Three AMR Vantage GTEs hope for more as the WEC reaches its second round at Portimao

Wednesday, April 12, 2023


The three Aston Martin Racing Vantage GTE’s of the Northwest AMR, D’Station Racing and ORT with TF Sport go again this weekend as the FIA World Endurance Championship returns to continental Europe for its second round of its 2023 season.

Having again ran its official Prologue pre-season test and opening round around the bumps of the Sebring International Raceway in Florida back in mid- March, season 11 of the FIA Championship returns to Europe for what will be a four-race stretch (including the anniversary round of the 24 Hours of Le Mans) being jetting off again to both Fuji and Bahrain for its concluding rounds.

Although regularly used by the European Le Mans Series, this weekend will be only the second time that the WEC has attended the Autodromo Internacional do Algarve circuit (2021 during their still CV19 affected running) will retain that level of 'new' for many that this season's other ‘new’ that the Championship, especially at the front of the grid has to offer!

Sebring was unkind to the three Aston Martins that run within what is the final year of the GTE Am Class with all finishing towards the rear of the fourteen strong class with only the #25 ORT with TF Sport car of Ahmad Al Harthy, Michael Dinan and Charlie Eastwood and the #777 D’Station Racing car of Satoshi Hoshino, Tomonobu Fujii and Casper Stevenson scrounging the last of the championship points in ninth and tenth respectively. The #98 Northwest car of Paul Dalla-Lana, Nikki Thiim and Axcil Jefferies finished line astern to the stable mates in eleventh.

Unlike last season, this second round entry list sees no changes to the driver line ups within these three entries as all will obviously be looking at a significant improvement upon their race fortunes during this six-hour race.

Track action around the 2.89mile Portimao circuit will begin on Friday morning with the first of three Free Practice sessions over that day and Saturday morning before each class will run their own Qualifying session later in the afternoon.

The start of the six-hour race itself will be waved off at 11:54hrs local, immediately before a midday start. With this round just two weeks before the Championship’s third round at Spa Francorchamps, which is in itself just another over fifty days before Le Mans week – damage limitation will be key as well as the race result of any of these GTE Am runners would like to be in class contention by the time the Championship finishes in Europe after its fifth round in Monza at the beginning of July.

Photo credits – WEC / A Lofthouse / D Gibson



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