Utah: Aston Martin Racing race report

Aston Martin Racing DBR9s Triumph at Salt Lake Aston Martin Racing claimed a second successive American Le Mans Series (ALMS) GT1 victory in the Utah Grand Prix at Miller Motorsports Park, Salt Lake on Saturday 15 July. The team's brace of...

Aston Martin Racing DBR9s Triumph at Salt Lake

Aston Martin Racing claimed a second successive American Le Mans Series (ALMS) GT1 victory in the Utah Grand Prix at Miller Motorsports Park, Salt Lake on Saturday 15 July.

The team's brace of DBR9s crossed the finish line first and second after the cars ran without any major issues in ambient temperatures of 103 degrees Fahrenheit and track temperatures of 128 degrees.

The 007 DBR9 took the chequered flag. British driver Darren Turner drove consistently for the duration of his stint building up a convincing lead before handing over to Tomas Enge on lap 29. The lead was such that the 007-car crew managed to get the DBR9 back out in the lead after the first pit stop. Enge remained in the car until the end of the race, coming in to the pits briefly when the safety car was out for fresh tyres and fuel. The team discovered an alternator problem at the final pit stop and quickly rectified the problem.

In the 009 DBR9, Stephane Sarrazin struggled during the first hour of the race, loosing second place on lap 17 to the No 4 Corvette before pitting on lap 20, Andrea Piccini taking to the wheel.

Piccini drove an excellent stint and, on fresh Pirelli tyres, pressured the No 4 Corvette into a mistake, regaining second place.

Sarrazin took over for the final 45 minutes and recorded the fastest lap in the race with a time of 2:36.650.

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

"Fantastic result. A special mention should go to Richard Luxton who managed to change the alternator belt on the 007 race-winning car in record time during a safety car period near the end of the race. Again, a superb effort from the whole team. The drivers were very consistent which is what we needed to get the life out of the tyres and a big thank you to Pirelli, they gave us an excellent compound for this new circuit. Great job all round."

CAR 007: 1st GT1 (7th overall) Best lap 2:37.447s

Tomas Enge (Czech Republic):

"Tremendous job at the start by Darren, he did a great job and gave us a huge advantage. We had a brilliant car today and a brilliant set up. Brilliant tyres as well this weekend, they were working right from the beginning to the end. We were lucky as well at the end with the alternator belt, the guys again did a very change and we didn't loose too much time and still managed to rejoin in the lead. I'm very happy for Aston Martin Racing and Pirelli -- oh and of course for Darren and me! I hope that we can continue this winning streak at Portland next weekend."

Darren Turner (UK):

"After Lime Rock where we were strong but the strategy didn't really work for us I was disappointed that we lost the opportunity to win. Here we had a great strategy from the word go and we got a big lead at the start, I pushed like crazy all the way through the stint and the Pirelli tyres were completely consistent. The only real drama was with the alternator at the end but Luxton did an amazing job. To turn the car around that quickly and get us back out without loosing a lap was fantastic."

CAR 009: 2nd GT1 (8th overall) Best lap 2:36.650s

Andrea Piccini (Italy):

"We suffered a puncture in qualifying which meant that we had to change the rear tyre instead of one of the front tyres as we had planned as you are only allowed to change one tyre after qualifying. This meant that the car was unbalanced in the first stint for Stephane but we knew that this would be the case.

"But when I got in the car and we put our preferred compound of tyres on the car it was really nice to drive and the tyres were good for the whole stint which meant that I was able to put in consistent lap times. I really enjoyed my first race in the US and I am pleased that we finished on the podium."

Stephane Sarrazin (France):

"We pitted early on my first stint because I thought I was in trouble but my second stint was a pleasure. The car was so well balanced. I am a little bit disappointed that we didn't win the race as we had the pace towards the end but I enjoyed driving with Andrea and I am looking forward to Portland."

From Salt Lake the team will head west to Portland International Raceway, Oregon for round six of the American Le Mans Series on Saturday 22 July.

-astonmartinracing

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