Disappointment for the Aston Martin GT4 crews after their visit to Laguna Seca too

Monday, May 15, 2023


Similarly to the fate of the four Aston Martin Racing powered runners within the IMSA Weathertech Sportscar Championship, the five AMR Vantage GT4 runners within the supporting Michelin Pilot Challenge Series left California with a sense of ‘what might have been’ despite some early expressions of pace.

With just two rounds of the season under their belts from the opening salvo of rounds in Florida at both Daytona and Sebring, it was back down to business for the AMR teams from the Team TGM, Van Der Steur, Archangel and Accelerating Performance garages as another two hour round beckoned around this iconic circuit.

Early indications would be neutral during the two preceding Free Practice sessions as only the #44 AP car of Moisey Uretsky and Michael Cooper would figure within the top ten in class heading into Friday’s Qualifying.

Then from nowhere came a pole setting lap time from Austin McCusker in a rebranded Van Der Steur prepared Aston Martin GT4 having shaved something over a second off their best lap so far to claim the front row position.

Like all forms motorsport however, a single qualifying lap pace is one thing – sustaining that, alongside everything else for the race duration is another as both they and the #46 TGM car of Hugh and Matt Plumb suffered from high tyre degradation, punctures and contact that would blight their ultimate race pace.

Whilst other crews arrived with a slightly more matter of fact approach to the event in learning what the circuit had to offer (or not) the nett result was unfortunately disappointing for all concerned.

Despite starting from the head of the pack, the best the #19 VDS car could do was just outside the top ten in P11 with the #88 Archangel car of Todd Coleman and new co-driver Patrick Lindsey next best in P14.

Next best was the #44 car of Uretsky/Cooper in P15 followed by both the Team TGM cars who (for them) also had a disappointing race finishing P16 and P17 for the #64 and #46 respectively but these results kind of mirrored there performances in comparison to the class over the entire weekend with the #19 cars pole position being the brief highlight.

These race results see the Aston Martin crews tumble within the points table with the Plumb brothers again being the highest AMR crew in P8 but already nearly 200 points behind the leading Mercedes AMG GT4 crew.

Next stop – Belle Isle in Detroit for another circuit completely different to those race at so far and maybe – just maybe, one AMR crew will get a break in fortune?

Photo credits - Teams / Jamie Price / Rob Conohan / IMSA
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