Better fortune in race 2 at Le Mans for Beechdean AMR

Tuesday, June 18, 2019

After the disappointment in the first of two races over last weekend's Road to Le Mans double header for Beechdean AMR, Saturday morning proved itself to be a fruitful one with the crew of the #99 Aston Martin Racing V8 Vantage GT3 with a podium position rewarding their hard work.

Having literally been taken out of the race on the last lap on Thursday evening, Friday proved to be a very busy day for the Beechdean AMR team repairing some sizeable damage to the rear of Andrew Howards car to be ready in time for the start of race two, early Sunday morning.

This time qualifying in P4 for race 2, it would the turn of Howard to take the start of the 55 minute race before he would again hand over the reigns to his co-driver, AMR factory reserve driver Ross Gunn - a young man who had already displayed his racing credentials with great results in front of the Le Mans crowd in an AMR Vantage GT3 and would again do this same in race 2.

Joining them in amongst the forty eight other starters was the #97 TF Sport prepared car of Flick Haigh and Tom Gamble who endured something of a torrid debut on the 8.5 mile circuit during race one to finish down in P11 but they would start race 2 just a few places further back to the #99 car in P7.

After something a 'busy' start through the opening corners it was the #8 Ferrari who took the early lead (the car that 'took out' the #99 car in race 1) with Howard hanging on in there in P4. Haigh would get an early warning from Race Control to fix a reportedly loose bonnet aboard her car at their pit stop but at least didn't have to make an additional stop.

This time without any Safety Car period wasting race time, both Astons pitted at about the 25 minute mark leaving their respective faster drivers maximum time to make an impact.

Taking over the car with a 25 second deficit to those in class ahead, Gunn soon went about his business in persistently taking time off the SPS Automotive Mercedes AMG of Tom Onslow Cole ahead of him to be only three seconds behind with just over five minutes to go. Tom Gamble, now in the #97 car meanwhile would find his lap times being affected by a broken and delaminating splitter that was causing his car to 'chatter' around the corners.

Taking the #40 car for position with just a coupe of laps to go, there were short hopes that he could also catch the leading #71 Luzich  Racing Ferrari but time was to eventually beat the #99 Crew as the settled for a very credible P2 podium at the chequered flag. The #97 TF Sport car would ultimately finish P6.

These results from Le Mans leaving full season entrants, Beechdean AMR in P4 in the GT3 Championship table at the half way stage. Further rounds at Barcelona, Spa and Portimao would determine the class winners.

Photo credits - (Beechdean crew) Beechdean AMR

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