Aston Martin Racing is aiming for the podium at this weekend’s 24 Hours of Le Mans event.
Hoping to continue its successful return to production-derived GT motorsport, the marque is contesting the prestigious race with two Vantage GTEs and has set its sights on top-three finishes in both the GTE Pro and GTE Am classes.
The lead Vantage GTE is being entered in the GTE Pro category and will be driven by works drivers Darren Turner, Stefan Mucke and Adrian Fernandez. Young Driver AMR will join forces with the factory outfit to race the second car in the GTE Am class.
The cars, #97 and #99 respectively, were competitive and reliable and pre-event testing earlier this month and set the pace in their classes for much of the morning session. The #99 car topped the time sheets in both sessions.
“Preparation is key to success in an endurance race and we are very happy with the session we had at the Circuit de la Sarthe last Sunday (3rd June),” said John Gaw, Aston Martin Racing team principal.
“We were able to complete 115 laps between the two cars without any technical issues, which gave the engineers and drivers plenty of time to work through their car set-up programmes. We focused on making sure the cars are easy and comfortable to drive to reduce the scope for driving errors.”
The teams were encouraged by the speed shown and are confident that there is more to come, he added.
At the Le Mans 24-hour race qualifying is not critical, but there is a lot of prestige that comes with being fastest, so both Aston Martins will be pushing for pole position.
The team expects to be in contention for podiums in both classes.
Turner, who won the GT1 class at Le Mans with Aston Martin Racing in 2007 and 2008, has fond memories of the event.
“The pace in the GTE Pro class is going to be very, very fast this year and there’ll be some extremely close racing going on, but at Le Mans it’s all about getting to the finish,” he explained.
The Vantage GTE is a competitive car and the team will use test sessions to dial the car in and hunt down a top three finish.
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