Pivotal race for AMR at Fuji

Thursday, October 12, 2017

With just three races of the 2017 World Endurance Championship season remaining and the closest Aston Martin Racing V8 Vantage GTE featuring some 25 points in arrears to the GTE Pro Championship leader, this weekends race from under the shadows of Mount Fuji, Japan is really a make or break race for the team and their 2017 championship aspirations.

Whilst its a game of catch up in GTE Pro the teams #98 car holds a slender lead over in GTE Am with just six points covering the top three cars, any of whom have any chance of lifting that title in that ultra competitive class.

Since the last round of the WEC over in America a month ago most of the GTE Pro crew have been on extended testing duties over in the UK and Spain as the team make their final adaptations to their new for 2018 GTE chariot.

With any further changes to the auto BOP yet being publicly confirmed the only changes within the team that we know of should be the return to the Sterling Green and lime livery for the #97 Pro car as well as the reduction to a two driver format for the first time this season as Daniel Serra returns home to full fill his domestic stock car racing duties. That leaves Darren Turner and Jonny Adam aboard as they look to overcome their handling issues that have blighted the car since their Le Mans 24Hr win back in June.

Danish crew Marco Sorensen and Nicki Thiim presently lead the AMR charge in defence of the GTE Pro titles in their #95 car, just two points ahead of the sister #97 car but both Pro cars will be looking to improve upon their finishing record from last time out at the Fuji Speedway when P5 and P6 finishes were the best they could offer. A class win has to be the target for either car to have any chance in the championship.

Don't forget to keep a look out for Thiim's charitable auction for his 2015 LM24 race suit.

For Mathias Lauda, he's arrived at the circuit slightly on the back foot after not having gained as much post travel recuperation as he had originally intended after being stranded in France by an air traffic controllers strike hitting his connective flights earlier this week.

With Fuji 8 hours ahead of BST, track action will begin sooner than you think with Free Practice 1 starting in little under 8 hours from now and for Sunday's race it will be an early start for those in continental Europe with an 11am local start!

Looking forward to it.

Photo credits - AMR / WEC

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