Aston Martin Racing has qualified on pole for the fourth round of the FIA World Endurance Championship, the Six Hours of São Paulo, with its #98 Vantage GTE driven by Richie Stanaway (NZ) and Pedro Lamy (PT).
The result extends the team's impressive record of having scored pole position in every round of the series so far.
In the new-for-2013 format, which specifies two drivers must complete at least two laps, the qualifying time is the average of the four fastest recorded laps in each car.
Lamy headed out onto the Interlagos circuit to put in his two flying laps before handing over to Stanaway, who recorded his best laps of the weekend and put the car on provisional pole. He then completed one final lap, the fastest GT lap of the session to extend the crew's lead, giving them a time of 1:33.340.
Stanaway, who has only competed in one previous WEC race, commented: “It’s definitely a meaningful result. It’s my first year in GT racing so it’s been a steep learning curve. All through free practice we were trying to discover our race strategy so we didn’t really know where we would stand coming into qualifying.
"I’m obviously very happy with the two laps that I put in. We have a great car and we’ve been working on it in every session. It has really good balance and I think it’ll be really good over a long distance too – we have a good chance tomorrow.”
Team-mate Paul Dalla Lana, whose healthcare real estate company NorthWest has extended its partnership with Aston Martin Racing for this round, adds: “Pedro and Richie did a fantastic job. We extended our partnership with Aston Martin Racing for this race and to start it from first on the grid is ideal. I’m looking forward to the race tomorrow.”
Also in the GTE Pro class, the #97 Vantage GTE of Darren Turner (GB) and Stefan Mücke (DE) qualified in third place with the #99 of Bruno Senna (BR) and Rob Bell (GB) in sixth.
In the GTE Am category, #95 car regular Christoffer Nygaard (DN) and newcomer to the team, Nicky Thiim (DN) put in impressive lap times to start tomorrow’s six-hour race from second on the grid with a time of 1:34.585, less than a thousandth of a second off the pole sitter.
The sister car, the #96 Vantage GTE driven by British drivers Jamie Campbell-Walter and Stuart Hall finished the session in fourth place.
John Gaw, Team Principal at Aston Martin Racing comments: “It’s been very close in both GTE Am and GTE Pro all weekend but a standout performance by Richie means we will lead the field for the race tomorrow; so, congratulations to him.
“We now turn our attention to the race-critical items of fuel consumption and tyre wear. Any of the five cars we are running this weekend could be first across the line at the end of the race. For sure it will be a six-hour sprint and should be a terrific fight in both classes.”
The Six Hours of São Paulo, Brazil, starts at 1200hrs local time. Follow the team’s progress at www.astonmartin.com/racing on Facebook www.facebook.com/astonmartinracing or on Twitter using @amr_official