The Aston Martin Racing team has today begun preparations for round seven of the American Le Mans Series (ALMS) at Road America. A favourite with drivers, the 4.048-mile, 14-turn road course near Elkhart Lake was the longest road racing circuit in...
The Aston Martin Racing team has today begun preparations for round seven of the American Le Mans Series (ALMS) at Road America. A favourite with drivers, the 4.048-mile, 14-turn road course near Elkhart Lake was the longest road racing circuit in North America prior to the opening of the Miller Motorsports Park in Salt Lake earlier this year.
The team had mixed fortunes during the first practice session. Stephane Sarrazin recorded the fastest GT1 time in the 009 DBR9. Teammate Tomas Enge had an unfortunate start to the weekend when he lost control of the 007 DBR9 at turn five on his second lap leaving Enge and co-driver Darren Turner to sit out the remainder of the session. The 007 car sustained extensive chassis and suspension damage to the rear left that will take the team several hours to repair.
George Howard-Chappell, Team Principal, Aston Martin Racing:
"I'm pleased with the progress we have made with the 009 car, the set up seems to be quite good. I'm very impressed with how quickly both Pedro and Stephane have learnt the circuit -- I suppose I shouldn't be though as they are professional racing drivers and this is what they do.
"I'm disappointed with the accident the 007 car sustained. There is a lot of work to do there. We need to repair the chassis but I know that the team will work really hard to get the car fixed and we will see what we can do tomorrow.
"It is harsh that Darren missed this opportunity to familiarise himself with the circuit but I'm sure it won't take him long to learn the track tomorrow."
CAR 007: 4th GT1 (13th overall) Best lap 2:07.346s
Tomas Enge (Czech Republic): "I have driven here once before in 2003. It is a very nice track, long straights and a mixture of fast, medium and slow corners; it has a bit of everything.
"It is a shame I had the accident. I locked the rear wheels under breaking at turn five, Maybe I was pushing too early with cold tyres. When I lost the car I was in sixth gear doing more than 200kms per hour, I was fighting with the car till the last moment. I was lucky it was a pretty small accident and the car is repairable. Tomorrow we will be fighting back."
Darren Turner (UK): "From what I have seen it looks like a really good circuit. Everyone I have spoken to about Road America has told me that it is the best circuit in North America. I can understand why because it has some great long straights, it is high speed and it has low, medium and high-speed corners, which is what you want as a driver.
"I'm really looking forward to getting out on the track tomorrow and putting some laps in. It is unfortunate that Tomas had the problem early on and the car got damaged. The guys on the team are going to have to work incredibly hard overnight to fix it but hopefully we can hit the ground running tomorrow as we will have some catching up to do with the 009 car and our competitors."
CAR 009: 1st GT1 (10th overall) 2:02.072s
Pedro Lamy (Portugal): "This is my first time at this circuit. My first impression is that it is a really nice track, it is quite difficult but it is good and the car is working well here.
"Stephane and I both drove in the session and we have been trying different set ups for the race."
Stephane Sarrazin (France): "It is a good track, I really enjoyed my first experience here. The track has very good corners, fast, slow and we had consistent grip. We have tried a couple of different set ups and I am really pleased because I managed to improve my laps times consistently throughout the session."