Battle of Brands in GTE PRO

June 12, 2014

Battle of Brands in GTE PRO

June 12, 2014

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The works GTE Pro teams line up two-by-two (Hurrah! Hurrah!) for a tantalising four-pronged battle as the business-end of the 82nd running of the Le Mans 24 Hours gets ever closer.

A brace each of Chevrolet Corvette’s, Aston Martin Vantages, Ferrari 458s and Porsche 911 RSRs will fight tooth and claw for the production-based class honours.

Returning to Le Mans for a 15th consecutive year is the Corvette Racing squad as they aim to banish the disappointing memory of Le Mans 2013 from their collective memories. With a deserved first win for the new C7.R at Long Beach in April, followed by another triumph at Laguna Seca last month, the Michigan based team arrive in confident mood and with an un-changed driver line-up, including Orlando’s Jordan Taylor in the #73 car and Washington DC’s Tommy Milner in the #74 Corvette C7.R.

Aston Martin Racing, for so long the toe-to-toe adversaries of Corvette Racing arrive at La Sarthe with the potent trio of Darren Turner, Stefan Mucke and Bruno Senna in the #97 Aston Martin Vantage entry. Aiming to add a big ripe cherry to their 10th anniversary Le Mans cake, the AMR team’s objective will be to take a third class win since they entered the race back in 2005.

Last year’s Le Mans GTE PRO champions, Porsche Team Manthey, are fully pumped to defend their hard fought crown with a very strong line-up that features former Aston Martin works driver Frederic Makowiecki. Former ALMS winners Jorg Bergmeister and Marco Holzer are also among a very solid looking driving attack for the German team.

A powerful kick will be provided by the Prancing Horse this weekend as the AF Corse run factory team look to take inspiration from the attending Fernando Alonso (as Grand Marshal). Well known to US fans are ‘Gimmi’ Bruni, Toni Vilander and Giancarlo Fisichella who form a stellar trio in the #51 entered Ferrari 458 Italia. Former works Corvette ace Olivier Beretta spearheads the sister car along with works Ferrari GT driver Davide Rigon and British rookie James Calado.

The sole privateer entry in the GTE PRO class comes from the UK with RAM Racing entering a 458 for Irish hotshoe Matt Griffin, Portugal’s Alvaro Parente and Italy’s Federico Leo.

Every one of the nine Michelin-shod GTE PRO entries has a genuine chance of making it on to the top step of the podium this weekend and after last year’s memorable scrap between Aston Martin and Porsche, do not be surprised to find that the ‘battle of the brands’ delivers an epic four-way fight all the way to the chequered flag.


Corvette Racing

Key Feature: Consistency in driver line-up

Secret Weapon(s): Doug Fehan management master strokes and new direct injection power

Post-race winning Headline: Debut 24-hour win for C7.R….8th class title for Corvette Racing


Aston Martin Racing

Key Feature: Slick pit/strategy calls

Secret Weapon: Darren Turner – AKA: Mr Aston

Post-race winning Headline: Hat-trick heroes sign off epic decade at Le Mans


Manthey Porsche

Key Feature: Slippery low-downforce aero

Secret Weapon: ‘Fred Mako’…tres rapido!

Post-race winning Headline: Double delight for Porsche!


AF Corse Ferrari

Key Feature: Bullet proof reliability

Secret Weapon: ‘Gimmi’ Bruni

Post-race winning Headline: Prancing Horse defies form and odds

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