A mixed bag Saturday for #TeamAMR

Saturday, September 05, 2020

After certainly so much of (certainly our) high hopes for the plethora of Aston Martin Racing teams competing is events around the world this weekend, Saturday has proved itself to be something of a reality check as a few have become casualties of racing through todays track action.

Over in Japan, the D'Station Racing AMR had high hopes going into todays opening round of the Pirelli Super Taikyu Series from the Fuji Motor Speedway having claimed pole position yesterday in their #777 AMR Vantage GT3 with their smaller #47 AMR Vantage GT4 starting its first race from P3 in Class.

With rain expected before nightfall, the teams two cars continued with the pace that they had displayed in Qualifying with the #777 battling for the overall lead and with the GT4 car doing likewise as the daylight began to fade and the rain clouds rolled in around Mount Fuji.

Just after the two and half hour mark and with Tsubasa Kondo in the car, the car lost a wheel whilst in the lead of the race which left the car stranded on track which brought out another Safety Car. Fortunately, the weather had by then closed right in and the race was ultimately suspended for nearly five hours - that giving the team time to try and fix the issue.

Whilst the car was able to return to the track for a short period, the car was eventually retired from the race at about midnight local time. The #47 car meanwhile continues and is presently P4 in class after nine hours.

At the Nurburgring, the two AMR Vantage GT4's of the AGS Events Racing team had held their two Qualifying sessions this morning ahead of the weekends two one hour races. With Theo Nouet and Nicolas Gomar first out in Q1, they would Qualify their #27 and #89 cars P4 (P2 in class) and P7 (P1 in class respectively for the afternoon race whilst teams mates Vanlentin Hasse Clot and Gilles Vannelet would finish P2 (P1 in class) and P9 (P1 in class) for tomorrows race.

With the start of race 1 being something of a scrappy affair, both cars maintained near enough their starting positions and held them relatively comfortably up to their pit stops - minus a wide line or a bump with another car that was. With a FCY delaying the pit stop and with an additional 5 second penalty for the then race leader, Hasse-Clot would emerge P3 overall despite a mistake of their own in pit lane.

Vannelet would come out P12 overall and P4 in class and had to work quickly to re-establish their P1 in Am Class before the end. Indeed, such was their pace that we were in the midst of writing our congratulatory tweet message of another fine double podium for the team when Hasse Clot suffered a rear puncture going into the final lap and that dropped them down to P17 overall after crossing the finish line in pit lane. The #89 car however would claim another Am Class win for their efforts.

At the same venue is the GT World Challenge Europe Endurance Cup runners who today have been running their Pre Qualifying and Qualifying sessions. With the race tomorrow being a six hour long affair, it was obvious that some team were playing the long game - not wanting to ride their luck in track sessions that earned them no reward.

With three drivers now in each of the two Garage 59 AMR Vantage GT3's, todays combined Qualifying times for the #159 of Andrew Watson, James Pull and Valentin Hasse Clot placed their SilverCup entry in P23 overall (P3 in Class) and the #188 Pro-Am entry of Chris Goodwin, Alex West and Jonny Adam P36 overall (P4 in class) out of a grid of 48 entries.

Over in America and at the time of writing this post, the #23 Heart of Racing AMR Vantage GTD is presently battling in the Weathertech Sportscar Championship at Road Atlanta where they are presently P21 overall (P7 in class). With team regulars Ian James having started the race from his P11 Qualifying position in class, he handed over to Roman de Angelis after two hours behind the wheel of the six hour race where now AMR factory driver Darren Turner is now in the car.

Supporting the Weathertech Championship is the Michelin Pilot Challenge where these guys will have to wait until after the conclusion of the six hour IMSA race before they can set their Qualifying times for tomorrows four hour race.

Having claimed GT4 class pole position yesterday, the PROsport Racing team have today battled in the first half of the 24H Series 16Hours of Hockenheim.

At he close of play tonight, the #401 AMR Vantage GT4 of Nico Verdonck, Rodrique Gillion and Tim Heeren P10 overall (P2 in class) and four laps down to the class leader when the race resumes tomorrow.

In the Ultimate Cup Series, the official timing and scoring obviously had it wrong yesterday as Julien Gerbi and Javier Cobian are racing with Stephane Adler aboard their #55 AMR Vantage GT4 at Dijon and not AMR Academy Driver Antonio Ledesma as previously reported. 

Ahead of tomorrows four hour race (not three as we previously said as well), these guys will start from P7 on the grid out of a field of seventeen cars!

Photo credits - D'Station Racing / Super Taikyu / CSJ Motorsport / Team Virage / GT4 European / GTWC
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