Aston Martin Wins Both Classes in Austin
Austin – Aston Martin Racing has won both GTE classes at the FIA World Endurance Championship (WEC) Six Hours of Circuit of the Americas and has also finished second in the GTE Am class. It is now leading the GTE Am championship with the #96 Vantage GTE thanks to this win and the win in São Paulo three weeks ago.
The GTE Pro race-winning #99 Vantage GTE of Bruno Senna (BR) and Fred Makowiecki (FR) started from the front of the grid following yesterday’s qualifying session. Throughout the six-hour race, the pair fought tirelessly to fend off attacks from the fierce competition and eventually crossed the finish line 15 seconds ahead of the second place car.
“That was an awesome weekend!” comments Senna. “We were quick all week and we were very competitive. It’s great to share this WEC win with Fred – it’s a proud moment for us. We’re both so pleased to be here and we’re grateful to our sponsors that made it possible.”
Makowiecki, who started the race adds. “Yes, we were really competitive this weekend. We took a gamble with the fuel strategy and double stinted the tyres and it paid off. I’m really happy to win with Bruno – he’s a great driver and we were due a win together.”
In the GTE Am class, the #95 Vantage GTE of Nicki Thiim (DN), Christoffer Nygaard (DN) and Kristian Poulsen (DN) and the #96 of Stuart Hall (GB) and Jamie Campbell-Walter (GB) dominated, and the pair lead the rest of the pack by almost a minute. Both cars took their turn in leading the race and were wheel-to-wheel until the finish line. When the chequered flag waved, it was Campbell-Walter’s #96 that crossed the line first with #95 driven by Poulsen just 1.7 seconds behind.
“What a fantastic result!” comments Campbell-Walter. “It’s a shame again that Roald [Goethe] isn’t here but I’m sure he’s watching at home. Stuart did a fantastic job and the guys in the pit lane put in a faultless performance. I had a good battle with Kristian – I had to be careful because he’s a team-mate. He put up a good fight but I managed to get past with 15 minutes to go.”
Hall adds: “It was a really close race but Jamie did a mega job. Again, this is for Roald; he was supposed to be here but he had to pull out for a business commitment and we miss him loads. We’ve just learned that we are now leading the GTE Am championship, which is a great way to head into the final three rounds.”
The #97 and #98 cars both fell victim to the high curbs of the Circuit of the Americas, which caused damage to the floor of the cars. “Many cars have had the same issue with the curbs this weekend,” explains Turner. “I made a small mistake meaning that I had some oversteer on entry to the corner. The curbs don’t look much but they can do real damage. As soon as you hit it goes bang.
“It’s a shame because we were leading the championship. It’s not the best weekend ever but when we were on it, the car felt great. There are three more rounds so we just need to get three good race results.”
The #97 Vantage GTE is now 10 points behind the championship leader with three races to go.
“We took a significant step forward this weekend,” comments Team Principal John Gaw. “We’ve improved our position in the manufacturer’s championship and we’re now leading the GTE Am championship. We won both classes, so we must be happy, but we want to continue to push for good results for all our cars.”
“We now head to Asia for the Six Hours of Fuji, which was one of our toughest challenges last year. It will be a real test for our engineers and drivers but we look forward to that as we strive to maximise the performance for Aston Martin.”
The FIA WEC Six Hours of Fuji takes place on 20 October. Follow the team’s progresses at www.astonmartin.com/racing, on Facebook www.facebook.com/astonmartinracing and on Twitter using @amr_official
Source: Aston Martin