Aston Martin expects more Le Mans BoP help

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Aston Martin expects more Le Mans BoP help
Jamie Klein
By: Jamie Klein
Jun 15, 2018, 10:07 AM

Aston Martin says it expects a further change in the GTE Pro class Balance of Performance in its favour ahead of the Le Mans 24 Hours.

#97 Aston Martin Racing Aston Martin Vantage AMR: Alex Lynn, Maxime Martin, Jonathan Adams
#95 Aston Martin Racing Aston Martin Vantage AMR: Marco Sorensen, Nicki Thiim, Darren Turner
#95 Aston Martin Racing Aston Martin Vantage AMR: Marco Sorensen, Nicki Thiim, Darren Turner
#97 Aston Martin Racing Aston Martin Vantage AMR: Alex Lynn, Maxime Martin, Jonathan Adams
#47 Cetilar Villorba Corse Dallara P217 Gibson: Roberto Lacorte, Giorgio Sernagiotto, Felipe Nasr, #95 Aston Martin Racing Aston Martin Vantage AMR: Marco Sorensen, Nicki Thiim, Darren Turner
#95 Aston Martin Racing Aston Martin Vantage AMR: Marco Sorensen, Nicki Thiim, Darren Turner
#95 Aston Martin Racing Aston Martin Vantage AMR: Marco Sorensen, Nicki Thiim, Darren Turner
#91 Porsche GT Team Porsche 911 RSR: Richard Lietz, Gianmaria Bruni, Frédéric Makowiecki
#93 Porsche GT Team Porsche 911 RSR: Patrick Pilet, Nick Tandy, Earl Bamber

The British manufacturer's pair of all-new Vantage GTEs were slowest in class in qualifying for the French classic, with Alex Lynn's quickest lap of 3m52.486s in the #97 car almost five seconds off the pace set by Gianmaria Bruni in the polesitting Porsche. 

Nicki Thiim's best lap in the rebuilt #95 car was another second slower, leaving it ahead of only four GTE Am class cars on the overall grid.

It follows a BoP change that gave Aston Martin a power boost after it lagged off the pace during the official test day earlier this month.

Aston Martin Racing managing director John Gaw emphasised that the Vantage GTE was still suffering in a straight line compared to its rivals, and that Aston needs rulemakers the FIA and the Automobile Club de l'Ouest to "close some of the gap".

"We have some performance to find in the car in low-aero spec, and we are searching through the data to find that," admitted Gaw.

"We expected to be there or thereabouts, so clearly the competition has gone a lot faster, and I think we have to see if we can close the gap and we have to also trust the organisers to close some of the gap as well.

"I expect the organisers are looking at the scale of the gap right now. They want a race of 17 cars all within a second or a couple of seconds, and we've not got that right now.

"I think it's clear to see in the corners our car has good performance and in sector two we're losing a couple of seconds. So some of the performance gain is required in sector two."

Asked what type of adjustment he expected, Gaw replied: "If you look at the boost tables, we're running similar boost to the Ford. You can see which is the more slippery car."

Porsche needs adjustment

Porsche dominated qualifying, locking out the front row in the GTE Pro class with the two retro-liveried Manthey-run 911 RSRs.

Gaw hinted that the organisers would have to consider slowing the Porsche – which was untouched in the previous round of BoP changes – to keep the competition close.

Asked for his opinion on Bruni's pole lap, Gaw replied: "I think that surprised everyone, I think that surprised Porsche. It's boring for everyone…

"They [the organisers] didn't have the information they have now. They got some new information in qualifying."

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