Aston Martin Racing are first and second in the GT1 class at Road Atlanta after two hours of the Petit Le Mans race on Saturday 30 September. Tomas Enge in the 007 DBR9 is a lap ahead of the rest of the GT1 class after receiving a wave-by under...
Aston Martin Racing are first and second in the GT1 class at Road Atlanta after two hours of the Petit Le Mans race on Saturday 30 September. Tomas Enge in the 007 DBR9 is a lap ahead of the rest of the GT1 class after receiving a wave-by under the third full course caution of the race.
A record crowd watched the green flag drop for the penultimate round of the American Le Mans Series at 11.45am. Officials were unhappy with the starting field formation so the competitors had to complete another lap before the race proper could begin.
The eventual start was a clean one with all 28 cars making it through turn one - a complete contrast to 2006 when several cars crashed on the first lap.
The Aston Martin Racing drivers got off to a safe start, maintaining their GT1 grid positions of third for Stephane Sarrazin in the number 009 DBR9 and fourth for Darren Turner in the number 007 DBR9.
Thirty minutes into the race a full course caution was called when a GT2 car went off the circuit. The 009 DBR9 took advantage of the safety car period, stopping for tyres and fuel, Sarrazin staying in for another stint.
The team decided to split the race strategy and the 007 car stayed out on the track. The Corvette team followed a similar strategy with the number 4 car pitting and the number 3 car staying out. After this round of pit stops the DBR9s were lapping in second and third place - the 007 DBR9 second.
Shortly after racing resumed, Turner was hit by a prototype at turn one and left the circuit but he managed to control his Aston Martin and get it back on track without any damage. Sarrazin moved up into second place and then snatched the lead from the number 3 Corvette on the back straight.
A second safety car period ensued at the one-hour mark to allow marshals to clear debris from the track. Turner received a wave by and promptly pitted for tyres and fuel, Tomas Enge taking the wheel of the 007 DBR9. The 007 crew performed a faultless pit stop, which allowed Enge to rejoin the pack and remain on the same lap.
A third safety car period one hour and 40 minutes into the race allowed Sarrazin to pit for tyres and fuel, Pedro Lamy taking over the 009 DBR9. The 009 car exited the pits in front of both Corvettes to take second place. In the 007 DBR9, Enge stayed out on the track during the safety car period and received a wave-by to place him one lap in front of the rest of the GT1 field at the two-hour stage.