Gaydon - Twelve months after Aston Martin Racing won its first FIA World Endurance Championship (WEC) race at the inaugural Six Hours of Shanghai, the team returns to the Shanghai International Circuit, this time with four V8 Vantage GTEs and sights set firmly on repeating its 2012 success.
Team principal John Gaw wants the team to come away from Shanghai with maximum points so they can go into the Bahrain at the end of November as Championship leaders, GTE-PRO Team leaders and GTE-AM Team leaders.
“We go into Shanghai in a strong position,” comments Gaw. “It’s a shame that we didn’t get to race in Fuji because of the weather, but our fantastic qualifying results enabled us to come away with some very valuable points. We now go into the penultimate round of the championship in second place and just a few points off the leader.
We were very strong here last year and I’m sure we will be this year, we just don’t know how strong our competitors will be. The goal, of course, is to win both classes and go into the final round leading the manufacturers’ title and both class titles.”
Darren Turner (GB) and Stefan Mücke (DE) are in third place in the WEC GTE-PRO Teams’ Championship just 5.5 points behind the leader. A win in Shanghai would put the #97 Vantage GTEs long-standing pairing at the top of the leaderboard going into the final round.
“We’re in a good position going into Shanghai,” comments Turner. “Stefan and I took the win here last year and the Vantage GTE was fantastic on this circuit. The aim is to take 26 points away from this weekend and go into the final round as championship leaders.”
Leading the WEC GTE-AM Teams Championship by 12 points is the #96 Vantage GTE of Jamie Campbell-Walter (GB) and Stuart Hall (GB), who are also leading the GTE-AM Drivers’ Championship. The British pair has scored a hat-trick of podiums since the 24 Hours of Le Mans and both drivers are looking to continue this run and extend their lead over the championship in Shanghai with the support of fellow Brit Jonny Adam.
“We’ve had a fantastic run in the last three rounds of the championship and the aim is to carry this on into Shanghai,” comments Campbell-Walter. “The car has been fantastic and our team has pushed hard all year to give us a championship-leading car. It’s great to have Jonny back in the car. It was such a shame he didn’t get to race in Fuji. He’s proven this year in the British GT Championship, which he won with Beechdean AMR, that he is ready for this next challenge and Stuart and I welcome him into the team in Roald’s absence.”
The #95 Vantage GTE-AM heads to Shanghai on the back of its win at Fuji and drivers Kristian Poulsen (DN) and Christoffer Nygaard (DN) welcome fellow Dane Nicki Thiim back into the team after he missed the last round due to a clash of commitments and was replaced by Bruno Senna (BR).
Senna will return to his #99 Vantage GTE-PRO for the Six Hours of Shanghai and will drive alongside fellow Portuguese speaker Pedro Lamy (PT) and New Zealander Richie Stanaway.