AMR Set for Barcelona debut

Monday, March 30, 2009

Gaydon, 31 March, 2009. The Aston Martin Racing team is set to make its debut in the premier class of the Le Mans Series this weekend, with a two-car factory entry in the 1000 kilometres of Catalunya: the opening round of the LMS.

The two cars – numbered 007 and 009 – will be driven by Jan Charouz (CZ), Tomas Enge (CZ) and Stefan Mucke (DE) (007) and Harold Primat (CH), Miguel Ramos (PT) and Darren Turner (GB) (009).

Aston Martin Racing will compete in the entire Le Mans Series for the first time this season with the new Aston Martin LMP1 car, as well as the legendary Le Mans 24 Hours in June.

Barcelona, the opening race of the five-round LMS, is a technical circuit that tests every aspect of a car and driver’s performance: one of the reasons why it is a popular Formula 1 testing venue as well as the home of the Spanish Grand Prix.

For Aston Martin Racing, Barcelona marks the first step of a steep learning curve. With just one official pre-season test at Paul Ricard behind the team, the new LMP1 car is lacking in track mileage and the objective in Spain will be primarily to develop the car. The driver line-up includes two new faces; Harold Primat and Miguel Ramos, with the rest of the drivers all having formed part of the factory squad in the past.

Aston Martin Racing will face strong and experienced opposition at Barcelona, including a number of diesel-powered cars that have recently dominated the series. With 11 cars entered in the top LMP1 category and 15 cars in LMP2, the action is sure to be frenetic throughout the 215 laps – which equate to 1000.82 kilometres of the Spanish circuit.

After qualifying on Saturday afternoon, the race will get underway with a rolling start at 11:30 on Sunday and it is expected to finish at around 17:30. The two blue and orange Aston Martin Racing cars will take to the track for the first time on Friday afternoon, for the first of two free practice sessions prior to qualifying.

Aston Martin Racing Team Principal George Howard-Chappell commented: “The first race of the new season is in many ways the most exciting one of all, because nobody really knows where they are relative to their rivals.

“From our point of view, we’re as well prepared as we’ll ever be although there’s a lot of work still ahead. With our programme only confirmed quite late in the day, we’ve had to do an awful lot in a very short space of time, so I’d like to thank everybody in the team for their hard work and dedication that has brought us up to this point. I’m sure it’s going to be a very interesting race at Barcelona, and it’s impossible really to predict what might happen.”

Aston Martin Racing will host a media ‘Meet and Greet’ at Barcelona, in the team’s hospitality unit in the paddock from 17:00-18:00 on Saturday 4 April. All accredited media are welcome.
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