Portland: Aston Martin race report

Second and Fourth for Aston Martin Racing at Portland Tomas Enge, driving with an injured hand, teamed with Darren Turner in the Aston Martin DBR9 No. 007 to finish second in GT1 class at the Portland Grand Prix on Saturday. Pedro Lamy and ...

Second and Fourth for Aston Martin Racing at Portland

Tomas Enge, driving with an injured hand, teamed with Darren Turner in the Aston Martin DBR9 No. 007 to finish second in GT1 class at the Portland Grand Prix on Saturday. Pedro Lamy and Stephane Sarrazin drove DBR9 No. 009 to a fourth-place finish.

The race started awkwardly as several prototypes made contact in turns one and two, allowing Enge to move up to second place in class. On lap four, Enge let Lamy go by, as Lamy was turning quicker lap times.

On the back chicane of lap 26, DBR9 009 suffered a tyre puncture and was forced to make an unscheduled pit stop. Unfortunately, the 009 was given a one-minute stop-and-go penalty because an unauthorised crew member touched the car during refuelling. As a result, 009 went from second to fourth place.

Enge pitted on lap 49 for tyres and fuel, losing time entering the pits behind a Corvette that was driving in the middle lane of pit road. Enge's view was restricted and he overshot the pit box. The crew pulled the car back in order to complete the stop, losing valuable time. Darren Turner took over at the wheel and rejoined in third.

Later, the No. 3 Corvette had a long pit stop which enabled the 007 car to move into second by a large enough margin that, when Turner brought the DBR9 in for a final stop, he was able to maintain second place.

George Howard-Chappell, Team Principal, Aston Martin Racing:

"We had tough conditions this weekend, given the extreme heat, but I'm proud of the second-place finish and the team's collective effort. The tyre puncture on 009 really hurt us and, in essence, took that car out of contention.

"We need to keep working hard to find more performance. Even with the 'balance of performance' that is part of GT1 -- it is a handicap-based class -- we're still not as competitive as we should be. We'll go back and make a more detailed analysis of our cars and see what we can do."

Tomas Enge (Czech Republic):

"The first corner is really tight and some of the prototypes came together. The car in front of me braked sharply and I hit the back of it but luckily it didn't affect the car and I came out of the corner in second. Pedro was behind me and I knew that he was quicker so I let him past and managed to do very consistent laps for the rest of my stint. I'm happy that I was able to drive with my broken hand and score points.

"I want to thank Andrea (Piccini) because he came out here to help us this weekend. The circumstances in the race didn't allow him to drive but he really helped us to set the car up earlier in the week."

Darren Turner (UK):

"I'm a bit surprised we are second as we were quite far behind the No. 3 car but I think they had a problem in the pits. That opened the door for us. Tomas had a great start in the car and first stint. It is a shame that Andrea didn't get to drive but it was good to work with him again."

Andrea Piccini (Italy):

"Whenever you come to a track you want to race but I'm glad that Tomas was able to drive as he is competing here for championship points. Of course I'm a little disappointed but I was happy to get the call from the team and I knew when I came here that if Tomas was okay I would not drive."

Pedro Lamy (Portugal):

"The beginning of the race was good but then I had a puncture on the last chicane so I had to come into the pits. We didn't have the best car here at this track but hopefully the next race it will be better."

Stephane Sarrazin (France):

"I had a frustrating race. By the time I got in the car we were a lap down and we didn't have a chance to catch up. The car ran consistently but we just weren't gaining any ground."

-astonmartin

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About this article
Series ALMS
Drivers Andrea Piccini , Tomas Enge , Darren Turner , Stéphane Sarrazin , Pedro Lamy , George Howard-Chappell
Teams Aston Martin Racing