ASTON MARTIN RACING SET FOR CHAMPIONSHIP BATTLE ON HOME TARMAC Aston Martin Racing's decision to run a third Lola-Aston Martin LMP1 car at the penultimate round of the 2009 Le Mans Series Championship paid dividends when the team secured a clean...
ASTON MARTIN RACING SET FOR CHAMPIONSHIP BATTLE ON HOME TARMAC
Aston Martin Racing's decision to run a third Lola-Aston Martin LMP1 car at the penultimate round of the 2009 Le Mans Series Championship paid dividends when the team secured a clean sweep of the podium at the Nuerburgring, Germany on Sunday. The number 007 car, in the hands of Jan Charouz, Tomas Enge and Stefan Mucke, took maximum points with pole position and an emphatic win. The result sees Aston Martin head to a season finale at Silverstone leading the drivers', constructors' and team championships but still with a fight on their hands against French rivals Team Pescarolo Sport. The Pescarolo-Judd of Jean-Christophe Boullion, Christophe Tinseau and Emmanuel Collard -- winners of the Algarve night race earlier in the month -- retired in the early stages of Sunday's race with gearbox problems.
Having ceded the championship lead to Aston Martin, they have set up a UK-French battle for the title on Silverstone's famous circuit, albeit with two Czech drivers and a German fighting for the British cause. Sporting their famous Gulf Oil livery and enjoying a seven-point advantage, Aston Martin will be determined to end the season as they started, with a victory that should seal all the honours. Fourth place, or higher, for the #007 car would be enough to win the drivers' and team championships. Further help from the #009 car, driven by Brit Darren Turner and Harold Primat, and the new #008 car, in the hands of Brits Chris Buncombe and Stuart Hall with Miguel Ramos, could make Silverstone the venue for a big Aston Martin celebration on Sunday, 13 September.
LMP2, GT1 AND GT2 -- RESULTS FROM NUERBURGRING
In the LMP2 class there was victory for the pairing of Portuguese Miguel Amaral and Frenchman Olivier Pla in Germany for the Quiffel ASM Team. The result sees them bring their Ginetta-Zytek car to Silverstone with a virtually unassailable lead from the Lola Judd's of Italy's Racing Box team. Only victory for the Italians will be enough to thwart the Portuguese team.
Luc Alphand's Alphand Adventures team did enough to secure the GT1 series title in Germany despite the continued absence of the former French skiing champion. Alphand continues to recover from injuries sustained in an enduro motorcycle fall earlier this year. Second place for the Corvette C6.R was enough to guarantee the glory, but the team will be looking to crown their season with a win at Silverstone.
A typically competitive GT2 race at the famous Nuerburgring saw a race win, and a move to the head of the standings, for the Team Felbermayr Proton Porsche 997 of Marc Lieb and Richard Lietz. Despite posting the fast lap of the race, Briton Robert Bell failed to score in the JMW Motorsport Ferrari F430 and will head to Silverstone with an eight-point deficit to make up on the Austro-German pairing. Nigel Mansell's son Leo was edged out of title contention with an eighth place finish in the Team Modena Ferrari.
MANSELL AND SONS SET FOR SILVERSTONE
Former Formula One World Champion Nigel Mansell will race in the Autosport 1000km of Silverstone. The 55-year-old British racing legend will return to the cockpit after an absence of nearly two years when he races Team LNT's Ginetta-Zytek LMP1 prototype, alongside his son Greg and team boss Lawrence Tomlinson in the Le Mans Series season finale.
"It's going to be very special for me to be racing again at Silverstone where I've had some of my most memorable wins," said Mansell. "I'm delighted that Lawrence has given us the opportunity to compete in the Ginetta-Zytek."
To complete the family outing, Le Mans Series regular Leo Mansell will also be racing at Silverstone in a Team Modena GT2-class Ferrari.
DRAYSON RACING'S PORTFOLIO EXPANDS
Busy government minister Lord Paul Drayson has recently announced that the team will take the step up from the GT2 class to the pinnacle of sportscar racing, Le Mans Prototype One (LMP1). Drayson Racing will compete at the Autosport 1000km of Silverstone in the No. 87 Aston Martin Vantage GT2 car before making the switch to a Judd V10-powered Lola B09/60 Coupe for the Petit Le Mans race at Road Atlanta in the USA at the end of September. As a champion of environmental technologies, Drayson Racing will use the increased freedom of the LMP1 class to continue to advance new technologies for improved efficiency and performance.
Lord Drayson will drive the car supported by young British talent Jonny Cocker, with Rob Bell an addition to the team for the Petit Le Mans race. As the UK government's Science and Innovation Minister, Lord Drayson has a portfolio that stretches across both the Ministry of Defence and the Department for Business, Innovation & Skills. In 2009 he took a sabbatical from the government to pursue his dream of racing in the famous Le Mans 24 Hour race. He achieved the feat earlier this year having already been welcomed back into his prominent government role.
AUTOSPORT 1000KM OF SILVERSTONE -- CLOSE TO THE HEART OF BRITISH MOTOR SPORT FANS
"Each year we see a legion of British fans cross the channel to watch the Le Mans 24 Hour," explains Le Mans Series managing director Patrick Peter. "The British fans love sportscar racing and are very knowledgeable. The Autosport 1000km of Silverstone will give them a chance to enjoy the same cars and thrills at a track close to home."
Indeed, for existing fans or those new to sportscar racing, 11-13 September at Silverstone will provide a fantastic opportunity to get close to the action and witness some exciting duels. The Le Mans Series features the same spectacular and evocative sports cars as the Le Mans 24 Hours, from the stunning prototypes of the LMP1 and LMP2 classes, to the more recognisable GT classes that include Porsches and Ferraris. With all four classes out on track at the same time, there is no shortage of overtaking manoeuvres. Support races include a heady mix of the stunning Classic Endurance Racing series and the close racing of the single-make Radical European Masters and Formula Le Mans series. For those looking for the complete Le Mans experience, camping is available at the Whittlebury Hall campsite. For tickets and further information visit: www.silverstone.co.uk or call 08704 588 260.
LE MANS COMES TO EUSTON STATION
Commuters at London's Euston Station will be treated to the sight of a stunning Lola-Aston Martin LMP1 car in Gulf Oil livery being displayed on the station forecourt on Wednesday, 2 and Thursday, 3 September. To promote the forthcoming Autosport 1000KM of Silverstone race (11-13 September), the Le Mans Series organisers and Aston Martin Racing will display the car that heads into the final round of the year as championship leader. Commuters who are not in a rush can settle in to watch a selection of Le Mans Series racing highlights on a big screen.