Aston Martin stay on track for title after third success
Aston Martin Racing has secured a third consecutive GTE Am victory in the FIA World Endurance Championship.
The Banbury team’s #98 V8 Vantage GTE stormed to the chequered flag at the 6 Hours of Shanghai.
The results at the weekend mean that the Prodrive-run team is still in contention to win every title including both the manufacturers’ and drivers’ crowns at this week’s final round in Bahrain.
After securing pole position in Sunday’s qualifying session, the trio of Paul Dalla Lana, Pedro Lamy and Mathias Lauda performed yet another faultless display to take their fifth victory of the season.
Following a first corner incident, Lamy found himself pushed back to second after avoiding the melee.
Despite the setback, the Portuguese driver reclaimed his position, allowing him to focus on creating a convincing lead.
From that point onwards, the crew never looked back as they stormed to victory with a final advantage of over one lap.
Meanwhile, the #95 V8 Vantage GTE of Nicki Thiim and Marco Sørensen continued to score vital points towards their championship campaign. With Sørensen also narrowly avoiding the first corner incident, the pair fought hard to claim fourth place.
The result in Shanghai ensures that the pair extend their lead in the GTE Drivers championship and maintain their GTE Pro title lead, with all 2016 GT competitions to be decided at the final round in Bahrain.
Despite both the #95 and #98 entries making it through the start of the race safely, the incident at turn one proved to be costly for the #97 entry of Darren Turner and Richie Stanaway.
After striking a spinning LMP2 in an unavoidable incident, the damage proved too extensive to return the car to the track in time to complete the required 70 per cent race distance.
Team boss Paul Howarth said: “That was an absolutely outstanding result for the 98 car and for all the drivers.
“Now we’ve completed a hat-trick of pole positions and wins, which to do so in the top level of GT racing is a superb achievement.
“We were very unfortunate at the start of the race for Richie [Stanaway] to be caught in an incident but unfortunately that’s motorsport.
“We remain in contention for all of the GT titles going into Bahrain and the whole team is now looking forward to delivering the results we’ve working towards all year.”