In last year’s race at Fuji International Speedway, Aston Martin took victories in both the GTE classes.
Gaydon - Aston Martin Racing’s four V8 Vantage GTEs have made the 11,000km journey across the Pacific from Austin, USA, to Fuji, Japan, for the first of two FIA World Endurance Championship (WEC) races in Asia, the Six Hours of Fuji, that takes place this weekend (12 October).
In last year’s race at Fuji International Speedway, Aston Martin took victories in both the GTE classes, but it was an event that will go down in WEC history as the race that never happened. Torrential rain, caused by the tail-end of a typhoon, lead the race to be red-flagged after three hours having completed only 16 laps behind the safety car.
This year, the team hopes for some real racing and is looking to repeat its double class-win from the Six Hours of Austin a fortnight ago.
Historically, we have always done better in the second half of the championship as the tracks are better suited to our cars but the competition is tougher this year than it has been before,
“We don’t mind a bit of rain,” comments Team Principal John Gaw. “In fact, our cars are very good in the wet. But, after the torrential downpours and subsequent red flag in Austin and the tail-end of the typhoon here last year, we’re hoping for some decent weather and clean racing for all four of our works team entries.”
The #97 V8 Vantage GTE of Darren Turner (GB) and Stefan Mücke (DE) will be looking for another GTE race win after defeating the Ferraris and Porsches at the Circuit of the Americas in September.
“We worked hard for the Austin win,” comments Turner. “In fact, it was the hardest race in the WEC that I’ve ever had. It played into our hands a bit – Ferrari and Porsche both had some bad luck – but we also worked hard and made the right calls.
“I’m very excited to be going back to Fuji and I’m hoping that we get chance to race. It’s a great circuit and Japan is a great place.”
Also contesting the highest GTE class, GTE Pro, is the Craft-Bamboo Racing #99 Vantage GTE, which will be driven by Alex MacDowall (GB), Fernando Rees (BR) and Darryl O’Young (HK).
“We’re now in the mid-point in the year and it’s been a real learning curve,” commented MacDowall. “We jumped in at the deep end of GT racing and always knew it would be tough but it’s good to see that we are already mixing it up with some of the teams that are in their third season. I’m looking forward to Japan, I hear it’s a great track.”
In the GTE Am class, Aston Martin Racing will be hoping to take its fourth class win of the year with its pair of entries, the #95 Young Driver Vantage GTE and the #98 NorthWest Vantage GTE.
Looking to extend its lead at the top of the championship is the #95 team of David Heinemeier Hansson (DN), Kristian Poulsen (DN) and Nicki Thiim (DN), who returns after missing the last round due to calendar clashes.
In the #98 car, Pedro Lamy (PT), Paul Dalla Lana (CA) and Christoffer Nygaard (DN) will be hoping to repeat their success in Austin and take the team’s second race win of the year.
“Historically, we have always done better in the second half of the championship as the tracks are better suited to our cars but the competition is tougher this year than it has been before,” comments Gaw. “We are really having to work hard and give everything our team has, there really is no room for error in this championship so we have to keep it clean and stay focused this weekend in Japan.”
Aston Martin Racing