Aston Martin Racing continues its dominant GTE Am form in the FIA World Endurance Championship, following both pole position and a class victory in the 6 Hours of Fuji for its #98 V8 Vantage GTE.
After starting the 6 Hours of Fuji in pole position, Pedro Lamy (P) drove a clean series of opening laps and quickly set about creating a healthy lead. After both Paul Dalla Lana (C) and Mathias Lauda (A) had completed their first stints at the three-hour mark, the trio had amassed a lead of over one lap.
Today’s performance marks a second consecutive weekend of success in GTE Am for the team, after achieving both pole position and victory last time out in Austin. Most importantly, the result reduces the gap in the GTE Am title race to 33 points with a maximum of 52 still on offer over the final two rounds.
Lamy said, “I just kept pushing towards the end and the car was in a nice condition throughout the whole of my final stint. I really worked hard to maintain my focus with the lead I had. It’s nice to have another win in our championship but a shame that we still have a few points to gain on the leaders. We’ll just take each race one by one and do the best we can for the final two rounds.”
Dalla Lana commented, “This is one that we haven’t won before despite coming close in the past, so it’s great to have finally made the top step. That was a tough race and although we had a good margin in the end, the penalty for #83 relieved what could have been a much tighter battle in the final laps. We had to make sure we made no mistakes, we did that and that was absolutely a team win.”
Lauda added, “It’s great to win two in a row, following the one in Austin. We had a really clean race, great pitstops and the car setup was fantastic making it really easy to drive over the stint. We were a bit lucky that the Ferrari received a drive-through, but all of our stints were very consistent which really helped to make sure of the victory. It’s great to be back on the top of the podium.”
In GTE Pro, the team maintained their starting positions to finish 5th with the #95 of Nicki Thiim and Marco Sørensen (DN) and 6th with Darren Turner (GB) and Richie Stanaway (NZ) in the #97. Following today’s result, Nicki Thiim (DN) and Marco Sørensen (DN) maintain their lead in the GTE Pro Team and GT Drivers’ title by ten points over their nearest rival.
Paul Howarth, Team Principal of Aston Martin Racing said,
What a magnificent result for the #98 crew. It’s great that our strong form of winning from Austin and has carried through to this weekend here in Japan. We continue to close the gap on the Am championship leader and with two races to go, the whole team is focused on continuing this strong performance and challenging for the overall win.
We’ve also maintained our lead in GTE Pro and the whole team is now hungry to get to China in three weeks. We’ll continue to push and aim to place ourselves in the strongest position in the championship table for the finale in Bahrain.
Note: Press release courtesy Aston Martin Racing.