Aston Martin Racing has ended the 2014 FIA World Endurance Championship (WEC) on a high with two wins in the Six Hours of Sao Paulo, the final race of a season that saw the team take two WEC titles and a 24 Hours of Le Mans class win.
The #97 Vantage GTE of Darren Turner (GB) and Stefan Mücke (DE) started the race from pole position following a fantastic qualifying session for the team, that saw all four Vantage GTEs qualify within the top five GTEs overall. It was an exciting battle all the way to the finish line with the Aston Martin swapping places with the Ferraris and Porches numerous times.
“The team did a great job to keep changing the strategy throughout the race,” added Turner. “It’s been a good season in that we’ve had great journey and strong pace but we’ve also had some bad luck. It was great to get the race win and we’ll come back fighting for more victories next year.”
In the GTE Am class, it was the #98 Vantage GTE driven by Pedro Lamy (PT), Paul Dalla Lana (CA) and Christoffer Nygaard (DN) that took the class win. Despite running in the GTE Am class, Lamy and Nygaard qualified the car in fourth place overall in the GTE pack to start from the front of the GTE Am grid.
“We had a very good car, which was very well set up,” commented Lamy. “We felt like we had a lot of grip and we were fast. Chris and Paul did a great job and the safety car made my job at the end easy.”
“It’s great to get a third win of the year,” added Dalla Lana. “It’s been frustrating seeing the #95 take the main honours but we’ll be back to finish the job next year.”
The #95 belonging to the Danish trio Nicki Thiim, Kristian Poulsen and David Heinemeier Hansson qualified just behind in second in class and fifth overall. After leading for some of the race, they finished in second place just behind the sister-car.
The #99 Vantage GTE qualified in third and on the first lap it was up to second thanks to a great start from Fernando Rees (BR). After a strategic pit stop under a full course yellow flag, the team took the lead with Darryl O’Young (HK) behind the wheel. Together with Alex MacDowall (GB) the team pressed on until Rees was pushed off the track by a competitor. Not to be defeated, the team fought back to finish in fifth, just seconds off the podium.
The double-win rounds off a strong year for the team that took the Endurance Trophy for GTE Am Teams and the Endurance Trophy for GTE Am Drivers along with the GTE Am class win in the 24 Hours of Le Mans.
“We wanted to come here and end another exciting year in the WEC on a high,” commented Team Principal John Gaw. “We’ve had some great successes this year and we achieved our objective of taking more WEC race wins than any other manufacturer during the last three years. We will come back next year to defend our titles and take more race and trophy wins.”
Aston Martin Racing’s 2015 calendar will be announced in the New Year.