Last Monday, Aston Martin Racing headed into the 88 th 24 Hours of Le Mans, aiming to take its third class victory with Vantage and secure the 2019/2020 World Endurance Championship.
This year, the legendary 24 Hours of Le Mans has been moved from its traditional mid-June slot to a late-September date and, due to COVID-19, the famous event will be run behind closed doors. But despite the lack of fans in the tribunes opposite the world’s busiest pitlane, Aston Martin Racing is determined to put on a good show for the millions watching on television around the world.
“I hope that we can win it this year, it feels like our time to fight for it,” said Thiim. “Just to be so competitive is a great feeling after the frustrations we’ve encountered at Le Mans in recent years. We also need to keep the right mentality towards the world championship. There are a lot of points at stake and for us, the main objective is to stay ahead of Porsche, so we want to finish ahead of them in the race.”
“This year’s Le Mans is definitely going to be one of the most important for both myself and Nicki’s career. Yes of course it is important to win the race, but we are also fighting for the world championship," shares Marco Sørensen.
Team-mates Alex Lynn and Maxime Martin will be joined in the #97 Vantage GTE by British racer Harry Tincknell. The team among those who can challenge the Danes for the title, but in order to do so, they must finish strong at Le Mans ahead of the #95 car.
All three Aston Martin crews, including the #98 GTE Am team of Paul Dalla Lana, Ross Gunn, and Augusto Farfus will benefit from significant testing preparations in recent weeks, as the team honed the Vantage GTE for the specific requirements of the fast Le Mans circuit. The racecar will go on to race at the 2020 edition at La Sarthe while equipped with different Michelin tire options as well as an improved suspension, brake and aero set ups since the cars last raced there more than 14 months ago.
As one of the favorites in the GTE Am battle, the #98 crew will face strong competition from Aston Martin Racing partner team TF Sport whose drivers Salih Yoluc, works driver Charlie Eastwood, and 2017 winner Adam have won three races so far this season and are just 12 points away from the championship lead.
“We set out at the beginning of the season to regain the world championship we won in 2017, and that remains our target, but it would be the fulfillment of a dream to win Le Mans!”, said Dalla Lana, who has never triumphed at Le Mans but has come very close on several occasions.
Aston Martin Racing Head of Performance, Gustavo Beteli said: “This is one of the strongest driver line-ups that we have ever taken to Le Mans across the three entries, and we have worked incredibly hard to prepare the cars for this year’s race. Nothing has been left on the table, but Le Mans is one of the most challenging races and there are plenty of things that can happen that are out of your control. This year’s race will be different because of the time of year, and 12 hours of it will be run in the dark. Success will be all about focus, a good strategy and hitting the ground running.”
The race begins at 1430 CET (8:30 PM local time) on Saturday, 19 September, 2020.
Photo/s from Aston Martin