Continuing its successful return to production-derived GT motorsport Aston Martin Racing will contest the 24 Hours of Le Mans with two Aston Martin Vantage GTEs, and it has its sights firmly set on podium finishes in both the GTE Pro and GTE Am classes.
The lead Vantage GTE – entered into the GTE Pro category – will be piloted by works drivers Darren Turner (GB), Stefan Mücke (D) and Adrian Fernandez (MX), while Aston Martin Racing’s long-established partner team Young Driver AMR will join forces with the factory outfit to run the second car in the GTE Am class.
Both cars – #97 and #99 respectively – performed competitively and reliably at the official pre-event test session last week, with each setting the pace in their respective classes for much of the morning session. The #99 went on to top the time sheets in the GTE Am class in each of the two sessions.
John Gaw, Aston Martin Racing team principal, said: “Preparation is key to success in an endurance race and we are very happy with the session we had at the Circuit de la Sarthe last Sunday (3rd June). We were able to complete 115 laps between the two cars without any technical issues, which gave the engineers and drivers plenty of time to work through their car set-up programmes. We focused on making sure the cars are easy and comfortable to drive to reduce the scope for driving errors.
“Although we weren’t pursuing lap times during the test, we were encouraged by the speed shown by both cars. I’m confident that there is more still to come.
“Qualifying isn’t critical in a 24-hour race as it is in a sprint race, but at Le Mans there’s a lot of prestige associated with being fastest, so we’ll certainly push hard for pole position in both the GTE Pro and GTE Am classes. Given our track record in the GT category at Le Mans and the potential we have seen in the Vantage GTE so far this year we expect to be strong contenders for a podium finish in each GTE class come Sunday afternoon.”