Aston Martin Racing has qualified on pole in both of the GTE classes for the Six Hours of Bahrain with its #97 Vantage GTE Pro and #95 Vantage GTE Am.
Bahrain - As the sun set over the Bahrain International Circuit, the four Gulf-liveried Aston Martin V8 Vantage GTEs took part in the 20-minute qualifying session. Two drivers in each car are required to complete a minimum of two laps, with the fastest two from each being added together and averaged to give the car’s overall qualifying time.
Stefan Mücke (DE) was the first to set his two laps times in the #97 Vantage GTE before handing over to team-mate Darren Turner (GB) on provisional pole. Turner completed his laps and, when the two best laps from each were added together they celebrated taking pole position for tomorrow’s race.
We hope we can finish with a podium or win tomorrow.
“It was good to take our second pole position this year,” commented Mücke. “We made the right decisions on set-up and it was a very close battle but on the average we just made it. We hope we can finish with a podium or win tomorrow.”
Turner added: “Yes, we’re very pleased with the way the car has been prepared for this race. It's important for us that we get a win before we go into the winter season. Looking after the tyres seems to be important here so management and strategy will be key.”
Also in the GTE Pro class, Fernando Rees (BR) and Alex MacDowall (GB) drove their #99 Craft-Bamboo Racing Vantage GTE and put in strong enough laps to start the six-hour race from fourth place on the grid.
“Fourth place is a good position for us to get on the podium tomorrow,” commented Rees. “We’re happy with the set-up and we’re confident we can have a good race.”
It really nice to take our first pole this year, especially beating the #98 Vantage GTE, which has had the last two pole positions.
In the GTE Am class, it was the class championship-leader, the #95 Young Driver Vantage GTE, that took pole position thanks to Nicki Thiim (DN) and Kristian Poulsen (DN) who will start the race from the front of the class for the first time this season.
“It really nice to take our first pole this year, especially beating the #98 Vantage GTE, which has had the last two pole positions. We always have a good battle on-track and have fun in the garage with our competitiveness.”
The #98 Vantage GTE driven by Pedro Lamy (PT) and Christoffer Nygaard (DN) was close behind, so will start the race from the front row alongside the #95 sister-car.
“We’re very pleased with today’s qualifying result,” commented Team Principal John Gaw. “We have top drivers in both classes and this has proven it. However, tomorrow’s race will need more than a fast car and drivers to win. We think it will be tough here on tyres so good management could be the winning factor in the race.”
The Six Hours of Bahrain starts at 1500hrs on Saturday 15 November.
Aston Martin Racing