Portimao: Aston Martin qualifying report

ASTON MARTIN RACING ON FRONT ROW FOR ALGARVE 1000KM Portugal, 31 July, 2009. Aston Martin Racing will start the third round of the Le Mans Series at the new Autodromo Internacional Algarve on Saturday 1 August from second and fifth on the grid,...

ASTON MARTIN RACING ON FRONT ROW FOR ALGARVE 1000KM

Portugal, 31 July, 2009. Aston Martin Racing will start the third round of the Le Mans Series at the new Autodromo Internacional Algarve on Saturday 1 August from second and fifth on the grid, after strong qualifying performances from Stefan Mucke in the 007 car and Darren Turner in 009.

The LMP1/LMP2 qualifying session lasted just 20 minutes, but was long enough for Mucke to secure a place on the front row of the grid with a lap time of 1min31.160s. Czech drivers Jan Charouz and Tomas Enge complete the driver line-up in 007 for Saturday's race.

German driver Mucke said: "I am a little bit disappointed not to get pole because it would have been nice to get the extra point for the championship but second place is still good. I think it is better than we expected because this circuit does not really suit our car. I am very optimistic for the race as the car is consistent and I don't think it matters too much if you are on the left or right of the front row. After all, we are racing for six hours so the most important thing is to have a clear run without any mistakes."

Turner -- who shares the 009 Aston Martin with Harold Primat (CH) and Miguel Ramos (PT) -- posted a time of 1m31.556s during the session which was held just before 8pm.

"I had one clear run but then the traffic was quite bad for the rest of my laps," said Turner. "It wasn't the tidiest of qualifying sessions; I had some problems with the car loosing traction into the corners but hopefully with the cooler temperature at night we should be fine during the race."

Team Principal George Howard-Chappell commented: "I didn't expect to be on the front row so this sets us up nicely for the race. Stefan did an excellent job in the 007 and we are confident about our race pace. Darren also did a solid job of qualifying the 009 car in fifth. One of the big disadvantages of a closed car, especially at this circuit, is the lack of visibility and it is going to be quite difficult to drive here in the dark. I think it is going to be difficult tomorrow but let's wait and see what the race brings."

In total 34 cars will line-up to start the Algarve 1000km race. As usual, there will be a 20-minute warm-up session in the morning from 10:50 to 11:10 before the 215 lap race commences at 19:15 on Saturday 1 August.

-credit: aston martin

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About this article
Series European Le Mans
Drivers Tomas Enge , Harold Primat , Miguel Ramos , Stefan Mücke , Jan Charouz , George Howard-Chappell
Teams Aston Martin Racing