Both Aston Martin LMGT3 crews on the hunt again at Imola

Saturday, April 20, 2024


The grid has again been set for tomorrows second round of the FIA World Endurance Championship from Imola in Italy where both the Heart of Racing and D’Station Racing teams are flying the flag for Aston Martin Racing.

Last time out in Qatar, eventualities developing through the opening ten-hour race in the desert gave both the #27 and #777 opportunist visits to the (new for 2024) LMGT3 podium at the first time of asking, but for this second round, both AMR Vantage LMGTs cars are carrying both success ballast and a decreased in their balance of performance parameters.

After a Le Mans like drivers interaction with the crowds in Imola, it was back to business yesterday as the collective thirty-seven Hypercar and LMGT3’s set about the first two of three Free Practice sessions.

The #27 Heart of Racing car of Ian James, Alex Riberas and Daniel Mancinelli again showed the opening pace over their #777 D’Station Racing stablemates of Marco Sorensen, Clement Mateu and Erwan Bastard in the opening session, beating them by just over one hundredth of a second to claim eighth fastest with a similar timed gap between them again in FP2 when the #27 claimed fourth in class.

Coming into Saturday for the final session before Qualifying saw the #777 claim the overall fastest pace in class with the #27 immediately behind at a detriment of just over half a second.

Going into Qualifying, Mateu’s fastest lap was only good for P12 in class at the end whilst James got his car into the later Hyperpole session having finished P9, where he then went on to second overall in class ahead of tomorrow’s six-hour race.

Clearly, the Aston Martin still has some pace within it despite the BoP adjustment and success ballast, but like always, it’s the longevity of the situation that will again pan out to determine who will pick up the silverware at the end of the day. The circuit is tight and twisty so tyre management will again be key (as always nowadays) – the race gets waved off at 13:00hrs local tomorrow.

Phot credits – Teams / social media / AMR.
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