PIRELLI-SHOD ASTON MARTINS SCORE OUTSTANDING 1-2 VICTORY IN GT1 CLASS AT 2006 PETIT LE MANS Panoz Esperante and Pirelli Also on GT2 Podium BRASELTON, Georgia, Sept.30, 2006 With a remarkable 1-2 victory over the factory Corvettes at...
PIRELLI-SHOD ASTON MARTINS SCORE OUTSTANDING 1-2 VICTORY IN GT1 CLASS AT 2006 PETIT LE MANS
Panoz Esperante and Pirelli Also on GT2 Podium
BRASELTON, Georgia, Sept.30, 2006 With a remarkable 1-2 victory over the factory Corvettes at Road Atlanta, the Pirelli-shod Aston Martins took the 2006 American Le Mans Series GT1 Manufacturers' Championship down to the wire, now forcing a showdown at the last round at Laguna Seca with only seven points separating the teams.
The 1000-mile race was a true test of stamina, reliability, and consistency. The #007 Aston Martin DBR9 of Tomas Enge and Darren Turner took the top spot, one lap ahead of the #009 sister car of Stephane Sarrazin and Pedro Lamy. The #4 Corvette of Oliver Gavin, Olivier Beretta and Jan Magnussen was third, a further lap behind. Enge, who now moves into second place in the GT1 Drivers' Championship.
"We had a really great preparation here last weekend," commented Enge. "We did a lot of test laps and it really paid off. We had a great set-up for the car and we found a great solution with the Pirelli tires."
In fact, both of the Astons were fitted with the latest evolution of Pirelli P Zero racing slicks flown in for the occasion. Peter Tyson, vice president of Communications for Pirelli Tire North America commented "This is a really tremendous result for us, winning one of the world's top sports car races in such a confident way. I really want to thank the Aston Martin team not just for the great race victory but also for all the development and testing that they have done with us; they really have contributed enormously to our product evolution."
But it wasn't just in GT1 that Pirelli was able to score success. The Pirelli partnership with Panoz in GT2 has already brought success at the previous two classic endurance events of the year with victories at both the 12 Hours of Sebring and the 24 Hours of Le Mans. Clearly Panoz was hoping to make it a triple with victory at Petit Le Mans. They didn't quite make it to the top spot in GT2 but they did make the podium, taking third place with the David Brabham, Scott Maxwell, Sebastien Bourdais in the #50 Panoz Esperante GTLM after an exciting late race duel between Bourdais and Bill Auberlen in the factory BMW. The sister #51 Panoz of Gunnar Jeannette, Tom Milner, and Andy Lally followed in fourth, having been as high as second earlier in the race.