Aston Martin Racing set for biggest challenge of the year

Aston Martin Racing has qualified ninth and 11th in the GTE Pro category for the 24 Hours of Le Mans, while the team’s #98 V8 Vantage GTE Am will start the race in second.aston martin le mans q

Both of Thursday’s two qualifying sessions were run predominantly in wet conditions, which prevented any improvements in lap time. All three Aston Martin Racing entries consequently qualified with times recorded during the opening qualifying session.

Marco Sørensen’s fastest lap in the #95 V8 Vantage GTE – 3m55.261s – was good enough for 9th in class, while team-mate Richie Stanaway in the sister #97 car will start two grid positions back, having set a best time of 3m55.380s.

Marco Sørensen:

I felt really comfortable in the car, I did a full stint and everything felt really neutral and good. I have all my experience from last year and it felt good to be back on track and quickly up to speed in the car. Obviously we didn’t do so much running in qualifying but when I had the chance of going on a good set of tyres, we showed the pace we could do. We showed the performance we had in the car and there is not much more we could have done. Obviously for the race it’s a completely different thing – it’s about getting through, not taking any risks and making sure we are the first ones over the line.

In GTE Am, Lamy’s time was a 3m57.198s, which put the Portuguese within 0.4s of the class pole.

Pedro Lamy:

I was very happy with my lap in last night’s session. We were really close to be on pole, but the time in qualifying is not so important for the race. What is important is that we have a good and balanced car. It’s a little difficult as we weren’t able to test as much as we’d like due to the weather, but this is a good start to our weekend.

The team anticipated the heavy rain that blighted much of Thursday’s running and rescheduled the running programme to focus on the race, changing the engines on all four entries – including customer entry Beechdean AMR – and preparing them for Saturday.

Paul Howarth, Team Principal: 

We enjoyed a very strong performance with our #98 LM GTE Am car, which puts us in a very good position for the start, but it is going to be a very long race. Today (Thursday), we focused on race prep with all our cars. We brought all our preparations such as engine changes forward by one day, to ensure that we have a more steady approach in the build-up to the start of the race. This allows us more time to browse over the detail and also prepare and condition the team for what will be the biggest challenge of the year.

Customer entry Beechdean AMR qualified their V8 Vantage GTE in 13th in the GTE Am category.

The 84th running of the 24 Hours of Le Mans will begin at 15:00 on Saturday 18 June.

Aston Martin Press Release