Portland: LMGT1 - Aston Martin spotlight

ASTON MARTINS ENJOYING RUN UP FRONT IN GT1 PORTLAND (July 17, 2006) - After 12 races of Corvette yellow at the head of the American Le Mans Series' GT1 field, there's a new color out front - Aston Martin Racing green. The...

ASTON MARTINS ENJOYING RUN UP FRONT IN GT1

PORTLAND (July 17, 2006) - After 12 races of Corvette yellow at the head of the American Le Mans Series' GT1 field, there's a new color out front - Aston Martin Racing green. The British marque is riding a two-race winning streak heading into the Portland Grand Prix presented by Les Schwab.

The last two rounds of the Series schedule has seen one of the team's Aston Martin DBR9s on the top step of the class podium. That includes a 1-2 finish at last weekend's Utah Grand Prix, the first such finish for the team since entering the American Le Mans Series at Sebring last year.

After seeing the Corvettes dominate in 2005 and through the first three races of this season (and at the 24 Hours of Le Mans), Aston Martin is the team streaking now. First it was Pedro Lamy and Stephane Sarrazin winning at Lime Rock Park at the start of the month. At the new Miller Motorsports Park, Darren Turner and Tomas Enge both earned their third career Series victories.

"We had a brilliant set up. Brilliant tires, as well," Enge said. "They were working right from the beginning to the end."

The Utah win proved a couple of things to the Aston Martin team and the other teams in the Series. For one, the team's Pirelli tires held up well under the intense heat on the fresh Miller asphalt. Secondly, the Aston Martin pit crew averted disaster by quickly changing an alternator belt during a late-race yellow flag pit stop. In a Series where races are routinely won in the pits, the Aston Martin team performed when it needed.

"Fantastic result. A special mention should go to Richard Luxton who managed to change the alternator belt on the 007 race-winning car in record time," said team principal George Howard-Chappell. "Again, a superb effort from the whole team. The drivers were very consistent which is what we needed to get the life out of the tires. (Pirelli) gave us an excellent compound for this new circuit. Great job all round."

Another similar performance from the team and tires will be in order this weekend in Portland. Temperatures are expected to rise into the 90s on Thursday and Friday and eclipse the 100-degree mark for the race.

The Portland Grand Prix presented by Les Schwab, the sixth race of the 2006 American Le Mans Series season, is scheduled for 6 p.m. PDT on Saturday, July 22. CBS Sports will broadcast the race from 3 to 5 p.m. EDT on Sunday, July 23. Qualifying is set for 3:35 p.m. PDT on Friday, July 21. American Le Mans Radio will have live coverage at americanlemans.com, which also will feature IMSA Live Timing & Scoring.

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About this article
Series ALMS
Drivers Tomas Enge , Darren Turner , Stéphane Sarrazin , Pedro Lamy , George Howard-Chappell
Teams Aston Martin Racing