The first race of Aston Martin Racing’s four car assault on the FIA World Endurance Championship (WEC) will feature two additional drivers as the team accommodates clashing commitments over the weekend of the Six Hours of Silverstone (April 13-14).
As previously announced the team will field a pair of cars in both the LMGTE Pro and LMGTE Am classes of the championship at the Northamptonshire track with the driver rosters for the pair of Am cars unchanged with the all Danish line-up of Allan Simonsen, Christoffer Nygaard and Kristian Poulsen in the #95 car with Roald Goethe, Stuart Hall and Jamie Campbell–Walter sharing the #96 car.
It is in the team’s two new cars for the Pro category that the driving assignments are shuffled. With Peter Dumbreck racing at Monza Bruno Senna fills the third seat in the #97 car alongside Darren Turner and Stefan Mucke to bring back together driving threesome who gave the 2013-spec V8 Vantage its race debut at last month’s 12 Hours of Sebring.
Also returning to the AMR fold after Sebring are Pedro Lamy and Paul Dalla Lana who both receive promotions to the 2013 car having driven the older ‘Am’ car at Sebring. The pair will join Fred Makowiecki in the #99, filling the seats announced for Senna and Rob Bell at AMR’s February launch.
“Joining Aston Martin Racing and competing in the WEC was sort of a now or never opportunity for me,” said American Dalla Lana. “At the age of 47 and in only in my fourth full year as a race car driver, it is obviously a huge step that comes with learning new tracks and competing with the best sports car drivers in the world. But I welcome the challenge and look forward to an incredible learning experience.”
Aston Martin Racing will face strong opposition in the LMGTE Pro class in 2013 with both Ferrari and Porsche also entering a pair of works backed cars after a winter of development.
“It’ll be interesting to see how we can compare to the competition after the winter,” said Turner. “We’ve had a good winter testing programme and race at Sebring and the 2013 car has improved driveability and performance from last year’s race-winning car. We haven’t, however, done much running in the cold weather so it’ll be interesting to see how we perform at Silverstone if the weather stays like this.”
“The WEC has stepped up another level in 2013,” said team principal John Gaw. “There’s a great entry list in all classes, in particular the GT classes, which will be super competitive. There will be new cars from Porsche, upgraded cars from Ferrari and we have developed ours over the winter; the pecking order is too close to call. However, we go to Silverstone well prepared following an extensive winter testing programme and we look forward to being competitive. We always race to win but, this early in the season, podium results in both classes would be a great way to start our 2013 WEC campaign.”