a parent you always think the best of your kids, but whilst I knew George was a more than capable driver, I have a whole new level of respect for him after the weekend, his ability to hustle these GT cars is impressive, and the result had a lot to do with his raw speed, I was very impressed.”
For the Miedecke Stone Motorsport team, their focus now shifts to New Zealand for the final two rounds of the Australian Endurance Championship, the first event on the revised Hampton Downs circuit on the north island, the second, at the popular Highlands Motorsport Park.
“I think to this point we’ve been lucky that the two circuits so far [Phillip Island and Sydney Motorsport Park] have perfectly suited the performance characteristics of the Vantage,” George explained. “As for Hampton Downs at the end of October, who knows, but the Vantage has taken out two of the three Highlands 101 events at Highlands Motorsport Park so we know it works well there, so we’ll keep pushing and see how the season ends up!”