Time passing galleries - Part 10 WEC just got busier

Tuesday, May 12, 2020

The start of the 2015 World Endurance Championship would see Aston Martin Racing take another step up with the entering and supporting of five full season entries into the Championship in a year that would see some more (now) familiar faces first appearing with the team.

Unlike last season, this year the predominance of AMR cars would be within the GTE Pro class with three crews now competing in that class -the #97 of Darren Turner and Stefan Mucke (in a year that would be his last at AMR), the returning #99 car of Fernando Rees, Alex MacDowall and (this time) Richie Stanaway being now joined by the #95 Young Driver squad of Nicki Thiim, Christoffer Nygaard and a fresh faced Marco Sorensen as the Danish crew stepped up to Pro having won GTE Am last season.

In GTE Am, Paul Dalla Lana would again return with Pedro Lamy but will this time be joined by the son of multiple F1 World Champion Nicki Lauda, Mathias whilst new for 2015 would see an entry from the RoFGo team of Roald Goethe who in turn would be joined by 2013 GTE Am Champion Stuart Hall and Italian racer Francesco Castellacci after the former two names competed in a similar Vantage GTE in the European Le Mans Series the year before.

With new names came new sponsors as Valero took over the sole corporate colours of the blue and yellow #99 car first seen in 2014 whilst energy firm Hanergy brought vibrancy to the sister #97 car. Le Mans this year would take a visual twist for the #97 car as it was detailed with artwork by the German artist Tobias Rehberger in a mesmerising scheme that gave an impression of movement even when when the car was stationary!

Despite a strong start at both Silverstone and Spa with class wins for the #98 car, life in the WEC during this year was however tough for the three Pro car runners with just a few class pole positions shared amongst them and a class win at Spa for the #99 crew. It was at Le Mans that things got especially damaging for the teams GTE Am runners as first Roald Goethe suffered a high speed impact into the concrete retaining wall going into the Ford Chiccane's with just over seven hours remaining before Paul Dalla Lana binned his #98 car heavily into the wall at the final corner whilst leading the class with less than an hour to go!!

Fortunately, neither driver were seriously hurt!

That being said, the #98 crew car back strong again with four further podium finishes but again it wasn't enough for the crew to claim the GTE Am crown by the end of the year as there would be no Championship winning success again this year!

#Staysafe #Stayalert #Socialdistance #NHSheroes


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