Aston Martin Racing rounded of a perfect weekend at the Nurburgring with a 1-2-3 finish in LMP1 on a weekend where the German track was bathed in glorious sunshine with perfect track conditions. The success for the British manufacturer was ...
Aston Martin Racing rounded of a perfect weekend at the Nurburgring with a 1-2-3 finish in LMP1 on a weekend where the German track was bathed in glorious sunshine with perfect track conditions. The success for the British manufacturer was compounded by the misery of main rivals Pescarolo who failed to score any points.
The Astons led away from the start with the 007 and 009 cars swapping positions for the lead. The 007 was restored to the lead after a splash-and-go stop for fuel for the 009 car with just half an hour to go. The 007 car's driver line up is the highest-placed in the driver's championship standings, giving the cars a finish in the perfect order for Aston Martin Racing and giving the 007 car a seven-point lead with just one race to go.
In the fourth hour a sterling effort from Stuart Hall saw the 008 AMR Eastern Europe Lola Aston Martin get into the fight. Hall, working his way through the field, eventually overhauled Narain Karthikeyan in the 14 Kolles Audi R10 TDi to put the car in third place.
After a great qualifying session, the Aston Martin Racing Team who previously led the LMP1 Constructors Championship by just 3 points from rivals Pescarolo Sport always looked in a good position to extend the lead. The driver standings the position was reversed with the Pescarolo Judd drivers Jean Christophe Bullion and Christophe Tinseau heading the leader board 4 points clear of the Aston Martin Racing's Jan Charouz, Thomas Enge and Stefan Mucke.
The Pescarolo started well but was soon in difficulties after Boullion spun the car in the first few laps but recovered excellently getting back up to 4th place. After just 35 laps, though, the only Pescarolo entered at the Nurburgring was parked up with transmission problems. The mechanical problems were quickly diagnosed as terminal and Henri Pescarolo regretfully threw in the towel for the German round, leaving just the Silverstone finale to rejoin the championship battle.
The Kolles Audi R10 TDIs put in a good showing and at times looked a match for the Astons, Karthikeyan put in some laps at a pace that would have seem them catch the Astons but overall the Astons were consistently faster. The second Kolles Audi, the 15 car driven by Christian Albers, Christian Bakkerud and Giorgio Mondini looked in good shape but an incident in traffic ended the day for that car and Mordini ended up in the barriers. The driver was fine but the car suffered body and suspension damage.
There was much disappointment for the Strakka Racing Gineta Zytek when Danny Watts has an off on the run down to the Ford curve with an hour and a half to go. The car hit the barriers then careered across the track eventually coming to rest against the opposite barrier. Watt's was quickly out of the car but it was clear it was going no further.
In LMP2 The Quifel ASM Team Ginetta Zytek with Miguel Amaral and Olivier Pla took the class honours with the Racing Box Lola Judd of Andrea Ceccato, Filippo Francioni and Giacomo Piccini taking the second spot. The final podium spot was taken by the Oak Racing Pescarolo Mazda driven by Karim Ajlani and Matthieu Lahaye after the other Racing Box Lola Judd with Thomas Biagi, Matteo Bobbi and Andrea Piccini which had looked a certainty for 3rd until the last 15 minutes of the race where the car lost a wheel and later appeared to have a seized hub.
In LMGT1, The Labre Competition Saleen S7R took the honours with Roland Berville, Sebastian Dumez and Laurent Groppi driving. The Alphand Aventures Corvette C6.R with Yann Clairay, Julien Jousse and Patrice Goueslard took second in the LMGT1 Class.
The Team Felbermayer Proton Porsche 997 GT3 RSR with Marc Lieb and Richard Lietz claimed the top step of the LM GT2 podium with the Snoras Spyker C8 Laviolette with Tom Coronel and Jerek Janis getting a well earned second with the FBR Ferarri F430 GT of Pierre Ehret, Dominik Farnbacher and Anthony Beltoise coming in to claim third in class.
The Drayson Racing LMGT2 Aston Martin Vantage did not have a good run, suffering mechanical problems around lap 39 which caused the car to pit for much of the race. It did eventually get going but was a long way down the leader board.
The #84 Team Modena Ferrari F430 GT was Leading GT2 but was Struck by Frack Mailleux in the Signature Plus Oreca Judd in a very ambitious overtake. Driver Leo Mansell was in the car at the time and managed to get it back to the pits despite some alleged interference from the marshals who initially seemed to insist the car was too damaged to continue.
The last race of the series will be in the UK at the Silverstone Circuit on the 11th 12th and 13th of September.