Late FCY puts pay to Beechdeans clever ELMS strategy

Monday, July 18, 2016

Beechdean Aston Martin Racing’s trip to the Styria Mountains in Spielberg brought the team a strong points haul at the third round of the 2016 European Le Mans Series. Andrew Howard, Darren Turner and Alex MacDowall finished the four hour endurance race in fourth place after a race long battle with competing Ferrari’s and Porsche’s, earning valuable championship points.

Competitive stints by each of the drivers and an intelligent race strategy by the team engineers put the Beechdean Aston Martin Vantage V8 GTE car in contention for a podium position in the closing stages of the race. A late race Full Course Yellow (FCY) period gave rival cars the opportunity to make a splash and dash fuel stop, giving them an advantage in the closing stages.

“The circuit was a fast flowing track and once the traffic settled down I really enjoyed the chance to drive at a constant pace.” Said a satisfied Howard. “A circuit like Red Bull Ring allows drivers the time to develop as the tire degradation is quite consistent and times could be improved. I really enjoyed this factor of the race.”

Aston Martin Racing factory driver Turner commented, “The first hour of the race was certainly exciting. Once Andrew handed the car over to me I had to get my head down and get as far up the field as I could on his Dunlop tires. I had a really fun stint and a fair battle with (Andrea) Bertolini in the winning Ferrari. Our strategy was good but the last FCY played into our competitors hands. The championship is still very close and it is there for the taking.”

Alex MacDowall, who was in the thick of the GTE action at the end of the race said, “I’m really happy with how the team performed this weekend! We nailed every pit stop and Darren and Andrew drove the best I have seen so far. I’m satisfied with how I drove and it wasn’t an easy job to take a double stint at the end. I did everything I could to defend and not lose time. The full course yellows meant we came away with fourth which is disappointing but we’re still in the battle for the lead”

After the results from the Red Bull Ring, the Beechdean AMR #99 is second in the 2016 European Le Mans Series GTE standings, just a mere point off the top spot. In six weeks’ time the ELMS will head for Circuit Paul Ricard in the south of France for the fourth round of the championship.

Source material - Beechdean AMR
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