Aston Martin Racing endured a tough Rolex 24 at Daytona, but can take some positives out of the fact that all three of its entries made it to the chequered flag.
Entering the traditional season-opening race for the first time in 28 years, the weekend didn’t get off to the best of starts for the works team’s first race of the year. Darren Turner could only place the #97 Vantage GT in sixth in the highly competitive GTLM category.
Stefan Mucke was given the task of starting the race for the team, making light work of the opposition as he moved up to second in class on the opening lap alone. Mucke took the lead after just three laps of racing, but three laps later started to slip down the order, which the team blames on a miscalculation in the balance of performance.
“The car felt good and we had the set-up right,” explained Mücke. “We just didn’t have the pace of the other cars because of the balance of performance. I managed to get a really good start and climb up to second place but I couldn’t maintain it. We know we are as fast as the other cars because we race and beat them in the World Endurance Championship, we were just too restricted here.”
Things went from bad to worse for the team as Turner brought the car back to the garage with a power-steering issue. With the issue fixed, Turner, Mucke and team-mates Pedro Lamy and Richie Stanaway rallied together, putting in consistent laptimes and making it to the finish in eighth place in class.
“The power steering was a small issue that caused us to lose some time,” said Team Principle, John Gaw. “But the team did a good job to repair quickly so we could continue to race. It was a tough job for the organisers to get the balance of performance right. It was the first event in the new championship, but they will get it right. Unfortunately, it was just too difficult for us to be competitive this weekend.”
Aston Martin Racing’s partner team TRG-AMR also raced a pair of V12 Vantage GT3s in the GTD class, finishing 22nd and 26th respectively.