Aston Martin begins its most ambitious 24 Hours of Le Mans at official test day

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All five of Gulf-liveried Vantage GTEs take part in the official pre-race test session

Le Mans, 9 June 2013 – Aston Martin Racing will embark on its largest and most ambitious 24 Hours of Le Mans campaign today (9 June) as it takes part in the official pre-race test session with all five of its Gulf-liveried Vantage GTEs, the 15 works team drivers competing in the race and a further two reserve drivers.

Aston Martin Racing Aston Martin Vantage GTE cars
Aston Martin Racing Aston Martin Vantage GTE cars

Photo by: Eric Gilbert

The official test session is held for teams to prepare their cars ahead of the race, which is considered one of the most gruelling and demanding motorsport events in the world. The five V8-powered Vantage GTEs, which are based on Aston Martin’s sportiest road car, will take to the famous Circuit de la Sarthe at 09:00 hrs local time and, as well as making sure the car and team are well prepared, the drivers seek to get as much time behind the wheel as possible ahead of the 24-hour race on 22/23 June.

As Aston Martin celebrates its centenary year its motorsport team, Aston Martin Racing, has entered five cars into the race, which is its largest works team entry to date. The team has its sights set on the podium in both the GTE Pro and GTE Am classes.

John Gaw, Team Principal at Aston Martin Racing comments: “It’s exciting to be back at the Circuit de la Sarthe and we come here in a strong position. The double class win at Silverstone in April followed by our double podium at Spa last month proves that we are very competitive.

“However, there is a lot of work to be done to get the class podiums that we are aiming for. It is extremely competitive and we are sure that the other GTE teams will be well prepared. This test session marks the start of two challenging but exciting weeks for Aston Martin Racing following weeks of preparation back in the UK by our hard-working team.

“Today we will be running a new Le Mans-specific aero package on our cars. We completed a shakedown last week but this will be the first time we will really see how it affects performance. Having this time on track ahead of the 24-hour race is obviously invaluable to us but the test day really is an event in itself – there are thousands of spectators who come here to see the cars that will race in two weeks’ time take to the track. We are proud to be responsible for five of the 56 cars on the grid this year and hope that fans enjoy joining us in what is set to be a fantastic fortnight of motorsport.”

Aston Martin Racing Aston Martin Vantage GTE cars
Aston Martin Racing Aston Martin Vantage GTE cars

Photo by: Eric Gilbert

In the #97 car, which celebrated an FIA World Endurance Championship (WEC) race win at Silverstone in April, Aston Martin’s long-standing drivers Darren Turner (GB) and Stefan Mücke (D) will be joined by Peter Dumbreck (GB). In the #99 car, French GT-ace Frédéric Makowiecki and Formula One star Bruno Senna (BR) will be joined by British driver Rob Bell and, completing the Pro car line-up, in car #98, Pedro Lamy (PT) and Paul Dalla Lana (CN) will be joined by Bill Auberlan (USA), who will drive for the team for the first time today.

In the first of the two Am cars – the FIA WEC championship-leading #95 – the Danish trio of Allan Simonsen, Kristian Poulsen and Christoffer Nygaard, who enjoyed a class win at the Six Hours of Silverstone and a second place finish at the Six Hours of Spa, will once again come together to prepare for a race-winning challenge. Alongside them Jamie Campbell-Walter (GB), Stuart Hall (GB) and Roald Goethe (D) will complete the test session in the #96 Vantage GTE.

Also testing today will be Aston Martin Racing’s 24 Hours of Le Mans reserve drivers Jonny Adam (GB) and Richie Stanaway (NZ) who, alongside Dalla Lana, must complete ten laps each in order to qualify to take part in the 24-hour race, as they have not raced here before.

Aston Martin

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Series LEMANS
Article type Testing report
Tags 24, 24 hours of le mans, 24h, TEST, aston martin, gte, lemans, le mans, vantage