Hardly clockwork at the Rolex 24Hr

Monday, January 26, 2015

A fistful of errors and a bucket load of misfortune seemed to be the order of the day for the #98 Aston Martin Racing V8 Vantage GTE entry and both of the TRG-AMR V12 Vantage GTD's at this weekend's Rolex 24hr from Daytona.

A strong qualifying performance from Pedro Lamy in the #98 car would see AMR works car start the race from third in the GTLM class whilst a magnificent qualifying time of 1:47:272 set by James Davison in the #007 TRG-AMR GTD would see them start from class pole for the opening round of the 2015 Tudor United Sportscar Championship.

Clear skies and bright Florida sunshine saw the 53 car grid take the green flag to start the race but unfortunately it wasn't too long before simple errors from both AMR teams would effect their races.

The #009 TRG-AMR GTD was very quickly awarded a 'stop and hold' penalty for allowing Max Riddle to start the race over the designated starting driver Derek DeBoer. Within the hour the #98 would be caught for pit lane speeding earning themselves a 'stop and go' penalty before being awarded a further 'drive through' for entry pit lane too soon whilst the race was under the control of a Safety Car.

Going into only the second hour of the race and with Paul Dalla-Lana at the wheel of the #98 an innocuous looking spin going into Turn 1 at first suggested maybe a missed braking point or a puncture but the car's obvious lack of drive coming out of the corner suggested otherwise. Only later were we to find out the a clutch problem had been diagnosed as the cause and the time taken for repairs would see an effective end to their event.

Car leaving garage having had clutch replaced

Under the cover of darkness drama would also beset the #007 with Brandon Davis at the wheel. A recovering #51 AF Corse Ferrari would see it cut across the track directly in front of the Vantage resulting in a significant impact for both cars. The Ferrari would be retired on the spot but lengthy repairs would fortunately see the light blue #007 car return to the track.

Going into the early hours of Sunday morning a much repaired and battle scared #007 would again be the target of another spinning car - this time a works Porsche GTLM. Fortunately the #911 would only collect its sister #912 car in an embarrassing inter-team crash, leaving the #007 GTD able to escape the scene without further damage.

With the exception of the #009 having some sort of continual pick up issue out of turns 5-6 all the Astons continued without further incident until the chequered flag. Instead, they used the race as an extended test, giving quality track time for their new drivers.

At the end of the race the #98 car would finish 6th in class (nearly 100 laps down to the winning Corvette) with the #009 and #007 TRG-AMR's 8th and 13th respectively in GTD. Not exactly what either team had envisaged at the start but 'character building' and profitable in other ways non the less.

Attention will now be placed on the next round of the TUSCC at the iconic Sebring Circuit in a months time.

Photo / video credits - Aston Martin Racing / TRG-AMR / Youtube
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