Sakhir, Bahrain – Aston Martin Racing has qualified on pole for the sixth round of the World Endurance Championship (WEC), the Six Hours of Bahrain; the second consecutive race the Vantage GTE will start at the front of its class.
With the sun shining and air temperature in the mid-thirties, the #97 Aston Martin Vantage GTE, piloted by works driver Stefan Mücke (D), recorded a fastest time of 2:00.234 in a twenty-minute qualifying session at the Bahrain International Circuit, located at Sakhir, south of the country’s capital Manama.
Mücke, comments: “The Vantage GTE is running really well here and the team did a great job in getting the most out of it in the technical conditions. The track is very fast but suits the car well and we were pleased to qualify on pole for the race tomorrow. However, the #77 car showed a great pace here too so, we will have to push very hard from the start. We’ve stood on the podium for the past three races, which is great, but we hope to score our first WEC win tomorrow.”
Aston Martin Racing’s Team Principal John Gaw adds: “We are confident that we have the fastest car in the GTE class this weekend, as the track really suits it. And, our reliability has been very good this year so far – especially considering this is the first year in our return to GT racing. Our drivers, Darren and Stefan, have performed consistently well in every round and the team have done an incredible job in getting the car to where it’s at so quickly.
“So, the plan for this weekend was to qualify on pole, which we have done, and push hard from the start. We will do nothing else but drive like qualifying for every lap in the race, if we can use our pace to pull away early on, we can use the rest of the race to extend our lead enough to offset any different strategies by our competitors. We are yet to see the full effect of the fuel economy this weekend now the organizers have balanced the cars better but for sure we have a real chance to win this race tomorrow.”
The 2012 season marks Aston Martin’s return to GT racing; a discipline in which the company had huge success, most notably winning the GT class at Le Mans in both 2007 and 2008. The Vantage GTE is based on the road-going Vantage; the sportiest model in the prestigious marque’s line-up.
Aston Martin Racing is currently second in the WEC GTE Pro Championship with three rounds remaining. The WEC Six Hours of Bahrain, takes place at 16h00 local time (14h00 GMT) on the 29th September 2012 on the Bahrain International Circuit.
Mücke will be joined by works team-mate Darren Turner (GB) in the #97 Vantage GTE’s race tomorrow, which commences at 16h00 local time. There will be a warm up session beforehand at 12h25 local time.