Gaydon, 28 April 2014 - Aston Martin Racing’s four Gulf-liveried V8 Vantage GTEs will return for the second round of the FIA World Endurance Championship (WEC) – the Six Hours of Spa-Francorchamps – this weekend (2-3 May) and Bruno Senna (BR) will rejoin the team in preparation for the 24 Hours of Le Mans.
The Brazilian ex-F1 driver will join Darren Turner (GB) and Stefan Mücke (DE) in the #97 Vantage GTE, which, thanks to clever strategy during the changing weather, took third place at the opening round of the championship, the Six Hours of Silverstone, last weekend.
“I’m looking forward to getting back behind the wheel of the Vantage GTE,” comments Senna. “Spa-Francorchamps is a fantastic track and will be good preparation for the 24 Hours of Le Mans.”
The second Aston Martin Racing entry in the championship’s Pro class, the #99 Craft-Bamboo Vantage GTE, will be driven by Darryl O’Young (HK), Fernando Rees (BR) and Alex MacDowall (GB), who made their debut with the team at Silverstone.
“I’m itching to get in the car at Spa,” comments MacDowall. “Silverstone was challenging with the good old British weather but I was pleased with my performance. I’m looking forward to working with the team to develop further.”
In the Am class, the #95 Young Driver Vantage GTE will travel to Spa-Francorchamps fresh from its Six Hours of Silverstone class win. Danes Kristian Poulsen and David Heinemeier Hansson will return and Richie Stanaway will take the place of Nicki Thiim, who has other racing commitments.
The fourth Vantage GTE, the #98 NorthWest GTE Am class entry, will once again be piloted by Pedro Lamy (PT), Paul Dalla Lana (CA) and Christoffer Nygaard (DN).
“Silverstone went better than expected because of the changeable weather conditions but Spa will be challenging,” explains Team Principal John Gaw. “We have some of the top GT drivers in the world in our team but we have work to do to match the straight-line speed of our competitors. There is also further work to do to get the balance back in the car following the ride-height change required by the organisers this year. Spa-Francorchamps is a fast flowing circuit so more changeable conditions would suit us well.
“However, despite the challenges, we go there, as always, with the aim of winning and we welcome Bruno and Richie back into the WEC mix. We very much see Spa as preparation for Le Mans so we must work hard to catch up with the developments made by our competition during the winter.”
Aston Martin Racing will field its four Vantage GTEs in the 24 Hours of Le Mans on 14 June.
“Our four Vantage GTEs will contest this year’s 24 Hours of Le Mans,” explains Gaw. “We were, earlier this year, given six places on the grid by the ACO. However, after careful consideration, we decided that we want to focus our concentration on coming away with the best possible results for our four works cars.”
The Six Hours of Spa-Francorchamps takes place on Saturday 3 May.