6 Hours Bahrain LMGTE Am news: Victory and a title for Aston Martin Racing
Upholding Aston Martin Racing's honour in the 6 Hours of Bahrain was the #95 Vantage GTE which took the chequered flag in the GTE Am class by a comfortable margin to give the all-Danish trio of Christoffer Nygaard, Kristian Poulsen and Nicki Thiim their third win of the year.
“We are really happy to convert a pole into a win,” comments Nygaard. “All year, the pace was there but so many small problems that were out of our hands stopped us from winning. It really came together today but I didn’t believe we were going to win until we crossed the line!”
“Yes, it was a near perfect first race,” adds Thiim. “We struggled with our tyres in the first stint as the conditions were so hot but we managed them well, which is testament to how good the car is. As the sun went down the temperatures cooled and we showed strong pace and we all did a great job to control the gap. The whole team did a great job.”
Further consolation for the team came as the #96 Vantage GTE celebrated championship success, with British drivers Jamie Campbell-Walter and Stuart Hall clinching the Trophy for GTE Am Drivers, ably supported by Roald Goethe who returned to share the driving duties for the season finale.
“I couldn’t ask for a better team than the guys at Aston Martin Racing,” comments Campbell-Walter. “I’ve worked with some of the best engineers I’ve ever experienced here and it’s given us the consistency and results to become world champions. Everyone in the team can class themselves a world champion too.”
Jamie won his first world championship title in 2000 when he took the FIA GT Championship. Since then, he has had a successful sportscar racing career, which includes a Spa 24 Hour win and taking the Autosport GT Driver of the Year Award. “To be able to add the WEC Trophy for GTE Am Drivers to my list of achievements is a dream come true,” he concluded. “I’d like to thank everyone involved in helping me to get here.”
For team-mate Hall, who first raced with Aston Martin Racing in 2009, it was his first world championship win. He made his WEC debut at Silverstone 2012 and impressed the team by taking pole position for the start of the race, something he repeated at the first round of the 2013 season, once again held at Silverstone.
Since then, Hall and his Aston Martin team-mates have stood on the WEC podium four times, winning two races in São Paulo and Austin, and finished fourth in the 24 Hours of Le Mans. “It’s been an incredible year,” comments Hall. “Obviously, it’s had its highs and lows, but Jamie, Roald and I have been a fantastic team that has performed reliably at every round. To finish all rounds of an endurance championship is almost unheard of. The car hasn’t missed a beat all year and the team has been incredible.
“The last race was tough but we kept fighting to the end and it paid off," Hall continues. "I always say that as long as you are in the race you can win the race and we never stopped believing we could do it. Jamie and I have to thank Roald for giving us this fantastic opportunity. Without him, we wouldn’t be world champions.”
Roald Goethe (DE), who owns the #96 car as well as competing in it, concludes: “I am thrilled for my team mates Stuart and Jamie to have clinched the drivers’ championship, and am equally thrilled to now have a car in the ROFGO Collection driven by two world champions and that came second in the teams' championship. All this was made possible by an exceptional team at Aston Martin Racing that gave us a car that ran faultlessly all year. What more could I wish for?!"
Quotes from Aston Martin Racing press release
Photo: BAHRAIN INTERNATIONAL CIRCUIT (SAKHIR, BAHRAIN), 6 HOURS OF BAHRAIN, SATURDAY 30 NOVEMBER 3013, RACE. (1) The LMGTE Am podium featured the Danish crew from the No.95 Aston Martin Vantage, (2) The LMGTE Am Drivers' Champions with the No.96 AMR crew.