The bitter sweet nature of motorsport for two AMR customer teams this weekend

Monday, May 27, 2019

Whilst Optimum Motorsport made some pretty significant steps forwards with their new Pro class podium finish at the second round of their International GT Open Series endeavours at the weekend, for two other Aston Martin Racing Partner teams, this weekends results continued their distinctly split path of results that they have enjoyed so far this season.

Starting in Europe - Friday and Saturday saw the third round of Creventic's 24H Series and the 12Hours of Brno take place from the small but technically challenging circuit in the Czech Republic. Back supporting the series again but first time visitors to Brno with their new 2019 AMR Vantage GT4 was the German based PROsport Performance team (again racing under their PROpeak Performance banner) and their trio of drivers - Rodrique Gillion, Nico Verdonck and Akhil Rabindra.

Having already enjoyed a brace of podium finishes in the Series including a GT4 class win last time out at Spa, the team were certainly hoping of maintaining that momentum gained within their this and their other GT4 programmes this season to help offset the frustration that must be building from their (to date) unsuccessful ventures into the ADAC GT Masters Series with their other AMR Vantage GT3's.

This time competing within a slightly larger GT4 field of six cars, the #1 car Qualified P3 for the start of the race which would begin soon afterwards on Friday afternoon before concluding later of Saturday. By the end of the opening three hour part of the race the #1 car was laying in P4 in class but already a couple of laps down to the lead car.

The next nine hours of racing would see the car compete with both of the M4 BMW's for the second two steps of the podium what with the #224 KTM X-bow being dominant from the start of the meeting with their more Brno experienced driver base. At the end of the nine hour stint of Saturday the #1 car would again be podium bound with a P3 finish at their first visit to the track.

Congratulations to them.

Then over in Japan there was the third round of their national Super GT weekend where another of this years Aston Martin Racing convertees, D'Station Racing AMR were competing in the GT300 class with a new AMR V8 Vantage GT3.

Also competing with a similar GT3 chassis in the Pirelli Super Taikyu Series, the team have already enjoyed several podium finishes (including race wins) in that series but had been distinctly unlucky so far in the coveted GT300 series after significant damage was sustained in the wet that was the opening round at Okayama before technical issues blighted round two at Fuji.

Looking to make amends for the poor start to the season, drivers JP Oliveira and Tomonobu Fujii had been working hard in between events to move their svelte liveried #7 car forward. Also enjoying a dry race weekend for the first time this season the #7 car finished P18 during Free Practice (just 1.235 seconds off the lead pace) before having their Qualifying affected by a red flag to finish P19 for the start of Sundays race.

Unfortunately for the team, everything again 'went south' just after the pit stops when Oliveira had to retire the car due to an electrical issue that was effecting its performance. Obviously bitterly disappointed, the team have vowed to continue fighting on looking for that change in circumstance that will allow them to race their competitors on equal levels.

Next round of the Super GT - GT300 will be in Thailand at the end of June.

Photo credits - 24H Series / PROpeak Performance / D'Station Racing AMR

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