Christopher Mies and Christopher Haase are undoubtedly among the fastest drivers in international GT racing. But that wasn’t always the case: Before the two global stars were fighting for victories and titles around the world, they were a part of Phoenix Racing. It was a decision that would play a significant role in the pair’s career.
The year is 2009, just before the maiden season in the FIA GT3 European Championship in the newly developed Audi R8 LMS. It was a step into the unknown for Phoenix Racing – above all with two lesser-known drivers. “Before I came to Phoenix Racing I was just the big lad racing in the Fiesta Cup”, jokes Christopher Mies.
Instead of celebrating success, the driver pair were more known for their big mouths. “I can remember the first race of the season in Silverstone as if it was yesterday”, says Christopher Haase. “We were struggling in Free Practice, so what did we do? We went to Ernst Moser and made it clear that this wasn’t acceptable and that we were tarnishing our good names with this performance.”
The duo can look back at their behaviour that day and laugh. But after Ernst Moser told them what’s what, the smile was soon wiped from their faces. Christopher Mies and Christopher Haase tell you all about the Phoenix Racing Team Principal’s reaction in the video.
The first victory came in the FIA GT3 European Championship, and the title win later too, paving the way for “Miesi” and “Hasi” to become professional racing drivers and ultimately Audi works drivers. “I wouldn’t be where I am today without Ernst and Phoenix Racing”, says Christopher Mies. “I have so much to thank this team for.”
The 2009 season showed that Phoenix Racing was the perfect finishing school for young racing drivers. “Ernst certainly give us a piece of his mind that day”, Haase explains. “No-one ever beat around the bush at the team. Ernst always used to tell you what he thought to your face. He brought you back to earth if you were getting ideas above your station.”
Looking back, Mies and Haase certainly had every reason to be confident: ADAC GT Masters and Blancpain GT Series followed, as did overall wins at the 24 Hours of the Nürburgring, Spa and Bathurst. Phoenix Racing is proud of you guys!