ASTON MARTIN RACING ON POLE AT LAGUNA SECA
Laguna Seca, 11 May 2012 – Aston Martin Racing will start the third round of the 2012 American Le Mans Series (ALMS) at Laguna Seca, California, from pole position having dominated today’s qualifying session. Factory driver Darren Turner (GB) set the fastest time in the GT category aboard the V8-powered Vantage GTE to score the car’s maiden pole on just its fourth competitive outing.
In dry and sunny conditions, Turner set a best time of one minute, 22.229 seconds around the 2.238-mile circuit to lead the highly competitive 12-car field of production-derived racers.
Turner praised the team’s efforts having judged the tyres and track conditions to perfection: “Getting pole here is a really good feeling for everybody in the team. They all worked so hard over the winter to get the Vantage GTE up to speed and it was great to get the most out of it in qualifying today.
“I’m looking forward to the race, but anything can happen. If we can keep it in the top three, we’ll be really pleased.”
John Gaw, Aston Martin Racing Team Principal, added: “The team has worked with real focus and determination to get the car to this point, so we can be proud having claimed pole position for tomorrow’s race. We were fastest in the final practice session earlier in the day so we were confident that we had dialed the Vantage GTE into the circuit ahead of qualifying.
“The engineers and technicians worked hard experimenting with new ideas and they found the perfect setup for the car just at the right time. Darren did a superb job to extract the performance from it. The GT class of the ALMS is renowned for its close competition, so to score pole position in qualifying is very encouraging, although I think the conditions at the time particularly suited how our car used its tyres during the short session.
“The race will be a tough one, but having proved the car’s pace today I’m sure we can prove its durability tomorrow and achieve a strong result.”
Aston Martin Racing is competing at Laguna Seca – having also contested the second ALMS round at Long Beach, California, last month – in support of its FIA World Endurance Championship programme in order to gain more competitive experience of its new-for-2012 Vantage-based racer. The factory team will field a pair of Vantage GTEs at the 24 Hour of Le Mans in June.