Party's over - back to the FIA WEC for Aston Martin Racing

Tuesday, July 11, 2017

Four weeks after Aston Martin Racing's best result in endurance racing for many a year and the celebrations that that event rightfully deserved, it will be a case of 'all hands back to the pumps' this weekend as the FIA World Endurance Championship resumes at the Nurburgring, Germany.

In the intervening weeks it has of course not been all parties and days off for the Prodrive factory crew, as the team still had three AMR entered V8 Vantage GTE cars to strip down and re-prepare for the fourth round of the 2017 Championship as well as other customer car programmes that they have concurrently on the go.

Having finished with the preparative work that Le Mans demands, the biggest changes for this weekend come about in the form of a reduced driver line up in the #95 GTE Pro car and the first implementation of the new for 2017 automatic balance of performance adjustments across the GTE platform.

Post Le Mans last year, the team decided that a two car driver line up was the best option for the team moving forward, so with Le Mans again behind them we shall again see the #95 GTE Pro car reduce to just a two driver line up of Nicki Thiim and Marco Sorensen with Richie Stanaway stepping down from the AMR programme for 2017.

Conversely, the #97 GTE Pro will REMAIN with a three driver line with Le Mans 24 GTE Pro winning drivers Darren Turner, Jonny Adam and Daniel Serra returning together for the foreseeable future in the 2017 Championship. We believe that this is continuing reward for the Brazilian driver who has served the team so well this year and last.

With the BoP for the 24hours of Le Mans being a strictly independent process to that of the 'regular' WEC races, all adjustments being made would be relative to the performance of the GTE cars at Bahrain last year as well as Silverstone and Spa this year - so from the criteria specified for Spa, the AMR GTE Pro cars would experience the following adjustments:-
  • A 20kg decrease in base weight
  • A 0.1mm increase in engine restrictor size to 29.7mm
With only the Ford GT receiving a base weight increase, neither the Porsche 911 RSR nor the Ferrari 488 receive any adjustment so whether the adjustments made to the AMR's will be enough to allow them to enter the fray with their advisories is still to be seen - although the game of BoP is one played very stealthily by all!

There will also be adjustments made to the #98 GTE Am car following their 'good performances' on track at both Silverstone and Spa with a 0.2mm decrease in engine restrictor size, down to 29.0mm.

Track activity from the Nurburgring begins Friday morning with the first of two Free Practice sessions with a further Free Practice and Qualifying session on Saturday. The start of the 6hour race begins at 13.00hrs local on Sunday.

Meanwhile, three of the AMR works drivers took time out today to visit the manufacturing base of Dunlop Motorsport tyres over in Hanau, just two hours drive west of the Nurburgring where Jonny Adam, Marco Sorensen and Nicki Thiim met the crews and watched new WEC tyres being made.


Photo credit of podium - AMR / crew - Adrenal Media / Dunlop
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