Gaydon, 18 September 2013 – Aston Martin Racing has arrived in Austin, Texas, leading its FIA World Endurance Championship (WEC) category ahead of the inaugural Six Hours of the Circuit of the Americas this weekend.
The team will continue to run the five V8-powered Vantage GTEs that competed at the 24 Hours of Le Mans and at the last round of the championship, the Six Hours of Sao Paulo, three in the GTE Pro class and two in GTE Am. The team will aim to build on its lead in the GTE Pro Teams’ and drivers’ championships.
As the WEC moves into the latter part of the 2013 season, the regular competitors will be joined at the newly-built Circuit of the Americas by the American Le Mans Series, ensuring an exciting weekend of motorsport for fans.
Darren Turner (GB) and Stefan Mücke (DE), drivers of the Gulf-liveried #97 Vantage GTE, are leading the GT Drivers’ standings having won the opening round of the series and scored two further podiums during the first half of the season. Running in the GTE Pro category, the pair will be among the favourites to win in Texas.
Donning a special livery, Aston Martin Racing’s third GTE Pro competitor – the #99 Vantage GTE – will be crewed by Bruno Senna (BR) and Fred Makoweicki (FR), who returns to the team after missing the last round of the series due to other commitments. For the Six Hours of the Circuit of the Americas, the #99 machine will continue with support from Northwest and an additional new partner the Texan-based Valero Energy Corporation.
Fresh from winning the GTE Am category in Sao Paulo earlier this month, Jamie Campbell-Walter (GB) and Stuart Hall (GB) will again compete in the #96 Vantage GTE, with team-mate Roald Goethe (DE) sitting out once again due to other commitments.
The all-Danish #95 machine of Kristian Poulsen, Christoffer Nygaard and Nicki Thiim will be hoping to put right the disappointment of São Paulo with another competitive showing in Texas. Having led the GTE Am class from the start of the race and into the final hour by a significant margin, a minor technical fault denied the #95 Vantage GTE its second win of 2013.
John Gaw, Aston Martin Racing Team Principal, commented: “We’ll arrive in Texas as leaders of the GTE Pro Teams’ championship, while Darren and Stefan lead the GT Drivers’ standings. We’ve racked up three race wins so far this season and we have a perfect record of scoring pole position in both GTE classes at every race so far, so we know the Vantage GTE has got the pace to fight at the front.
“With that in mind, we’ll be aiming to score maximum points for the Manufacturers’ championship. The circuit will be new to everybody, which will make Thursday’s practice session extremely important, but I have every faith in the team and our drivers to get dialed into the track right away. We’ll first look to maintain our perfect qualifying record, then add to our tally of race wins.”
The Six Hours of the Circuit of the Americas gets underway at 1100hrs local time on Sunday 22 September. The first practice session is on Friday 20 September, with qualifying at 1300hrs on Saturday 21 September.