Five AMR Vantage GTEs looking for the final class win of its kind at Le Mans

Monday, June 05, 2023


A productive test day ticked off yesterday at the Circuit de La Sarthe as sixty-two multi-class cars completed their first laps ahead of next weekend’s anniversary edition.

After two days of scrutineering under full public viewing down at the Le Pesage in Le Mans town, yesterday say the teams have two three hours sessions to use as they would whilst many would need that time within which to tick off any mandatory requirement of ten timed laps per event debutant driver.

Again under intense sunshine, the high ambient temperatures lead to the large numbers attending Sunday’s test day to seek relief from part of that within the circuits many grandstands within the central arena of the expansive circuit as the five Aston Martin Racing powered teams went about their business.

Within the morning session, the #25 ORT with TF Sport AMR of Ahmad Al Harthy, Michael Dinan and Charlie Eastwood was the fastest of the quintet finishing that session in third place within their GTE Am class, just three tenths off that sessions lead pace.

Fortunately for all five cars, no significant incident or issue blighted their running as each car clocked up at least twenty-five laps with many ‘ticking off’ their ten-lap requirement at the earliest opportunity.

It was a similar case within the days second and final session, but this time the bragging rights went to the #777 D’Station Racing crew of Satoshi Hoshino, Tomonobu Fujii and Casper Stevenson after the young Englishman placed the car seventh quickest with a lap time similar to that of the #25 car earlier but this time nearly two seconds down to the class leader.

What did become clear during both sessions was the issue of track limits with all five cars getting reported to Race Control with the #55 GMB Motorsport AMR of Gustav Birch, Jens Moller and Marco Sorenson being forced to serve a five-minute stop and hold as their consequence of repeated reports.

The laps time recorded during Test Day are of course now irrelevant as teams now prepare their cars again ahead of this Wednesday’s first officially timed session of this 100-year anniversary race. With ambient temperatures around the circuit expected to rise in line with the attending public, this year’s visit to Le Mans should reach boiling point just in time for Saturday afternoons wave off as the GTE platform races its final race at the venue as a mainstream event. There are, however, thunderstorms now being listed over the weekend which might get interesting is a perverse kind of way!!

The #98 Northwest AMR listed entry of the Heart of Racing team after they assumed control over the #98 entry after Paul Dalla Lana’s exist from the Championship after the second round of the season in Portimao. Their line-up of Ian James, Alex Riberas and Daniel Mancinelli mirror the all-debutant line up within the #72 TF Sport prepared car of the all-French Max and Arnold Robin alongside AMR factory driver Valentin Hasse-Clot.

Tomorrow’s action will be kept within the constraints of the pit lane with another autograph session ahead of the team’s new pit stop challenge where the TF Sport crew are defending champions!!

Photo credits – A Lofthouse / N Dungan / LM24






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