Aston Martin Racing made an impressive start to their 2013 FIA World Endurance Championship assault as they locked out the top two positions in both the GTE Pro and GTE Am classes at Silverstone today.
With average times taken from two drivers per car over two laps the #97 Vantage GTE piloted by Darren Turner and Stefan Mucke shot to the top of the timesheets for the Pro class with a time of 2:00.566 following a shaky start to the weekend after an engine change and limited practice running on Friday.
Qualifying duties for the #99 car fell to Pedro Lamy and Frederic Makowiecki who finished the session 0.206 seconds behind the average time of the #97 car.
“It’s a great way to start to the 2013 WEC” commented Turner. “We’re all very proud of the boys who have really been up against it to get four cars ready for this weekend; it’s a lovely reward for them to see both cars take pole.
“Yesterday was tricky; we missed the first session so have been playing catch up a little. Also, with the mixed conditions no one has an idea what their cars will be like in the race.”
He added: “Qualifying isn’t that important in endurance racing, but it’s certainly a nice birthday treat.”
The GTE Am class saw an impressive performance from Stuart Hall and Jamie Campbell-Walter who finished just 0.386 seconds behind their GTE Pro team-mates in the #99 car.
Campbell-Walter commented “We arrived at Silverstone with the same specification car as the one that won in Shanghai at the end of last year. This has enabled us as a team of three drivers to feel comfortable in the car very quickly.”
The #95 car completed the full sweep for AMR as Chrisoffer Nygaard and Allan Simonsen took second place in the GTE Am class.
Team Principal John Gaw was happy with the performance of the team but remained grounded ahead of the race tomorrow. “It’s nice to start our home race from the front row in both classes. However, there are no points for qualifying and points are what we want to take away from the first race of the WEC season.
“Running four cars allowed us to experiment with tyre compounds in the final free practice session and, in the dying minutes, as it dried, we had some surprising but positive results that we took that forward into qualifying.
“It looks like we found something our competitors did not at this stage, given the limited running time we have all had in good conditions. We are looking forward to the race tomorrow and it looks like conditions will be favourable“