Aston Martin Racing trio hit Spa Francorchamp with renewed vigour

Thursday, April 27, 2023

Great to be back at Spa Francorchamps todays for the first of a three-day event that will constitute as the third round of the World Endurance Championship.

Despite the sudden but not entirely unexpected situation with the former #98 Northwest Aston Martin Racing entry and Paul Dalla Lana stepping away from the Championship and their position taken by the American Heart of Racing team, this weekend’s event will be a pivotable event for all three crews leading into the 24 Hours of Le Mans event in June as well as the remaining three rounds of the season thereafter

Despite the chilly days of late in northern Europe, today turned into a glorious day for the thirty-car entry and an encouraging large crowd around the circuit today, allowing decent laps to be put in for those who need to hone the skills and for those who simply need laps in with their new AMR Vantage GTE.

All was not plain sailing though as the #777 D’Station Racing AMR of Satoshi Hoshino, Tomonobu Fujii and Casper Stevenson suffered an untimely off during Free Practice 1 this morning, with impact damage fortunately causing just superficial looking damage to the nose of the car.

Laps times for them and the #25 ORT with TF Sport GTE of Ahmad Al Harthy, Michael Dinan and Charlie Eastwood as well as the new #98 Heart of Racing crew of Ian James, Alex Riberas and Daniel Mancinelli all completed a healthy number of laps with their new Balance of Performance setting to end the morning session well up the running order in comparison to this stage at previous events.

This afternoon’s second session featured a similar vein but a multitude of Full Course Yellows, local yellows and then ultimately, a red flag blighted the testing programme of many going into tomorrow’s final Free Practice session and later Qualifying.

Even with the Aston’s new BoP applied, it’s hard to see just how much that will affect the AMR runners in Saturdays race as their pace today is still over a second slower than that of last year when the #33 TF Sport AMR of Ben Keating was very much the in-form partnership.

Mother Nature will also have an effect tomorrow with rain being forecasted in the morning although race day should remain dry.

We will see what tomorrow brings!


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