Aston Martin Racing claims double podium at 6 Hours of Spa-Francorchamps

Saturday, May 07, 2016

Aston Martin Racing has claimed victory at the second round of the FIA World Endurance Championship; the 6 Hours of Spa-Francorchamps.

After securing pole in yesterday’s qualifying session, the #98 V8 Vantage GTE of Pedro Lamy (P), Mathias Lauda (A) and Paul Dalla Lana (C) took the chequered flag in first place after a faultless afternoon at the Ardennes circuit.

Demonstrating searing pace throughout, the trio amassed a lead of over a minute before a late safety car reduced the advantage. With Lamy at the wheel for the final hour, their advantage was reinstated to secure both victory and their second visit to the podium this season. The result places them at the top of the GTE Am championship.

Lamy said following his final stint of the race, “When the safety car came out, I was conscious that my advantage would be gone. However, I felt that I had a fast car and Paul and Mathias put us in a great position for my final stint earlier in the race. I found the car to be very fast on new tyres which made the final laps much easier. With pole yesterday and a win today, this is the perfect result”.

In the GTE Pro class, the team’s #97 entry of Jonny Adam (GB), Fernando Rees (BR) and Richie Stanaway (NZ) placed third after a consistent show of form across the six hours.

As both ambient and track temperature dropped in the final hour, Adam was able to exploit the performance of the V8 Vantage GTE and with a late retirement at the front, brought the car home in third.

Adam said, “Claiming a podium is great and with just a lap or two more we could have potentially claimed second. The car was nice and consistent all the way. If it wasn't for a bit of traffic at the start of the restart we could have potentially fought harder with the Ford ahead. The result today sets us up nicely for Le Mans in June and it’s nice to go into that big event with such a good feeling. The car and its tyres were working really well and we’ll hopefully find even more speed”.

It was a difficult afternoon for the #95 GTE Pro of Nicki Thiim (D), Marco Sørensen (D) and Darren Turner (GB). Despite a strong start by Sørensen to move from sixth to fourth after the first lap, Thiim was unfortunately hit by another competitor in the second hour.

We are pleased to report that Thiim was OK following the incident.

The 6 Hours of Spa-Francorchamps is the final race before the WEC’s centrepiece event; the 24 Hours of Le Mans.

Team Principal Paul Howarth said after the race, “What an excellent weekend for the team. Again we’ve delivered in both classes by stepping on to the podium. We came very close in the Pro class to finishing second and then to go and challenge for the lead. We raced right until the finish and this is very positive result going into Le Mans”.

Speaking of #98’s GTE Am victory, he added, “The Am result was an outstanding victory and it takes them into the lead of their championship two races in. If we can keep this momentum and deliver our team to the podium at every event, then their championship is off to a very good start”.

The team will return to the track at the official Le Mans test, which takes place on Sunday 5 June.

Source material - AMR
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