Austin, USA, 21 September 2013 - Aston Martin Racing will start the inaugural FIA World Endurance Championship(WEC) Six Hours of Circuit of the Americas from the front of the GTE Pro grid tomorrow (22 September) with its #99 Vantage GTE, thanks to an impressive qualifying session from Bruno Senna (BR) and Fred Makowiecki (FR).

In the 25-minute session, the #99 Vantage GTE and its sister car, the #98, swapped places at the top of the table several times, but it was the Northwest and Valero-liveried #99 that came out on top with an average lap time of 2:04.628.

The #98, driven in the session by Pedro Lamy (PT) and Richie Stanaway (NZ), eventually qualified in third position and it was the 21-year old New Zealander who recorded the fastest GTE lap of the day – 2:04.014 – to take the car’s average lap time down to 2:04.919. Team-mate Paul Dalla Lana (CN) will take the start in tomorrow’s race.

#99 Aston Martin Racing Aston Martin Vantage V8: Bruno Senna, Frédéric Makowiecki
#99 Aston Martin Racing Aston Martin Vantage V8: Bruno Senna, Frédéric Makowiecki

Photo by: JMHPics

Darren Turner (GB) and his new team-mate for this weekend only, Oliver Gavin (GB), qualified in sixth in the GTE Pro class 0.6s behind pole position. Stefan Mücke (D) completes the car’s line-up for tomorrow’s race.

Bruno Senna, who has now been on pole for four out of the five WEC races this season, comments: “I’m really happy with today’s result. The team did a great job especially considering that we missed part of this morning session. Fred did a great job to give us the advantage early on and then I pushed hard to secure the pole. It’s great to start from the front but there is a lot of work to do to win the race.”

Fred Makoweicki, who has qualified on pole for all three of his WEC appearances with Aston Martin Racing adds: “Its great to be on pole for tomorrow’s race. It’s much easier to be on the front row for the start but it’s really important for us to win this race. Bruno and I have had three poles together this year so we really want to get our win. Bruno is a great team-mate – he did a fantastic job today and I’m looking forward to tomorrow.”

LMGTE Pro pole winners Frédéric Makowiecki and Bruno Senna
LMGTE Pro pole winners Frédéric Makowiecki and Bruno Senna

Photo by: Eric Gilbert

In the GTE Am class, the #95’s run of three consecutive pole positions was brought to an end as Danish drivers Nicki Thiim and Christoffer Nygaard qualified in second place just 0.013 seconds behind the pole sitter after Christoffer was blocked by a competitor on his final fastest lap.

In the GTE Am class, the #96 Vantage GTE of Jamie Campbell-Walter (GB) and Stuart Hall (GB) qualified in fourth.

Team principal at Aston Martin Racing, John Gaw, adds: “Traffic affected this qualifying session with both Ritchie in the #98 and Christoffer in the #95 car being blocked by the same competitor and Olly unfortunately losing time due to a spinning car, all on their fastest laps.

"We were very close to the Am class pole, only 0.013 seconds, off and it was great to secure the Pro class pole and the points that go with this. Of course the race is long and much will happen I am sure on this technical and traffic affected circuit.”

The Six Hours of the Circuit of the Americas gets underway at 1100hrs local time on Sunday 22 September.

Aston Martin/