Aston Martin wins at SilverstoneJune 3, 2013
Aston Martin Racing won its home round of the Blancpain Endurance Series (BES) at Silverstone yesterday (2 June) in the Bilstein-liveried V12 Vantage GT3, with Barwell Motorsport taking second in the Pro-Am class and PGF-Kinfaun securing third in the Gentlemen’s Trophy in identical cars to take a podium in every class.
The blue and yellow liveried Pro class charger qualified on pole following a lap of 2:01.104 by French GT-ace Frédéric Makowiecki in the second qualifying session. Team-mate Darren Turner (GB) started the race and was able to hand the #97 machine over to Makowiecki with the lead intact, despite having slipped to second position early in the race. Together, the FIA World Endurance Championship trio stretched its advantage over the field until Stefan Mücke (D) took the chequered flag after three hours of racing, some 20.981 seconds ahead of the rest of the pack.
Darren Turner comments: “I started the race on Fred’s qualifying tyres,” explained Darren. “As this is our first race in the Blancpain Endurance Series and the first time this car has run on Pirelli tyres we had no idea how they would last over the duration of a stint. The Nissan got the jump on me at the start but it was a long race so we knew we could wait for it to come back to us and we didn’t want to go too hard on the tyres.
“I could see that after 12 or 13 laps that Lucas (Ordonez) was starting to have small problems, then we came across backmarkers and I think he had contact with one of them. We then came across a bit of an incident where I went one way and he went the other and I took the lead.”
In the Pro-Am class, Aston Martin Racing customer team Barwell Motorsport finished second in class following an outstanding charge by British drivers Richard Abra, Mark Poole and Joe Osbourne. In The Gentlemen’s Trophy, John Gaw and Phil Dryburgh, who qualified on pole for the start of the race, completed the podium clean-sweep by finishing third in class.
A fourth V12 Vantage GT3, the Beechdean AMR machine, finished 18th in class following a strong recovery drive by all drivers after a short delay early in the race.
John Gaw, Team Principal at Aston Martin Racing comments: “Winning the British round of the Blancpain Endurance Series in our centenary year was terrific and the result of a fine performance by the team and drivers. This series sees GT3 cars race at the highest level with strong teams and drivers representing many manufacturers, so to come and win in the Pro class and be on the podium in the Pro-Am and Gentlemen’s Trophy classes on the same weekend is testament to a great performance from our customers as well as the works team.
“When put alongside the strong factory showing in the same Bilstein–livered car two weeks ago in the Nürburgring 24 Hours, its clear that the Aston Martin Vantage GT3 is a race winning car, even when up against the strongest competition in GT3 racing. We look forward to celebrating more excellent results with our customers during the remainder of the year.”
Turner concludes: “Considering this was a late entry and our first time in this championship this is a fantastic result. Also this team was pulled together just for this event so the guys have had to work so hard to get the pit stops nailed. With Le Mans now very much in our sights this is a great morale boost for the team and the drivers.”
Aston Martin Racing will next compete in the 24 Hours of Le Mans, the fourth round of the FIA World Endurance Championship, on 22/23 June with five V8-powered Vantage GTEs. The official Le Mans test day takes place this Sunday (9 June).