One tiny mishap costs Spirit of Leman Aston Martin Racing team the top step of the podium

Saturday, July 15, 2023


…..And there we were mentally scribing just how the latest round of the Le Mans Cup had been a perfect demonstration of teamwork and risk-free motor racing for the Racing Spirit of Leman Aston Martin Racing team around the expansive circuit that is Paul Ricard – well, it was right until the final ten minutes!!

Having competed already at the opening round at Barcelona before the back-to-back shorter races that made up the Road to Le Mans event, this fourth round of the season was back to its usual one hour fifty-minute race for its LMP3 and GT3 grid.

The #10 RSLM Aston Martin of Arnold Robin and Valentin Hasse-Clot had already claimed two podium positions so far as the all French crew went about their business yesterday where Robin narrowly missed out upon a class podium to the #63 Iron Dames Lamborghini by less than 1/10th of a second.

Under the intense heat of this afternoon, Arnold started the race for the team from the front row but soon passed the #63 car for the class lead as the race quickly went under caution for multiple incidences going into turn 1. That position was maintained throughout his minimum drivetime of 45 minutes as the race bounced back and forth between race pace and Full Course Yellows as the (mainly) LMP3 class ahead hindered the flow of the race.

Pitting whilst the race was again under FCY, the #10 cars entry into its pit box was slightly compromised with cars front and rear, but importantly not much time was lost by the time the class and finished its compulsory stop.

All was looking rosy for Hasse-Clot with a five second lead and with just ten minutes to go as (yet another) LMP3 car stopped on track after a spin that eventually forced Race Control to throw another FCY. Without knowing what exactly happened, the next scene was of the #10 slowing and stopping before moving off again at pace but having lost the lead to the #19 Liepert Motorsport Lamborghini as that car was allowed to pass an already stopped Aston Martin.

Going back to green, that was not enough time even for the AMR factory driver to restore the balance going into the final laps and the #10 Racing Spirit of Leman crew had to settle for a P2 finishing position in class, just 3.2 seconds back.

The next round of the series takes them to Motorland Aragon in Spain at the end of August.

Photo credits – Team / Series
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