- Aston Martin Racing seeks to build on strong start to new season
- WEC switches back to familiar six-hour format for Japanese race
- GTE Am crew targets maiden class win for the Aston Martin Vantage GTE
Monday 30 September, 2019, Fuji Speedway, Japan. Aston Martin Racing travels to Japan for Round 2 of the 2019/2020 FIA World Endurance Championship this weekend confident it has the speed and momentum to fight for victory in both the GTE Pro and Am classes.
Following a podium finish in each category at the opening round (the 4 Hours of Silverstone) with the Aston Martin Vantage GTE, the team is buoyant about its chances ahead of the 6 Hours of Fuji. Returning to the scene of the car's first pole position nearly a year ago last October, the #97 crew of Alex Lynn (GB) and Maxime Martin (BEL) are aiming to build on their strong third place finish in the UK last month.
“The car has been a strong contender for a while now, so when we turn up to a race weekend we are already thinking about strategies that allow us to fight for wins,” said Lynn. “We were competitive throughout at Silverstone and I believe we could have won the race under different circumstances. Now it’s Fuji and we know this car performs well here, given that it took pole last year, and the weather can often be changeable which traditionally plays to our strengths. We want to be in the championship mix and it’s important to bank big points early in this campaign.”
Nicki Thiim and Danish compatriot Marco Sørensen were the duo responsible for the aforementioned pole in the #95 Aston Martin Racing Vantage GTE, and they see this year's race as an opportunity to take care of some unfinished business.
“It was at this time last year that we first really saw the potential of the new car with the pole position," said Thiim. "We also had really good pace in the race but we were unlucky with the timing of the weather and the strategy, but that is how it is in racing. We are going there with a lot of optimism this year, especially after Silverstone, where we had a really good and competitive pace. Fuji really suits our car, and again last year was the first time we’d seen that the car could really handle well in the rain. So, if that is case this year, why not have a small shower in Fuji…”
Aston Martin Racing Team Principal Paul Howarth added, “We've made an acceptable start to the 2019/20 season, with all three cars scoring points in the opening round at Silverstone. But we also know that there is more that can be achieved and that as always it is as important to execute perfectly through the weekend as it is to maximise performance. If we can do that in all areas this weekend it is clear we have a package that can compete on all levels.”
The Aston Martin Vantage GTE set a searing pace on its debut in the Am class at Silverstone, with both the works #98 car driven by 2017 Am champion Paul Dalla Lana (CDN), three-times Le Mans winner Darren Turner and Junior works driver Ross Gunn finishing in a fighting second place. This came after the similar TF Sport car driven by Salih Yoluc (TUR), Charlie Eastwood (GB) and Aston Martin Racing factory driver Jonny Adam (GB) had taken an impressive class pole position. Both crews head to Japan with a strong case to make being class favourites.
The 6 Hours of Fuji begins at 11:00 local time on Sunday, 6 October.