More podium success for the #007 TRG Aston Martin in GT World Challenge America

Monday, May 22, 2023


Completing the trilogy of SRO America Series events last weekend had the GT World Challenge America Series also at the Circuit of the Americas with the #007 The Racers Group Aston Martin Racing Vantage GT3 crew looking to continue from where they left off together last time out at the Nola Motorsport Park.

Like Nola, resident team racer Derek DeBoer would be paired again with AMR factory driver Valentin Hasse-Clot like they were at Nola where the duo secured their first two podium finishes within their Pro-Am class in only their second collective race together of the season.

With DeBoer Qualifying the car for Saturday’s first ninety-minute race, he would start the car from tenth overall and fifth in class. 

Following the trend set by the GT4 series before it saw contact between several cars going into turn 1 for the first time but happily, the #007 car avoided that to go into an immediate charge for position before (unseen) contact with the #43 Mercedes relegated them down to plumb last thanks to the resulting spin.

Some of that lost time was recovered after a BMW and Ferrari engaged in total unnecessary contact – again going into turn 1 that brought out the Safety Car for the first time which also delayed the start of the mandatory pit window.

Emerging from pit lane, Hasse-Clot was soon having to avoid further contact at the same point on track but that simply allowed the Frenchman to progress up the leader board before taking a further position into P6 with a clean manoeuvre through turn 1.

By the end, the #007 crew had recovered to P5 overall and just off the Pro-Am podium in P4.

Race 2 proved itself to be equally eventful and exciting as Hasse-Clot led the initial charge in the changeable weather conditions that presented themselves on Sunday. Starting from sixth on the grid, one car was already accounted for with the Ferrari involved in the big accident of race 1 not taking further part in proceedings and the other starting from pit lane.

Having lost out at the start of the race, VHC would quickly recover back to his starting position of P6 but would progress no further such was the balance of machinery and drivers by the time of the pit window opening.

Handing over to DeBoer at the end of that pit window, the American would emerge with still forty minutes remaining but would soon move up to P5 after a nice move when he passed two cars busy dicing ahead of him. By this time, the expected rain had arrived around most of the circuit – still fortunately for all just light rain but still enough to remove confidence within some as all were on slicks.

Lapping some two seconds faster than the class leading Porsche, DeBoer was soon up to fourth overall with little time left to pursue the leader as the #007 crew would eventually finish P4 overall but second in Pro-Am to claim themselves another warranted podium finish.

The series also moves onto VIR for its next round in three weeks’ time.

Photo credits - Series
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