Both new Aston Martins secure top five grid slots ahead of tomorrows WEC opener in Qatar

Friday, March 01, 2024


With reduced time to recover from the season opening Prologue test sessions of Monday and Tuesday, both the Heart of Racing and D’Station Racing Aston Martin Racing LMGT3 entries continued from where they had left off to both set top five times in today’s Class Hyper Pole Qualifier in Qatar.

Quickly back to the World Endurance Championship’s Prologue of earlier this week, it was the #777 D’Station Racing AMR of Erwan Bastard, Marco Sorensen and Clement Mateu who finished quickest in class but with the #27 Heart of Racing AMR of Ian James, Alex Riberas and Daniel Mancinelli close behind before the thirty-seven strong Hypercar and LMGT3 class grid went into this week’s three formal Free Practice session’s ahead of Saturdays opening race.

With the AMR Vantage LMGT3 straight out of the container and still unproven in race format (within its new LMGT3 specification at least), the two teams remained within the top half of the timing screen during both opening sessions of Thursday but with notably, the #777 still holding the pace against their stablemate at the time.

That was soon rectified and actioned by the American team by the end of the final Free Practice when the #27 crew topped the timings (albeit by thousandths of a second) with the #777 finishing out in fifth – just three tenths down.

That took the cars into Qualifying where both cars powered their way into the new for 2024 LMGT3 Hyperpole for the ten quickest car where again, the bronze ranked drivers will be needed to do the business on track. That meant for James to drive the #27 and for Mateu to undertake his first ever WEC Qualifying session which neither driver let themselves or their teams down.

After their five-lap session, it was the #777 D’Station Racing AMR of Clement Mateu who secured top AMR honours, eventually qualifying his car in P4 with Ian James just behind in P5 – split by just a tenth of a second and both just under a second behind the pace setting Corvette.

With the opening 1812km season opener from Qatar starting early tomorrow, race pace will again be the true reflection of pace and possibly just how many sandbags the opposition have been carrying!

Game on!

Photo credits – Team / D Gibson / Nick Dungan
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