Circuit de la Sarthe
Aston Martin AMR-One Development Update – Le Mans
Aston Martin Racing, alongside customer teams Kronos Racing, Jota Sport and Gulf AMR Middle East, continued their preparations for the Le Mans 24 Hours in the first free-practice and night-time qualifying session at the Circuit de la Sarthe today.
During the two sessions, the two Aston Martin Racing petrol-powered LMP1 prototypes continued their extremely ambitious development programme as the team builds towards its first 24-hour race with the open-cockpit AMR-One.
With the project signed off in September last year, the team was fully aware of the daunting task ahead, but it was deemed important to run in front of the thousands of fans from all over the world who support the marque.
Both cars were run conservatively in order to evaluate their continued development. Christian Klien, (A) Stefan Mücke (D) and Darren Turner (GB), in the 007 car, reported very positively on AMR-One’s handling and balance. The data-gathering exercise in what is the first year of the AMR-One programme included aerodynamic set-up work, as well as fuel-consumption and tyre-pressure testing. Towards the end of the night session, 007 incurred an engine problem which is being investigated overnight.
The sister 009 car, driven by Adrian Fernandez (MX), Andy Meyrick (GB) and Harold Primat (CH), experienced a minor oil-system problem, but the car was ready again for the start of the first night-time qualifying session between 22:00 and midnight.
The two-hour session gave the team further time to evaluate the cars and the set-up for the race.
Aston Martin Racing Chairman David Richards said: “We always knew this weekend was going to be challenging given the limited testing to date. We are learning something every lap we put on the cars and we hope that things become a little easier as the weekend progresses. But, knowing Le Mans, that is somewhat unlikely!”
Official partner team Kronos/MarcVDS Racing, with their aim of finishing the gruelling 24 hours, had a successful session, placing 13th in class and 18th overall. Jota Sport in the GTE-Pro category, with their V8-powered Vantage, ran faultlessly and finished 10th in class, just 2.3 seconds off the provisional polesitter. Gulf AMR Middle East was 3rd quickest in the GTE-Am class, only nine-tenths off the provisional pacesetter, but sustained damage from a P1 runner that put it out of the session.
Qualifying continues tomorrow from 19:00 – 21:00 and 22:00-24:00 GMT +1.
-source: aston martin