jeudi 26 novembre 2015

Aston Martin Racing GTE-Pro 2015 FIA WEC season review - Part 1


Aston Martin Racing competed this year in the FIA World Endurance Championship with a full field of factory Aston Martin Vantage GTEs. Three cars were entered in the upper GTE-Pro class, and two in the GTE-Am one.

The British brand had three strong GTE-Pro entries. The #97 Aston Martin driven by Darren Turner and Stefan Mucke, the latter replaced by Johnathan Adam in the second half of the season. The #99 Vantage GTE shared by Alex MacDowall, Fernando Rees and Richie Stanaway. The #95 car was from Young Driver AMR (under Aston Martin Racing banner) with an all Danish lineup,  Christoffer Nygaard, Marco Sørensen and Nicki Thiim.

It was a season of ups and downs for the Aston Martin Racing in FIA WEC. A great start of the season and then some unlucky and frustrating rounds and a lot of talk about the Balance of Performance in GTE class which penalized the British machines. This Part 1 of our complete Aston Martin Racing GTE-Pro season review.


Aston Martin Racing started this year's competition at home as Silverstone played host to the opening round of the 2015 FIA WEC. The works Vantages dominated the qualifying session with a stunning 1-2-3. Pole position went to Christoffer Nygaard, Marco Sørensen and Nicki Thiim (#95 Aston Martin) ahead of the sister #99 and #97 cars.

On Race day the Aston entries were fast but unlucky. All of the cars were outside the GTE-Pro podium. Christoffer Nygaard, Marco Sørensen and Nicki Thiim (#95 Aston Martin) were fourth. Darren Turner and Stefan Mücke (#97 Aston Martin) were fifth. Alex MacDowall, Fernando Rees and Richie Stanaway (#99 Aston Martin) were sixth.


The next stop was Belgium and the challenging Spa-Francorchamps circuit. Aston Martin Racing took a strong GTE-Pro pole position with Alex MacDowall, Fernando Rees and Richie Stanaway (#99 Aston Martin).

The same car won a thrilling six-hour event with some epic battles between Aston Martin, Ferrari and Porsche GTE cars. Darren Turner, Stefan Mücke and Rob Bell (#97 Aston Martin) were fifth. Christoffer Nygaard, Marco Sørensen joined by Jonathan Adam (#95 Aston Martin) were sixth.


After two great FIA WEC events, all eyes were on the biggest event of the season, Le Mans. Aston Martin Racing arrived in France with a target, taking the GTE-Pro win.

It all started very well with the #99 car of Alex MacDowall, Fernando Rees and Richie Stanaway taking pole position ahead of the strong factory backed teams from Corvette, Ferrari and Porsche.

Unfortunately it was frustrating 24-hour event for the British squad. Best of the GTE-Pro Astons was fourth with #95 car from Young Driver AMR with Christoffer Nygaard, Marco Sørensen and Nicki Thiim. The #99 machine of Alex MacDowall, Fernando Rees and Richie Stanaway was sixth. Darren Turner, Stefan Mücke and Rob Bell (#97 Aston Martin) did not finish the race, they were forced to retire after 110 laps.


The fourth round of the season was held in Germany at the famous Nürburgring circuit. Aston Martin Racing started the weekend with a strong third place in GTE-Pro qualifying with the Danish #95 Vantage GTE driven by Christoffer Nygaard, Marco Sørensen.

On Sunday it was another story. The works Vantage GTEs had a frustratung six-hour race with all of the three cars outside the top-three in class. Christoffer Nygaard, Marco Sørensen were fourth (#95 Aston Martin). Alex MacDowall, Fernando Rees and Richie Stanaway were fifth (#99 Aston Martin). Darren Turner, Stefan Mücke and Jonathan Adam (#97 Aston Martin) were sixth.

The Nürburgring round ended the European season in FIA World Endurance Championship.

Photos: Aston Martin