Aston Martin Racing Qualifies Strongly at Six Hours of Zhuhai
Zhuhai, Saturday 12 November. Aston Martin Racing’s V12-powered DBR1-2 will start from seventh on the grid for Sunday’s Six Hours of Zhuhai – the final round of the 2011 Intercontinental Le Mans Cup – having set the third fastest qualifying time in the unofficial petrol category.
In dry conditions, Stefan Mücke (D) lapped the 2.68-mile Zhuhai International Circuit in one minute 25.119 seconds to enhance the team’s hopes of extending its recent run of success.
Having been victorious at the American Le Mans Series qualifier at Laguna Seca in September, Aston Martin Racing went on to beat its petrol-powered rivals at the penultimate Intercontinental Le Mans Cup round at Petit Le Mans in October, achieving a fine podium result in the process.
The team now aims to finish at the head of the unofficial petrol category in Sunday’s race to conclude a successful latter part of the 2011 season.
Following a test session on Wednesday that allowed the team to assess the DBR1-2’s behaviour in wet weather, drivers Mücke, Andy Meyrick (GBR) and Harold Primat (CH) completed 69 laps between them during Friday’s two Free Practice periods. A final Free Practice session on Saturday enabled the team to refine the LMP1 racer’s set-up ahead of qualifying, despite a loss of track time caused by a leaking gearbox oil pipe.
Aston Martin Racing Team Principal, George Howard-Chappell, said: “That is the best we could achieve today and I hope that we can be slightly more competitive in the race than we were in qualifying.
"We are confident of our performance and expect a tight race at the front amongst the diesels. Any fall-out from that is sure to benefit us if we can have a clean, fast race.”
Following his encouraging qualifying performance, Mücke added: “The car felt very good as usual, and I got two clear laps in during qualifying. I am optimistic for tomorrow as we have made good progress on the set-up through the practice sessions, so I'm hopeful that we can be competitive in the petrol class.”