Aston Martin Racing gears up for Mid-Ohio The Aston Martin Racing team today had its first experience of the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course in Lexington, which plays host to the third round of the American Le Mans Series this ...
Aston Martin Racing gears up for Mid-Ohio
The Aston Martin Racing team today had its first experience of the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course in Lexington, which plays host to the third round of the American Le Mans Series this weekend. The driver line up from round two at Houston remains the same with Tomas Enge and Darren Turner sharing the number 007 Aston Martin DBR9, and Pedro Lamy and Stephane Sarrazin at the wheel of the number 009 DBR9.
This is the first time that any of the four drivers have driven the 2.25- mile, 13-turn road course which has recently been re-surfaced. Overnight rain on Thursday continued into Friday morning and the track was still damp when the afternoon practice session began. Turner and Sarrazin started, and worked their way down to competitive lap times as the track conditions improved. The session finished with Turner having set a time of 1m19.294s, teammate Sarrazin was close behind with 1m19.582. The number 4 Corvette set the fastest time of the session with 1m19.181s.
"It takes a while to get the tyres up to temperature, and then the track was getting better and better," said Turner. "Everything we have been running so far has been in higher temperatures. Now we are learning to run in cooler conditions and it is not obvious which is the best route to go. The circuit is very smooth, has low grip and needs some time to rubber up, especially after the rain. The circuit is quite challenging, the first half is quick, and the second half is slow and difficult. You have crests, and off-camber corners so you have to concentrate. I probably would have liked it better before the new tarmac went down, but it is just a new discipline driving on a low grip circuit."
Turner's co-driver, Tomas Enge, has already fallen in love with the undulating track. "It is a nice place, I love this track. I would say it is a nicer track than Laguna Seca, and I rate Laguna highly," said Enge. "I like the esses, the blind points where you can't see anything, where you just throw the car in on the entry, hoping that at the exit you don't go off. I like it a lot. I can't wait for the race. I think we have a good chance here to make a better result than at the last race, but the traffic is going to be key here."
Sarrazin had a scare during his final run when he came upon a Ferrari which had spun in the middle of the track. "I wasn't sure which side to go, and went left," said the Frenchman, who returned the Aston Martin DBR9 to the pits undamaged following an excursion onto the grass.
Lamy added: "We were trying a different set of tyres and it was difficult to set a time with that compound early on. I like this circuit. It is a nice track, and when I was out after my third lap, I was fastest. I think we have to learn these circuits quickly, there are no excuses!"
The American Le Mans at Mid-Ohio, starts at noon EDT on Sunday May 21 at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course. It will be broadcast on CBS Sports at 1:00pm EDT Sunday, the second of five straight races on the network. Qualifying is scheduled for 3:05pm EDT on Saturday May 20. American Le Mans Radio and IMSA Live Timing & Scoring will be available at www.americanlemans.com
Also in action this weekend is the Autosport Designs Racing team who will be competing in the fourth round of the SCCA Speed World Challenge GT series with two Aston Martin DBRS9s driven by Tom Papadopoulos and Johnny Mowlem. Their race takes place on Saturday at 6:05pm EDT.