Collective WEC success continues

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

After their three car podium success at CoTA last month Aston Martin Racing continued the trend with a further three car podia at Fuji Raceway and round five of the 2014 WEC season.

With Typhoon Vongfong fortunately having slowed its progress over the build up to the meeting a revitalised Craft Bamboo Racing squad were able to establish themselves easily within the top half of the GTE Pro category throughout free practice before Fernando Rees and Alex MacDowall qualified their #99 car for their maiden GTE Pro Pole later on Saturday. Stable mates Darren Turner and Stefan Mucke were to put their #97 GTE Pro car just behind in P2.

Back in GTE Am the #98 Northwest sponsored car of Pedro Lamy and Christoffer Nygaard won bragging rights with the class pole over the #95 Young Driver car of David Heinemeier-Hansson and Nicki Thiim, who were only beaten into P2 by just one hundredth of a second at the very end of the session by the #81 AF Corse.

With the impending storm bearing down across the southern Prefectures of Japan the race was at least able to start off with a dry track but this wasn't to help Turner in the #97 car who, whilst being saddled with the choice of tyre that was made some weeks ago, lost track adhesion and understeered into the side of the turning car of Fernando Rees causing himself to be spun around into the path of a pursuing Porsche. The resulting front splitter damage to the #97 and the time lost at the next pit stop would see the works duo out of contention for the remainder of the race and would finish four laps down to the  eventual GTE winners.

Despite the near miss the #99 Craft Bamboo car of Fernando Rees, Alex MacDowall and Darryl O'Young then spent the next 6 hours dicing with the two AF Corse cars, never being more than six seconds part from one another until at the end the #99 driver line up secured their first podium position in third position in GTE Pro in only their fifth race together. A fine result and very welcomed after their disappointment in America and especially at Le Mans.

Back in GTE Am the class dominating #98 Northwest car and the #95 Young Driver car were again in a class of their own with the #95 actually leading the whole GTE field at one point. Despite multiple lead changes between the two cars, some determined driving saw the #95 Young Driver car of David Heinemeier-Hansson, Nicki Thiim and Kristian Poulsen took the spoils in a reversal of the order that was at CoTA, this time with the #98 car as runners up.

With the next round in Shanghai, China in another three weeks time the gap between the leading AF Corse Ferrari and the #97 Vantage has increased to 39 points with three events to go - a very tough ask but as everyone in motorsport will know it isn't over until the overweight lady starts singing!!

In GTE Am however the roles are a reversal to that in the Pro category with the #95 car having a 39 point advantage over the sister #98 Northwest car. Not won yet so complacency will be an enemy.

Further information can be found at 

Photo Credits - Aston Martin Racing

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