24 Hours of Le Mans

2017 24 Hours of Le Mans: LM GTE Am Preview – Aston Martin Fighting to Stay On Top

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Scrutineering - #98 ASTON MARTIN RACING / GBR / Aston Martin V8 Vantage - Le Mans 24 Hour - Place de la République - Le Mans - France

The double points round of the 24 Hours of Le Mans was not kind to the Aston Martin Racing team last year. Pedro LamyPaul Dalla Lana and Mathias Lauda were not classified for the 2016 24 Hours of Le Mans, which had a big effect on their chances to win the Endurance Trophy for LMGTE Am Drivers. But the Aston Martin is looking comfortably competitive this season, already having gotten a win and a second place to have them leading the LM GTE Am class.

Eleven cars have joined the Am class for this event, meaning that more of the competitors are not part of the World Endurance Championship at this event. Half of the Am field is made up of Ferrari 488 GTEs, the most dominant manufacturer in the class for the 85th running of the 24 Hours of Le Mans.

Ferrari was the car to beat last year at Le Mans as they took a one-two at the chequered flag with the #62 Scuderia Corsa finishing ahead of the #83 AF Corse. It was a tight race in the class last year, where Porsche took the final step of the podium with the #77 Abu Dhabi Racing Porsche in front of #61 Clearwater Racing Ferrari.

Three manufacturers appear in the top three of the Endurance Trophy for LMGTE Am Drivers Championship, reminding that the Am class is very close in the WEC this season. Aston Martin lead the way with the #98, but the bold move that got the #60 Clearwater Racing Ferrari the victory at the 6 Hours of Silverstone has kept the team in a close fight for the lead of the championship. #77 Dempsey-Proton Racing sits third in the championship after finishing the first two rounds on the podium.

The championship battle in LM GTE Am is close, with only 17 points covering the top three. If any of the cars have a difficult race this weekend it could completely take them out of contention for the Am championship. With Le Mans being a double-points scoring round, it is one of the most important races, for all classes, in terms of championship points for the WEC. The result of the 24 Hours of Le Mans could determine who will be in contention for the championship at the end of the year.

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The Checkered Flag’s correspondent for the FIA World Endurance Championship. Working in motorsport as a hobby and as a professional, Alice is a freelance digital communications manager, video editor and graphic designer at OrbitSphere. She also runs and manages her own YouTube channel - Circuit The World - with videos on gaming, travel, motorsports and reviews.
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