Small changes for AMR as they travel to CoTA

Friday, September 09, 2016

After what would be a mere two week break since the previous round in Mexico, next weekend sees the return of the World Endurance Championship at the Circuit of the Americas at Austin in Texas for round six of the 2016 season.

With both Aston Martin Racing GTE Pro cars finishing upon the podium at Mexico City, confidence will be riding high amongst the team as they look to continue that success as they look to replicate their success at the circuit back in 2014 by taking the battle directly to their class opponents. Another strong finish for either or both cars would also see them extending their lead in the respective drivers, manufacturers or team championship tables.

We do however expect the Pro cars, despite the air restrictor break permitted to them at Mexico to experience a distinct depreciation in the performance relative to that enjoyed in Mexico principally due to the CoTA circuit having an altitude above sea level of only a tenth of that of Mexico, hence allowing their turbo charged competitors more apparent power.

One area of improvement for the AMR team will have to be within a more aggressive pit stop strategy, as at one point at Mexico the then leading #95 enjoyed a lead of over a lap and a half to the closest Ferrari only to have the #51 AF Corse car directly challenge the subsequent leading #97 for the class lead within the final hour of the race. Had it not been for the performance of their Dunlop slick during the wet conditions then the final result may well have been different despite an obvious power advantage - maybe a wet race at CoTA would work well for the Dunlop shod cars?

A driver change has been forced upon the #97 car for this round with Richie Stanaway being permitted to skip the race in order to compete in the Sandown 500 for Prodrive Australia in their Supercars Championship. That means the return of fan favourite Fernando Rees into the #97 car to partner Darren Turner with the #97 also returning to the beautiful blue and yellow Valero livery which was last seen out at the championship opener at Silverstone.

In GTE Am the #98 car had something of a nightmare event at Mexico. First claiming class pole for it then to be removed on a technicality, then being penalised for spinning the Class Championship leading car into a spin early before being victim to a similar manoeuvre themselves later on through to being disqualified from the results for not completing the required minimum driver time with Paul Dalla-Lana.

Despite all of this the cars choice to revert back to Michelin rubber seemed to have paid off with the car being obviously quicker than others regardless of who was in the car. The team and driver championships are far from being decided with plenty of points still left available over the next four events as they look to close the 59 point gap to the leading #83 AF Corse Ferrari 458.

Like Mexico the event at CoTA will feature a Saturday race which again starts at 11.00Hrs BST

Photo credits - AMR / Adrenal Media

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