They save their best till last as the old Vantage GT3 goes out in style in Asian Le Mans Series ##UPDATED##

Sunday, February 11, 2024


They saved their best till last as the #95 TF Sport prepared Aston Martin Racing Vantage GT3 of John Hartshorne, Ben Tuck and Jonny Adam rounded off not just the final two races of the 2023-24 Asian Le Man Series and their final races aboard the outgoing 16A version of the Vantage GT3 with their best results.

Having finished yesterday’s penultimate race of the season around the Yas Marina circuit in Abu Dhabi with a P6 in class, the trio ran an even better, more opportunist race in Sundays finale to finish that race just off the class podium in P4 (now see update below)

Whilst the #95 TF Sport car would keep it mostly clean, the #77 D’Station Racing AMR Vantage GT3 of Satoshi Hoshino, Casper Stevenson and Tomonobu Fujii would see their Saturday race blighted by the effects of losing three laps due to early contact through to being delayed by contact (both of their own and other cars making) to eventually round off another Asian Le Mans Series with P19 and P14 finishes accordingly.

It was not all plain sailing for the #95 yesterday as Tuck was involved in an incident that saw the two cars make the slightest of touches whilst line astern to one another only for the #86 GR Racing Ferrari top spin off and impact heavily into the circuit barriers. Fortunately, the driver was bruised, sore but otherwise OK although their own weekend would be run with their car quickly being established as irreparable in time for race 2.

Tuck would later post a heartfelt apology for his involvement and the consequences of the incident that lead to GR Racings withdrawal – very sporting and gentlemanly of him to do so.

The resulting red flag period for that incident would leave just over half an hour of the penultimate four-hour race to go for the red and white liveried car to come home with their best result so far in P6.

Sunday would see early rain effect the balance and track with early dramas taking out four championship contending cars from the early running order. Not being part of that process, neither Aston had anything to lose yet everything to gain as Hoshino made the early running as high as P3 for them whilst the #95 ran lower down the order.

More Safety Car and FCY intervention periods of course made for ‘mad’ restarts and whilst Hoshino would appear to have been spun by another, they were adjudged to have been at fault and given a Drive through penalty for their efforts. Just before the first hour, another red flag period for barrier repairs was necessary after an LMP2 car took out another GT car – again both drivers were otherwise OK but with the clock still counting, time was running out on both the race and the season for others.

With the race again entering darkness and with around ninety minutes remaining, the #77 and #95 cars eventually swapped running order on track with Tuck again putting in some hot laps with Stevenson mirroring his moves albeit on a differing strategy but this time it would be Adam and Fujii who would be rounding off the season for both AMR Partner teams in both P4 and P14.

Whilst one chapter closes – another one opens as Aston Martin Racing, Aston Martin F1 and Aston Martin Lagonda are expected to reveal all tomorrow from the home of British motorsport at Silverstone. 

##UPDATE - Post race penalties within the GT class elevate the #95 crew onto the podium for race 2 with a confirmed P3 finish with the #77 crew now up to P13!! Awesome stuff to end another exciting season with!!

Photo credits – Teams / Andrew Lofthouse
  • Digg
  • StumbleUpon
  • Yahoo! Buzz
  • Technorati
  • Facebook
  • TwitThis
  • MySpace
  • LinkedIn
  • Live
  • Google
  • Reddit
  • Sphinn
  • Propeller
  • Slashdot
  • Netvibes