Le Mans GTE Preview: Aston Martin

June 12, 2018

Le Mans GTE Preview: Aston Martin

June 12, 2018

Michelin will have all 30 cars in the two GTE classes at this year’s 24 Hours of Le Mans. Michelin Racing USA will take a look at all six manufacturers entered and their lineups. Here is a look at Aston Martin, which has two cars in GTE-Pro and two cars in GTE-Am.

Quick overview: Much has changed at Aston Martin, the defending race winners in GTE-Pro, as the Banbury-based organization goes through a lot of evolution. Between a new car and new driver lineup, Aston Martin enters this Le Mans with a lot of unknowns. Aston Martin Racing finished sixth and seventh in the new car’s debut at Spa.

The previous generation Vantage, however, remains a potent force in GTE-Am. At Spa, the No. 98 and 90 cars finished 1-2 in class after a great battle. The Dalla Lana/Lamy/Lauda car has long been the class standard-bearer, but a Le Mans win has eluded this trio.

Changes from 2017: Aston Martin’s new Vantage AMR is one of two new cars in the GTE-Pro class field (BMW M8 GTE). Darren Turner switches from his usual No. 97 car to the No. 95, with the pair of Danes. Young guns Alex Lynn and Maxime Martin join Jonny Adam in the No. 97 car. Daniel Serra, part of last year’s winning car with Turner and Adam, now races for Ferrari. Aston Martin has switched to Michelin tires this season from another brand, and developed its new car in partnership.

Test day recap: Aston Martin was only 16th and 17th in GTE-Pro, and Marco Sorensen sustained an accident during the day on the run from Mulsanne to Indianapolis, and said another car was involved. The team has built up its spare chassis. Nether GTE-Am car was top of the timesheets either, only 11th and 13th.

Quotes of note: Here is a quick quote from Aston Martin Racing Team Principal Paul Howarth:

“Le Mans has already thrown up many challenges for the team to deal with this year. This included the build of a brand new Vantage GTE chassis and repairing the #98 GTE Am car which was damaged during the test. I truly believe the team has demonstrated an exemplary example of teamwork and how to overcome unforeseen events. We are all now focused on the race week and look forward to what is shaping up to be one of the most competitive GT entries of the modern era. I have every confidence in all areas of the team that we will rise to the challenge.”

2018 LINEUP

GTE-Pro
95 Nicki Thiim/Marco Sorensen/Darren Turner, Aston Martin Racing
97 Alex Lynn/Maxime Martin/Jonny Adam, Aston Martin Racing

GTE-Am
90 Salih Yoluc/Euan Hankey/Charles Eastwood, TF Sport
98 Paul Dalla Lana/Pedro Lamy/Mathias Lauda, Aston Martin Racing

2017 GTE-PRO RESULTS

95 Nicki Thiim/Marco Sorensen/Richie Stanaway, 9th GTE Pro
97 Darren Turner/Jonny Adam/Daniel Serra, 1st GTE Pro

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