Team will be ready for the big one

Darren Turner will be behind the wheel of one the team's cars
Darren Turner will be behind the wheel of one the team's cars

Aston Martin Racing heads into this weekend’s 24 Hours of Le Mans as a serious contender for victory in the fiercely-contested GTE Pro class.

The FIA World Endurance Championship (WEC) Super Season reaches its climax at the legendary Circuit de la Sarthe in France.

We have given 100 per cent focus in every aspect of the team’s build-up to Le Mans, from garage build to track time, so that we are in a maximum state of readiness

Team boss Paul Howarth

Sixty years on from Aston Martin’s greatest victory, when Roy Salvadori and Carroll Shelby took Aston Martin’s only outright win at Le Mans, the crews of the Vantage GTEs once again prepare to fight. In the front-running GTE Pro class, the Banbury team will race against five of the world’s greatest sports car manufacturers in a 17-car battle for supremacy.

The British manufacturer comes into the event as the form team, having won two of the last three rounds of the WEC. The #95 crew of Nicki Thiim and Marco Sørensen, will be joined by three-time Le Mans class-winner Darren Turner, who scored the Vantage GTE’s first win at Shanghai in China last November. At Spa-Francorchamps last month, Alex Lynn and Maxime Martin delivered a stunning triumph in the #97 car.

But the team is not underestimating the opposition. During the official test on the 8.467-mile Le Mans circuit, the top ten, which included the front-running Aston Martin using a revised aero package for the first time, was covered by just 0.7 seconds.

That suggested Le Mans could be an even closer fight than the famous battle Aston Martin won against Corvette in the final laps of 2017.

Team boss Paul Howarth said: “Le Mans is as much about preparation and focus as it is about pace. In order to be successful in the 24-hour race a team must manage every detail and be precise and disciplined in all of its procedures.

“We have given 100 per cent focus in every aspect of the team’s build-up to Le Mans, from garage build to track time, so we are in a maximum state of readiness.”