AMR not showing their hand at the Prologue

Sunday, March 27, 2016

Yesterday saw the conclusion of the final preparatory test that many of the teams would undertake before they arrive at Silverstone in readiness for Round 1 of the 2016 World Endurance Championship that starts in just under three weeks time.

Participating within the five scheduled sessions over the two day Prologue, the order of the day for the two AMR cars appeared to be that of continual set up and Dunlop tyre elevation for both the #97 and #98. What was noticeable was that both cars were continually lapping within a few fractions of a second of their respective reference track time throughout the five sessions with neither car braking the 2 minute lap time marker.

With both the cars sporting the new for 2016 green livery and drivers their new race suits, the aero adapted #97 GTE Pro car of Jonny Adam, Fernando Rees and Marco Sorenson secured a 'best' lap time of 2:00:298 whilst the 2015 specification #98 GTE Am car of Paul Dalla-Lana, Pedro Lamy and Mathias Lauda was just behind with a 2:01:508. Both of those times were however at least 2.5seconds behind those set by their class rivals with (in the case of the GTE Pro) their brand new machinery.

One point of note was that in session 1 Marco Sorensen was caught in the speed trap with a outright speed of 279.8kph - that was the fastest GTE recorded speed and put the #97 in the midst of the LMP2 cars!!

Our conclusion from that was that whether by design or by circumstance both AMR cars were not showing their full potential on a track that they have already extensively tested at earlier in the year and in todays language thats called 'sandbagging'!

Speaking on Radio Le Mans yesterday Fernando Rees confirmed that data acquisition for a very long list of tasks was the necessity within a race arena without the stresses of doing so at an actual race meeting. "We know what we have and we know where we want to go" he said.

The cars will now be returned to the Prodrive factory for their final strip down before being prepared for scrutineering on Friday 15th April before the first 90 minute Free Practice just after midday.

The six hours of Silverstone itself starts at noon on Sunday 17th April.

Photo credits - Adrenal Media / Aston Martin Racing

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