Asian Le Mans Series finale for D'Station Racing AMR in Thailand

Wednesday, February 19, 2020

Having endured chaotic scenes at the start of last weekends penultimate round of the 2019/20 Asian Le Mans Series, Japanese based team D'Station Racing AMR came away from Sepang, Malaysia empty handed after late drive train issues robbed the #77 Aston Martin Racing V8 Vantage GT3 of valuable points needed in their quest to challenge for overall GT Class win and earn themselves an automatic invitation to the Le Mans 24hr.

With heavy and thunderous rain having delayed the start of the race for over an hour and a half, Tomonobu Fujii didn't waste any time in taking the GT Class lead by the end of the opening lap having started in P4 after the days earlier Qualifying session.

Despite issues with the car's door number illumination panels dropping the car out of the top three, Fujii's opening stint and a superb hour long stint from gentleman driver and team co-owner Satoshi Hoshino left the teams super-silver driver, Ross Gunn with little over two hours to battle to regain their position within the top three and those all important points as the then series leading CarGuy Ferrari continued to falter at the rear of the field.

Disaster however struck for the team with just twenty minutes remaining with Gunn returning to the pit lane with technical issues towards the rear of the car that cost the team track position as they attempted repairs but five corners after leaving the pits however, the #77 car ground to a halt and would proceed in the race no further.

That stint would be Gunn's final contribution with the Japanese team as this weekend his driving services would again be required over in the World Endurance Championship with the #98 GTE Am entry as that Championship's fifth round of their 2019/20 season had been rescheduled to the Circuit of the America's in Austin, Texas after the cancellation of the intended Brazilian round two weeks earlier.

As a replacement for Gunn, Aston Martin Racing dispatched the 2018 Autosport Young Driver of the Year winner - Tom Gamble to take Gunn's place as the silver ranked driver in the car in what will only be his second event aboard the 2019 specification AMR Vantage GT3 having first raced a TF Sport prepared car at last years Aston Martin Festival at the Le Mans 24hr. Having watched the team operate in Sepang he will at least not arrive in Thailand completely green and unprepared.

Points wise - anyone of the remaining six GT entries could in theory win the overall GT title but with only 25 points available for a class win and another for class pole position, the #77 D'Station Racing crew will have to hope for some misfortune for the GT cars ahead of them in the class for that to become a possibility considering their 16 points deficit after last weeks DNF.

Official track action at the Chang Buriram International Circuit begins this Saturday with two Free Practice sessions before Qualifying later in the day before the start of the final four hours of Asian Le Mans Series racing beginning at 11:45am (local) on Sunday.

Photo credits - D'Station Racing / ALMS / Gamble

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