Aston Martin Racing has qualified on pole and in second place in both of the FIA World Endurance Championship (WEC) GTE classes at the season-opener, the Six Hours of Silverstone.
Under the new regulations, which require two drivers to complete two laps each with the average of the two best laps counting as the qualifying time, the Gulf-liveried #97 Vantage GTE, driven by Darren Turner (GB) and Stefan Mücke (D), took the GTE Pro pole with a time of 2:00.566.
In the GTE Am class, Stuart Hall (GB) and Jamie Campbell-Walter (GB) also put their Vantage GTE (#96) on the front row for the start of tomorrow’s race, with an average time of 2:01.531.
The #99 car, driven in qualifying by Frédéric Makowiecki (FR) and Pedro Lamy (PT) qualified in second in the GTE Pro class and third GT overall, with the #95 driven by three Danes Christoffer Nygaard and Allan Simonsen taking the second place spot in the GTE Am class.
Darren Turner comments: “It’s a great way to start to the 2013 WEC. We’re all very proud of the boys who have really been up against it to get four cars ready for this weekend; it’s a lovely reward for them to see both cars take pole. Yesterday was tricky; we missed the first session so have been playing catch up a little. Also, with the mixed conditions no one has an idea what their cars will be like in the race.
"The qualifying format is different to what anyone is used to and our directive was to go flat out. To get a good result for Aston Martin this weekend is fantastic. It’s an important year for us and we want to hit the ground running. Qualifying isn’t that important in endurance racing, but it’s certainly a nice birthday treat.”
Jamie Campbell-Walter comments: “Obviously, we arrived at Silverstone with the same specification car as the one that won in Shanghai at the end of last year. This has enabled us as a team of three drivers to feel comfortable in the car very quickly. Aston Martin Racing did a fantastic job and we all pushed hard. It’s the home race for Aston Martin in its centenary year so it’s a great way to kick the season off.”
Stuart Hall comments: “It’s my second WEC race and it’s my second WEC pole. I qualified on pole here at the Six Hours of Silverstone last year and to repeat it is awesome. I’ve got two great team mates and if we all do a good job tomorrow, we’ll start 2013 off on the right foot.”
John Gaw, Team Principal at Aston Martin Racing, concludes: "It's nice to start our home race from the front row in both classes. However, there are no points for qualifying and points are what we want to take away from the first race of the WEC season. Running four cars allowed us to experiment with tyre compounds in the final free practice session and, in the dying minutes, as it dried, we had some surprising but positive results that we took that forward into qualifying. It looks like we found something our competitors did not at this stage, given the limited running time we have all had in good conditions. We are looking forward to the race tomorrow and it looks like conditions will be favourable.“
The WEC Six Hours of Silverstone gets underway at 1200h tomorrow (Sunday 14th April). Follow the team’s progress at www.astonmartin.com/racing on Facebook at www.facebook.com/astonmartinracing and on Twitter using @amr_official.