Fourth start of Young Driver AMR at the 24 hours of Le Mans; Young Driver AMR starts in the class with the highest competition; Class victory goal for Young Driver AMR at Le Mans.
Young Driver AMR faces the toughest, longest and most emotional challenge of the season at this weekend’s 24 hours of Le Mans in France. For the fourth time since 2010, Young Driver AMR will take part in the most famous endurance in the world. Kristian Poulsen, David Heinemeier Hansson and Nicki Thiim will drive the Aston Martin Racing entered Young Driver AMR-Aston Martin Vantage GTE in the GTE-AM-class.
Poulsen, Heinemeier Hansson and Thiim have been success earlier in the season when they shared the Young Driver AMR-Aston Martin at the FIA World Endurance Championship (FIA WEC) opening round at Silverstone and took a class victory. Poulsen is the most experienced and successful driver of the Young Driver AMR trio at Le Mans: He won the LMP2 class on his Le Mans debut in 2009 and competed three times at Le Mans. Heinemeier Hansson finished second in LMP2 at his second appearance at “La Sarthe” last year. Thiim, reigning winner of the 24 hours of the Nürburgring, makes his Le Mans debut with Young Driver AMR this year.
The victory in the GTE-Am class for privateers is the goal for Young Driver AMR this year, but it was never more difficult to archive. The GTE-Am is the biggest and most competitive class on the grid and with 19 cars of the overall 55 entries in the race. Young Driver AMR faces almost three times more competitors at Le Mans compared to a usual FIA WEC round. Le Mans is not only the most important race in it’s sport, but also rewards the winner with double championship points for the FIA WEC.
The return to Le Mans is very tough to everybody with Young Driver AMR. „It’s certainly not easy to return to Le Mans after all what happened to us last year“, Young Driver AMR´s Jan Struve says. „We will race this weekend in the memory of Allan Simonsen. He will always be in our hearts and will racing with us. We are very sure he will be watching us this weekend.“ The team plans a private ceremony on Sunday afternoon after the race in memory of Allan Simonsen.
Christoffer Nygaard, fourth driver of Young Driver AMR, will also race at Le Mans and will share the sister car of Aston Martin Racing with Paul Dalla Lana and Pedro Lamy, his teammates in the first two FIA WEC rounds.
The build up to the race, which will start Saturday, 15:00 hours in front of a crowd of more then 250.000 spectators, is an event for itself. The Young Driver AMR-Aston Martin Vantage successfully passed the technical checks on Monday afternoon, the practise and qualifying sessions take place Wednesday and Thursday evening.
Jan Struve, Young Driver AMR team principal: „We have quite some experience at Le Mans in the meantime, as this is our fourth participation and we know how hard and difficult this race is. 24 hours is a long time and you can never be sure. In terms of performance we saw that we are still lacking some pace. We are down on top speed, but were re-allowed a bigger fuel tank, which helps a bit. This year, the GTE-AM is the biggest class at Le Mans and we really need a 110% job of the team and the drivers to be successful at the end.”
Nicki Thiim: „I’m feeling like a kid, that get’s his first bike. I followed this race for years and also my father raced at the Le Mans in a Group C car when I was two years old. Everybody tells me what a great event Le Mans and I really can’t wait to experience it myself. At the test day some ten days ago I drove at Le Mans for the first time and it was amazing. In the first part with the long straights you think it’s not so challenging, but then the fun begins. Overall, the track makes you pretty much speechless.”
Kristian Poulsen: „This year our class at Le Mans will be epic. We have 18 competitors and race in the biggest class of the race. It didn’t take part in the pre test, but from what I saw so far, the Ferraris will be very strong. You can never out role Porsche and also our sister car with Christoffer will be very quick. At the first race Silverstone we won the race not on outright speed, but on consistency and on strategy. This is also very important, plus we have a quick and reliable car, so I’m pretty confident for the race. But at Le Mans, simply everything can happen as this is such a long and complex race.“
David Heinemeier Hansson: “The test day went great. We were able to test a long list of setup tweaks, so while the car still wasn't up there in peak pace, we're confident in the car. Particular of note was how easy it was to drive. So important when you have to go at it for 24 hours with no mistakes. This will be my 3rd 24 hours of Le Mans race, and I couldn't be happier to do it with Young Driver AMR. A special thanks to team owner Jan Struve for putting this wonderful program together. We're going to light the fuse on this Danish Dynamite Aston Martin come Saturday at 15:00!
Young Driver AMR