Aston Martin Racing is preparing for the upcoming 88th 24 Hours of Le Mans and remains confident with their chances of bagging their third-class victory with Vantage. If successful, it will seal their 2019/2020 FIA World Endurance Championship Title.
The upcoming 24 Hours of Le Mans is the most unique so far. For only the third time in history, the mid-June schedule of the 24 Hours of Le Mans was moved to late-September. What makes it stand out is that for the first time in its history, to help stop the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic, the much-awaited event will be closed to the public.
Leading the charge in the #95 ‘Dane Train’ is led by (WEC) GTE Drivers’ points leaders Nicki Thiim (DEN) and Marco Sørensen (DEN) with veteran Richard Westbrook (GB) joining them. Previously only Thiim has finished first previously at Le Mans when Aston Martin took victory in the GTE-Am class in 2014. Victory to Thiim and Sørensen is even more special this year because the world championship title is within their reach given favorable results on their finish.
Thiim is hopeful about the outcome, stating, “I hope that we can win it this year, it feels like our time to fight for it. 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 going to be one of the most important races in my career. We are going to race hard and try and win it but we are also going to be thinking a lot about the championship. We have to keep our heads down and focus,” stated Sørensen.
The team that the Danes should watch out for are their own team-mates Alex Lynn (GB) and Maxime Martin (BEL), who will be joined in the #97 Vantage GTE by Harry Tincknell (GB), as they do have a chance of stealing the title if they are able to finish ahead of #95 at the Le Mans.
In the past three weeks, all three Aston Martin Racing crews have been undergoing significant testing preparations as the team aims to refine and perfect the Vantage GTE for the unique requirements of the fast Le Mans circuit. It has been 14 months since the cars last raced at La Sarthe, and they’re preparing the cars with different Michelin tyre options, optimized suspension, brake, and aero set ups.
The #98 GTE AM team of Paul Dalla Lana (CDN), Ross Gunn (GB), and Augusto Farfus (BR) are also one of the favorites though they are facing stiff competition from their Aston Martin Racing partner team TF Sport as their drivers, Salih Yoluc (TUR), Charlie Eastwood (GB), and Jonathan Adam (GB) are just 12 points shy of the championship lead.
Paul Dalla Lana will not easily give up the title, stating, “We set out to regain the world championship we won in 2017 at the beginning of this long and unique season, and that remains our goal. But winning Le Mans is a special dream, and we have come so close in the past. We have the car and the team to do it, and along with Ross and Augusto we will give it our best shot.”
Aston Martin Racing Head of Performance, Gustavo Beteli knows how hard the team has prepared the cars for the upcoming races. Though Le Mans is a challenging race where anything can happen, he still believes that they have entered the strongest driver line-ups that they have ever entered at Le Mans across the three entries. He believes that if they make a good strategy, focus, and hit the ground running, they can be successful in the upcoming 2020 24 hours of Le Mans.