Utah: Aston Martin Racing Thursday test report

Ahead of the DBR9's debut race at the brand new Miller Motorsports Park on Saturday, the team today commenced their preparations with a one and a half hour practice session prior to Friday's qualifying session. All four of the Aston Martin Racing...

Ahead of the DBR9's debut race at the brand new Miller Motorsports Park on Saturday, the team today commenced their preparations with a one and a half hour practice session prior to Friday's qualifying session. All four of the Aston Martin Racing drivers had a chance to try out the new circuit.

George Howard-Chappell, Team Principal, Aston Martin Racing: "Quite a good session for us. I think that there are some challenges, obviously coming to a new track there is a lot to learn, the drivers all need to learn the circuit, we need to learn how to set the car up here and we need to select the correct tyres for the circuit, which is certainly going to be a challenge.

"All in all though it was a good session, the drivers were all sensible, the team worked very well in terms of trying to understand what we needed from the car and the drivers."

CAR 007: 2nd GT1 (11th overall)

Tomas Enge (Czech Republic): "The track reminds me a little bit of the track in Dubai, the corners are pretty similar, you have similar type of second and third gear corners, long corners, double apexes, it is unique here. It also reminds me of Dubai because of the sand beside the track. It's quite difficult, if you go off the racing line slightly there is no grip and there is a lot of sand so you start to slide. You really have to be careful to stay on your line.

"The temperature inside the car was good when I started the session and it is even cooler now but you are working very hard, the only place you have to rest for a few seconds is the main straight. The rest of the lap you are cornering, shifting up or down or braking. I would be happy if we had more grip but I think we are pretty satisfied with the way it has gone so far and we are working on the best solution for the race on Saturday."

Darren Turner (UK): "It is hard to get a good flow going with the track. It is getting easier to drive but I'm not finding it that enjoyable at the moment, as you can't see where you are going. The track drops away and merges into the sand so you can't see where the edge of the track is which makes it hard to commit to the corner. It is late in the day now and the sun is quite low which is not helping.

"I'm sure that the circuit is going to be a lot of fun but most drivers are struggling with the fact that there are no reference points around the track.

"We have been trying low and high down force set ups, we are learning the track and trying to get a tyre to work with the track as well, it has been a frustrating session for me."

CAR 009: 1st GT1 (10th overall)

Andrea Piccini (Italy): "I'm happy with my laps. I wasn't taking any big risks just trying to learn the circuit.

"There are two corners which I still haven't understood yet, but I have only had six or seven laps. The circuit is pretty nice but the grip is very low.

"The major problem I have is that I am not used to driving at sunset and it is very difficult to see the circuit and so it is easy loose your place, I couldn't see some of the corners so I had to back off but it is quite ok, I just need to get used to the circuit."

Stephane Sarrazin (France): "It's good. I have a good feeling with the track. It is a very long track, and difficult with many corners and sliding. There is only one line so it is very easy to make a mistake and there is gravel and sand around everywhere.

"It is quite hot outside but in the car it's ok, we have the cool suits. I didn't do many laps with the car yet but I'm sure we can improve."

-aston martin racing

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