Sadly no Championship hopes for the three Aston Martin crews at LMC and ELMS finale from Portimao this weekend

Tuesday, October 11, 2022

In scarily quick succession to one another, this weekend sees a further two GT race series conclude as both the ACO rules Le Mans Cup and European Le Mans Series come to an end after their sixth and final round of the season at the Autodromo Internacional do Algarve in Portimao, Portugal.

With the Bullitt Racing Aston Martin Racing Vantage GT3 again being listed within the LMC entry as well as the two TF Sport prepared AMR Vantage GTE cars of the Oman Racing team within the ELMS grid, this weekend sees the unfortunate fact that none of these cars will be in championship contention for either series after their respective results at the last round of each Series at Spa Francorchamps saw them fall short of what was needed to continue that campaign.

For the #99 Bullitt Racing AMR of Stephen Pattrick and Valentin Hasse-Clot, their GT3 Drivers Championship possibilities ended in the barriers around a wet Spa track on the way to the grid as Pattrick (unseen by TV) spun and rear ended his car into the barrier, breaking its rear suspension even before the race had begun.

In a season fresh to the AMR Vantage and having co-shared with drivers Hasse-Clot and Theo Nouet throughout the year, the black and red car was in a good position to take the series to this final round in Portugal against the #55 GMB Motorsport Honda NSX of Kasper Jenson and former WEC AMR GTE Am Champion Kristian Poulson, but the incident in Belgium has already handed that accolade to the Danish pairing.

None the less, the Spanish based team will still be looking to finish this AMR debut season for them on something of a high as winter events in the Middle East have already been hinted at by the team and all seat time is good time for their gentleman driver owner Pattrick.

Then there are the two AMR Vantage GTE crews of Ahmad Al Harthy, Sam De Haan and Marco Sorenson with John Hartshorne, Henrique Chaves and Jonny Adam aboard their #69 and #95 Oman Racing cars that compete within the ELMS series.

In the topsy-turvy world of Balance of Performance based multi-class racing, the 2022 season has certainly been a cruel one for the Tom Ferrier lead team as the #69 car was effectively taken out of the opening round at Paul Ricard by an errant LMP3 car, before coming back with a convincing lights to flag win next time out at Imola before being BoP’d right out of the next round at Monza before showing signs of recovery in time for Barcelona (but couldn’t replicate that during the race) before coming back with the best performance they could at Spa albeit it too little too late for the Championship.

It has been a similar tale for their #95 Hartshorne lead car who has scored points at all rounds except for the BoP debacle at Monza to show massive improvement on his part (with the help of both Chaves and Adam of course) as they have already surpassed the total score of his 2021 campaign in the series.

Presently, the #69 crew sit in P6 on 41 points whilst the #95 crew sit in P11 with 36 points against the championship leaders 72 points.

The GTE Drivers Championship has yet to be confirmed but is just a three-car shootout between the #77 Proton Competition Porsche, #57 Kessel Racing Ferrari and #60 Iron Lynx Ferrari.

Photo credits – Andrew Lofthouse / David Lord / Teams
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