By the slimmest of margins - 0.033 seconds -- Aston Martin Racing claimed a sensational American Le Mans Series (ALMS) GT1 victory Saturday in the New England Grand Prix at Lime Rock Park. In a race that saw five lead changes in GT1, Pedro Lamy...
By the slimmest of margins - 0.033 seconds -- Aston Martin Racing claimed a sensational American Le Mans Series (ALMS) GT1 victory Saturday in the New England Grand Prix at Lime Rock Park.
In a race that saw five lead changes in GT1, Pedro Lamy took the chequered flag in his 009 DBR9 just ahead of the second-place Corvette. The win was Aston Martin's first in ALMS since the 2005 12 Hours of Sebring.
The close-run battle over 2 hours and 45 minutes saw 007 drivers Darren Turner and Tomas Enge cross the finish line in third place with all of the podium-placed GT1 cars finishing on the same lap separated only by 18.485 seconds.
Lamy and co-driver Stephane Sarrazin finished fourth overall, while Turner and Enge finished sixth overall.
Lamy, who is Portuguese, and Frenchman Sarrazin were winners on and off the track as Portugal and France both went through to the semi-finals in the FIFA World Cup.
George Howard-Chappell, Team Principal, Aston Martin Racing: "It was a very exciting race and a tremendous team effort, very well-driven by the four drivers. To have all three cars finish on the same lap is amazing, it was such a close race. It has been a while since we have won a race and it's a great feeling to be back on the top of the podium. The team really appreciate the support from the Lime Rock crowd this weekend and are all looking forward to the next round in Salt Lake City."
CAR 009: 1st GT1 (4th overall) Best lap 51.880s Pedro Lamy (Portugal): "The team did a great job with the car and with the strategy and Stephane had a great race. We had a few problems with the engine which meant we had slightly less power than normal so we were fighting a little bit and I was pushing very hard so I was a bit on the limit but the end result was amazing."
Stephane Sarrazin (France): "I am very happy, great job. The team had a very good strategy. The car and the balance were very good and Pedro did a great job in the last hour. We were losing power in a straight line but we were fast in the corners so overall I think it didn't affect us too much. In the beginning I crashed with the No. 4 Corvette and I spun but luckily it didn't damage the car. We have had some bad luck with the safety car in the last couple of ALMS races but this time we were lucky. Aston Martin Racing came second at Le Mans but we came here and won. It is perfect."
CAR 007: 3rd GT1 (6th overall) Best lap 51.794s Darren Turner (UK): "When we pulled away from the grid at the start one of the prototypes didn't get going so I lost the lead but then I managed to recover the lead at turn one a few laps later. I pulled a gap from the Corvette but after the second safety car I was struggling with grip and as Stephane was behind me I let him pass as I was concentrating on staying on the track. We had a good car in qualifying and at the beginning of the race but towards the end it was more difficult. We had the pace to win but it wasn't to be today - it was a great result for the team, though."
Tomas Enge (Czech Republic): "We were leading the race twice so I am obviously disappointed. At the beginning of both Darren and my stints we were doing really well but then we got oversteer we were just not able to hold the car. The car was fast the whole weekend but unfortunately we lost a lot of rear grip at the end of each stint, which cost us the victory. But I am happy to finish on the podium and I am very happy for the team and for Aston Martin that the other car was able to win the race."