Aston Martin likely to slim down WEC line-up for Fuji

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Aston Martin likely to slim down WEC line-up for Fuji
Jamie Klein
By: Jamie Klein
Co-author: Filip Cleeren
Jun 28, 2018, 11:06 AM

Aston Martin says it expects to slim down its FIA World Endurance Championship driver line-up to two drivers per car for the final two races of 2018.

#97 Aston Martin Racing Aston Martin Vantage AMR: Alex Lynn, Maxime Martin, Jonathan Adam
#97 Aston Martin Racing Aston Martin Vantage AMR: Alex Lynn, Maxime Martin, Jonathan Adam
#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 Adam
Nicki Thiim, Aston Martin Racing
#97 Aston Martin Racing Aston Martin Vantage AMR: Alex Lynn, Maxime Martin, Jonathan Adams
Maxime Martin, Aston Martin Racing
#95 Aston Martin Racing Aston Martin Vantage AMR: Marco Sorensen, Nicki Thiim, Darren Turner

The British marque hired BMW DTM driver Maxime Martin and single-seater ace Alex Lynn to join its full-time WEC roster this year, the duo joining Darren Turner, Jonathan Adam, Nicki Thiim and Marco Sorensen for the 2018/19 WEC superseason.

In previous years, Aston has tended to use two drivers per car after the Le Mans 24 Hours, although it kept Daniel Serra on alongside Turner and Adam for an extra three races last season.

Speaking at Le Mans, Aston Martin Racing managing director John Gaw said a similar set-up will be deployed in 2018, albeit not until October’s Fuji race and the Shanghai round the following month.

“[Two drivers per car] is certainly the most efficient way to do it,” said Gaw.

“We haven’t made a final decision yet, but I would expect we would go to Fuji and Shanghai with a couple of drivers [per car].

“There’s no weak link. But you have to go with the guys who’ll do the best job for you. You have to make a non-emotional decision.

“It depends on the other driver commitments as well. If we have guys with customer teams, or PR commitments, we have to balance that as well. The guys only have so many working days in a year.”

The entry list for August’s Silverstone WEC race shows an unchanged line-up in Aston Martin’s two cars, which Gaw explained would be due to the team’s PR commitments for its home race.

Three drivers per car will also be used for next March’s 1000-mile race at Sebring.

Gaw was keen to emphasise that many of Aston Martin’s drivers have packed schedules this year, which will have a bearing on who races in Fuji and Shanghai and who doesn’t.

Alex Lynn is combining his WEC season with a full-time Formula E drive with Virgin Racing, while the remaining five drivers all have commitments with Aston Martin customer squads.

“We have these guys in British GT, we have them in Blancpain GT,” said Gaw.

“Maxime and Nicki were on their 12th consecutive weekend of racing [at Le Mans], but they love it. They’re racing drivers!”

Thiim and Martin’s 2018 schedules so far:

British GT Oulton Park – April 1/2

WEC Prologue – Apr 6/7

Nurburgring 24 Hours qualifying race – April 13/14

Blancpain Endurance Monza – Apr 22

British GT Rockingham – April 28/29

WEC Spa – May 4/5

Nurburgring 24 Hours – May 12/13

Blancpain Endurance Silverstone – May 20

British GT Snetterton – May 26/27

Blancpain Endurance Paul Ricard – June 2/3

British GT Silverstone – June 9/10

Le Mans 24 Hours – June 16/17

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