Aston Martin Racing has announced they will change from three to two drivers in each of their LM GTE Pro Vantages. Rumours had been spreading at the 24 Hours of Le Mans that the British team would be making this move, by how have they shuffled six into four?
The ‘DaneTrain’ remains in full force as Nicki Thiim and Marco Sorensen will stay behind the wheel of the #95. Jonny Adam follows his fellow Brit Darren Turner out of the full FIA World Endurance Championship LM GTE Pro seat, as new to the Aston Martin program Alex Lynn and Maxime Martin will remain in the cockpit of the #97.
Adam will continue to race full season in the WEC, taking his services to the Am TF Sport #90 car. He will join Charlie Eastwood and Salih Yoluc who have been in the #90 since the start of the year, offering his experience and abilities to help the drivers in their Am Championship campaign.
Aston Martin’s longest serving driver, Turner, has underlined the driver shuffle with signing another multi year contract with the team. His role shifts to a more senior position, taking on developmental responsibilities for both the road and racing cars and brand ambassador duties. His 14-year commitment to the team only looks to be growing and expanding as he is becoming a more integral part of the team.
Turner and Adam will return to the Pro car line ups for the 2019 races of the WEC ‘Super Season’, showing that this driver mix up is only temporary.
Reflecting on the change, Darren Turner said: “I’m delighted to extend my association with Aston Martin. After three Le Mans victories and 14 amazing years, driving for this brand has been the highlight of my career.
“As I look into the future I’m excited to be able play a significant role in shaping new road and racing cars. It goes without saying I’m looking forward to getting back in the #95 when we head to Sebring next year.
“It’s exciting times at Aston Martin and I’m very proud to be a part of it.”
“As we move into the second phase of the Super Season, it is critical we maximise our opportunities through the three shortest races on the calendar.” Team Principal Paul Howarth added. “By switching to two-driver crews we achieve this. Nicki and Marco have a long-standing partnership, while Maxime and Alex have settled into the team well.
“Jonny remains a vital part of our line-up and we are pleased he will race in the TF Sport entry, which keeps him race-sharp at world level.
“I am also delighted that Darren continues to play a major role. He proved he’s lost none of his speed with an exceptional performance at Le Mans, and his experience and wisdom is invaluable as we continue to develop our still young Vantage GTE programme.”
John Gaw, the team’s Managing Director, summed up the driver line-up shift as “the best chance to achieve maximum points in the shorter races.”
He continued: “We expect to see additional performance from the Aston Martin Vantage GTE at Silverstone, after a period of analysis and development post-Le Mans.
“There are no weak links in our driver line-up and I am proud of all of them. Keeping Jonny in the fold and race sharp is essential, while I’m delighted that Darren continues his exceptional career with Aston Martin, where he belongs.”
The #98 LM GTE Am line-up of Paul Dalla Lana, Pedro Lamy and Mathias Lauda is the only Aston Martin line-up that does not change.