AMR blow the cobwebs away at VLN with some success

Tuesday, May 03, 2016

Following on from the weather restricting test session on the full Nordschleife circuit of last week, six of AMR's professional drivers were on hand to compete in the second round of the VLN series last weekend all in preparation for the headline 24 hour race there later next month.

Running at the circuit for the first time on Dunlop rubber were the two factory entered V12 Vantage GT3's with drivers Darren Turner and Nicki Thiim running in the IQ Option liveried #27 whilst Mathias Lauda and Richie Stanaway would share the #29 car (the car the pair drove together at both the Daytona24 and 12Hrs of Sebring in the IMSA series in America).

Still needing to complete their Rookie mileage at the circuit Fernando Rees and Marco Sorensen would again share the #150 Aston Martin Test Centre prepared V8 Vantage N24 -  a successful race in the car would allow the duo to complete in the forthcoming 24hour in the full GT3 car.

As predicted the indicated double driving duty for Darren Turner in both the #27 GT3 and the new GT8 car did not materialise and he would be allowed to concentrate solely on the GT3 platform.

As the semi exclusive test on the Wednesday prior was almost snowed off little data was gained by the team and their Dunlop partners so data from VLN2 event itself would be crucial in their build up to the big race. Depending upon which way you view this at least the Friday/Saturday event was a mixture of wet and dry running allowing data capture on all three variants of the Dunlop tyre.

Saturday morning qualifying went well for the two GT3 cars in mixed track conditions resulting in the #29 finishing just fractions of a second ahead of its sister #27 car to start the four hour race in fifth.

With Thiim, Rees and Lauda having taken the start in their respective cars the order of the day would still have been (1) self preservation on track and (2) tyre data acquisition together with (3) performance data of the cars and drivers relative to that of their immediate factory supported opponents.

It can by chance and situations on track and in the pit lane that left the #27 Turner/Thiim only just off the podium in fourth and the #29 Stanaway/Lauda car three minutes back in eighth come the end of the race but both on the lead lap just 2:44:00 down to the winning Audi and 1:46:00 to the second placed Mercedes.

Back in the SP8 class Sorensen and Rees would do what they both needed to do by qualifying for their eligibility to race GT3's in future events at the Nordschleife by finishing fourth in class!

Last weekends results are in marked contrast to the same event last year when neither AMR GT3 car finished the VLN2 race so the positives taken away by the team and partners from this years event were massive and thoroughly deserved.

Summary - Job done!

The ADAC Zurich 24-hour race starts 26th May

Next stop for #TeamAMR is Spa Francorchamps and round 2 of the WEC this weekend!!

Photo credits - VLN / AMR / Richard Leach

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