WEC reconvenes in Germany for Round four of WEC

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Coming up to five weeks since the trials and tribulations that were the 24Hours of Le Mans, the World Endurance Championship are congregating this weekend at the Nurburgring circuit in Germany for the fourth round of the 2016 season and the last to be based in continental Europe.

With both GTE Pro cars finishing in the points (#95 in fifth and #97 in sixth) the team did at least come away from La Sarthe leading the GTE manufacturer championship although both cars were totally out performed by all of the Ford GT's and the sole surviving Ferrari 488 to a point were the race organisers had to intervene with an ad-hoc change in the cars balance of performance criteria before the race itself. That action at least allowed the AMR cars to finish just two laps down by the end of the race.

In GTE Am the #98 car was less successful when having made it through the night and having lead their class for long periods up until that point a prolonged but intermittant gearbox issue finally forced the retirement of the car by the middle of Sunday morning.

Despite not even being at the half way point of the season the fact that the #98 has now only scored half the number of points of the class leading #83 AF Corse Ferrari makes the possibility of a championship winning season extremely unlikely.

The biggest news from the Aston Martin Racing stable however came just two weeks ago when the team confirmed that they would be dropping down to a two driver format in both of the GTE Pro cars in order to mimic that of their rivals. That left both Fernando Rees and Jonny Adam as no longer featuring in the either car for the remainder of the WEC season and as both Rees and Adam drove in the #97 car that meant that Darren Turner would move across to join Richie Stanaway in that car leaving Danes Marco Sorensen and Nicki Thiim to fly the 'Dane Train"!

Where that actually leaves Rees and Adam (beyond his current customer team duty in British GT and Blancpain) is yet unclear

The #98 GTE Am car of Pedro Lamy, Paul Dalla-Lana and Mathias Lauda remains unchanged.

Also confirmed post Le Mans was the fact that neither the Ford GT nor the Ferrari 488 would face any further negative Balance of Power adjustment whereas the AMR GTE Pro cars would compete at the Nurburgring with only a small base weight loss but with the same air restrictor size as they used at Spa. That evidently will not be enough to bridge the performance gap to the American GTE prototypes!

Free Practice 1 and 2 start on Friday with the third Free Practice an qualifying the next day. The start of Sundays 6hr race starts at 13.00Hrs local. For those in the UK live coverage can be found at both MotorsTV and BT Sport and for those without these there is always the WEC app.

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