Gaydon - Aston Martin Racing’s FIA World Endurance Championship (WEC) campaign begins at the Six Hours of Silverstone on 13/14 April and, following a successful outing at the 12 Hours of Sebring last month, Paul Dalla Lana (CA) and Pedro Lamy (PT) will now join the team for the 2013 season.
For the opening round at Silverstone, Darren Turner (GB) and Stefan Mücke (D) will be joined in the Gulf-liveried #97 Vantage GTE by Bruno Senna (BR), while Dalla Lana and Lamy will join French GT-ace Frédéric Makoweicki in the #99, with both cars running the GTE Pro category.
The #95 and #96, which will both run in the GTE Am class, will remain unchanged. Danish drivers Allan Simonsen, Christoffer Nygaard and Kristian Poulsen will compete in the #95 and Roald Goethe (D), Stuart Hall (GB) and Jamie Campbell-Walter (GB) will race the #96.
John Gaw, team principal at Aston Martin Racing, comments: “The World Endurance Championship has stepped up another level in 2013. There’s a great entry list in all classes, in particular the GT classes, which will be super competitive.
There will be new cars from Porsche, upgraded cars from Ferrari and we have developed ours over the winter; the pecking order is too close to call.
However, we go to Silverstone well prepared following an extensive winter testing programme and we look forward to being competitive.
We always race to win but, this early in the season, podium results in both classes would be a great way to start our 2013 WEC campaign.”
Darren Turner: “I’m very excited that the 2013 WEC season is getting underway and it’s also great that the first round is at Silverstone - my home circuit – because I’ll have the support of friends, family and sponsors. It’ll be interesting to see how we can compare to the competition after the winter.
We’ve had a good winter testing programme and race at Sebring and the 2013 car has improved driveability and performance from last year’s race-winning car.
We haven’t, however, done much running in the cold weather so it’ll be interesting to see how we perform at Silverstone if the weather stays like this.
“It’s great to have Pedro and Paul as part of the team. Pedro was with us at the beginning of Aston Martin Racing back in 2005, so it’s nice to have him back. He’s a very fast and experienced driver but is also a great team player and a very calming influence on the team.
“Paul is joining the team following Sebring, where he really stepped up to the plate. He adapted really quickly to GT racing and is capable of surprising a few people at Silverstone.”
Paul Dalla Lana: “Joining Aston Martin Racing and competing in the WEC was sort of a now or never opportunity for me. At the age of 47 and in only in my fourth full year as a race car driver, it is obviously a huge step that comes with learning new tracks and competing with the best sports car drivers in the world. But I welcome the challenge and look forward to an incredible learning experience.
“It’s a real privilege to be working with such an accomplished team and drivers; the depth of experience on tap is incredible and I am hopeful that the support offered by this environment will allow me to progress further as a driver.
“The WEC’s appeal is undeniable; an international championship with great events at some of the best race tracks in the world. What more could you ask for? The level of competition in GTE Pro will be intense with factory teams and the best GT drivers in the world.
I’ve raced with some of these drivers at events in North America; they’re all very fast and consistent which translates into tough competition, but Aston Martin Racing has a great driver line-up that can compete with the best, too.
“I expect 2013 to be very challenging with a steep learning curve. I hope to be able to acclimatise myself quickly and contribute to the team, and also to enjoy what is sure to be an incredible experience!”
The opening round of the FIA World Endurance Championship, the Six Hours of Silverstone, starts at 1200 GMT on Sunday 14 April with qualifying at 1210 on Saturday 13 April.