Aston Martin Racing has cooled down to the taste of champagne, after winning both GTE Pro and Am classes in a scorching 6 Hours of Circuit of The Americas in Austin, Texas.
After clinching the GTE Pro pole yesterday, Nicki Thiim (DN) and Marco Sørensen (DN) continued their strong form to bring their #95 V8 Vantage GTE home first at the six-hour mark. Aside from the pit-stop windows, the duo led the GTE Pro field for the entirety of the race with both single stinting throughout.
The result marks their first victory and fourth visit to the podium this season, with Marco Sørensen taking his first ever FIA World Endurance Championship (WEC) win.
The victory extends their GTE Pro championship lead to 12 points, places both drivers at the head of the GT Drivers table and adds to Aston Martin’s six point advantage in the GT Manufacturers’ title race.
Thiim, who brought their car to the chequered flag said, “It’s about time we took a win and it’s been a long time since I’ve taken the top step. The guys have done a great job and the team have been working over their limits in the conditions. After the mistake I made in Mexico, it was important for me to go out and do a good job today. It’s just fantastic for Aston Martin to grab two wins in a row and to take both class wins today. The progress throughout the year has just been phenomenal and I hope we can continue that through the rest of the season”.
Sørensen, who took the start, added, “I’m really happy for me, Nicki and the team that we’ve taken the win that we’ve been wanting for quite some time. It was a tricky race with the Ferrari just behind for a large part of it and especially when they were pushing to get us right at the end. My radio wasn’t working during my last stint so it was really stressful out there during that part, but we did what we needed to do and once Nicki was in the car for the final time, we knew we were in a good position for the end”.
The sister #97 GTE Pro entry of Darren Turner (GB) and Fernando Rees (BR) brought their V8 Vantage GTE home in fifth to score a further ten invaluable points for the team’s championship effort.
The British squad also claimed a dominant victory in the GTE Am class, as the #98 V8 Vantage GTE of Pedro Lamy (P), Mathias Lauda (A) and Paul Dalla Lana (C) also converted their pole position into a class win.
Despite losing the lead in a first lap scramble, Lamy soon fought through to regain the lead. Following the move from Lamy, the trio never looked back as they amassed an assertive lead of 1m02.838 ahead of second.
Lauda, who took the chequered flag said,
It’s a perfect weekend for Aston Martin Racing. With two poles and two wins it couldn’t be better. We had a perfect race and the boys did a fantastic job to make every pit stop perfect, even when the conditions were so tough with the heat. Pedro and Paul were great out there and every time I got in the car we had a good lead. Even so, you still have to drive it home, make no mistakes and stay focused for the full six hours. I’m always proud to win as it’s never easy to do so.
Team Principal Paul Howarth, who oversaw today’s operation commented,
Without a doubt. this has been one of the most outstanding team efforts. Every member of the team and all of our partners came to COTA fully committed to win against some of the strongest opposition in motorsport and we delivered. It’s an immensely proud moment for Aston Martin Racing. Three pole positions in a row, a win in Mexico and then to come here and deliver a double victory in Pro and Am is fantastic. The team keeps going from strength to strength and we’re now even more focused on our objectives for the season.
Aston Martin Racing returns to the FIA World Endurance Championship for the 6 Hours of Fuji on Sunday 16 October, where the team will look to continue the race-winning success the team has enjoyed in Mexico and now Austin.
Note: Press release courtesy of Aston Martin Motorsport.