Aston Martin set standard after a maximum return

The Aston Martin Racing team celebrate their success at Spa-Francorchamps

The Aston Martin Racing team celebrate their success at Spa-Francorchamps

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Aston Martin Racing took victory at the 6 Hours of Spa-Francorchamps; the second round of the FIA World Endurance Championship.

After clinching pole position in Saturday’s qualifying session, the trio of Paul Dalla Lana, Pedro Lamy and Mathias Lauda drove a faultless race to convert their advantage into the race win.

Spa threw many challenges at the team but the team’s performance was flawless with world-class execution

Team boss Paul Howarth

The result ensures a maximum haul of 26 points – including an additional point for pole position - and the lead in both GTE Am championships for the Banbury team.

Despite amassing a commanding advantage in the early stages of the race, a strong challenge for the lead from the #77 Porsche temporarily saw the gap reduced to within ten seconds during the third hour. With Lauda holding his nerve until the third round of pit stops, Dalla Lana soon pressed on to extend their lead once again, equipped with a full set of new tyres.

Team boss Paul Howarth said: “Spa threw many challenges at the team but the team’s performance was flawless with world-class execution. That is probably one of the most important things in endurance racing.

“We now head to Le Mans for one of the biggest motorsport challenges in the world and the whole of Aston Martin Racing looks forward to and we come away from Spa leading the GTE Am championship.”

With Lauda handing the car back to Lamy with a 40-second buffer and the potential threat of light rain, the Portuguese driver managed the situation to the chequered flag and crossed the line with an advantage of 31.110 seconds over their closest rival to claim their third consecutive win at the circuit.

Lamy said: “At the beginning we ran different strategies with the drivers compared to our rivals and I was able to pull a big gap despite my ten-second penalty and hand over to Paul [Dalla Lana] and Mat [Lauda] with a good advantage.

“In my final stint, it was really tough to make no mistakes when you’re managing a lead like that, as you don’t know whether to push or hold back but we took the result today and that’s what matters.”

Lana added: “You dream about being at Spa and racing through the forest and I really felt that I could push. The car did exactly what I wanted it to do and I was able to extend our lead at that point.”

In GTE Pro, the team’s #97 V8 Vantage GTE and #95 V8 Vantage GTE finish seventh and eighth respectively, adding vital points to the team’s overall championship points tally.