Racing Spirit of Leman Aston Martin GT3 crew earn themselves another LMC podium finish at Aragon

Friday, August 25, 2023


The third round of the Michelin Le Mans Cup Series produced another thoroughly eventful race earlier today as the forty LMP3 and GT3 crews battled not just themselves and the circuit but also the thoroughly balmy temperatures that presently encase the circuit of Motorland Aragon.

After a full day of testing and then three Free Practice sessions coming into today’s earlier Qualifying session, the #10 Racing Spirit of Leman Aston Martin Racing Vantage GT3 of Arnold Robin and Valentin Hasse-Clot was sadly unable to replicate its earlier event pace as the French crew had to settle for a P3 start ahead of this afternoons 110-minute race.

With ambient temperatures still pushing into the forties and track temperatures well into the fifty-degree margins, the forty-five minute minimum drive time for either Am or Pro driver would be a challenge as endurance came into differing meanings.

For the spectacle of the race event itself, that would sadly be tarnished with the on-track frivolities of some within the LMP3 ranks as multiple car contact into turn 1 on the opening lap quickly brought out the Safety Car but at least the chasing GT3 pack missed the many cars facing the wrong way.

Two Porsches lead the GT3 field and made off into the distance as Robin ran at his own pace third in class before a further Full Course Yellow again neutralised the track activity for another stranded P3 car before on the restart, two more P3 cars tangled and brought out the Safety Car again as one was now stuck in the gravel.

With all the cars back together again, the second placed #86 Porsche first survived a strong challenge from the #10 Aston Martin for position before finding themselves passing the #64 Porsche for the lead just as the pit window opened with minimum time already served for the starting drivers.

Pitting immediately from third, Robin passed the reins to Hasse-Clot who quickly found himself being caught by the #51 and #83 Ferrari’s from his inherited P2 position on track. Ten minutes in, Hasse-Clot was forced to yield that place to the #51 car but was able to keep the other at bay, forcing them to push the boundaries of track limits and that would come back to hinder the #83 car later in the race.

Another stopped P3 car and another Safety Car to clean up the spilt fluid, that gave the second drivers a final twenty-two-minute dash to the flag and whilst the #10 Aston Martin lost contact with the two GT3 cars ahead, it kept the #83 car behind him until Race Control finally awarded that car with a drive through penalty for constant abuse of track limits.

That gave Hasse-Clot the required space to conserve what energy he had left within himself and the car (after the #83 Ferrari had taken an earlier bite out of the side) to see the Racing Spirit of Leman car to eventually come home P3 in class.

Whilst the front two cars were swapped positions by virtue of a post-race 5 second time penalty, the provisional results allowed the #10 crew to retain their Championship lead going into the penultimate round of the season at Spa Francorchamps next month.

Next stop however for these guys will be the European Le Mans Series race from Aragon tomorrow evening!!

Photo credits – Team / Series
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