Aston Martin dominate LMGTE at Lone Star Le Mans
Photo: WEC / Adrenal

Aston Martin dominate LMGTE at Lone Star Le Mans

Aston Martin Racing’s Nicki Thiim and Marco Sørensen dominated the GTE Pro category in today’s 6 Hours of COTA, leading the category from pole position through to the chequered flag to take the British marque’s fourth win in Texas in six years.

The No.95 Aston Martin Vantage AMR was pushed hard in the closing stages by the No.92 Porsche 911 RSR-19 of Kevin Estre and Michael Christensen who finished second.  

This second consecutive victory for the Danish pairing sees them take a 26-point lead in the FIA World Endurance GTE Drivers’ Championship.  Nicki Thiim also set new qualifying and race lap records during the weekend which was enjoyed by a crowd of 22,000.

Third place went to the No.51 AF Corse Ferrari 488 GTE of James Calado and Alessandro Pier Guidi who had some door to door battles with the sister No.97 Aston Martin, with Calado surging past Lynn in the last 25 minutes of the race.  The No.71 Ferrari of Davide Rigon and Miguel Molina came home in fifth. 

Corvette Racing profited from its first WEC appearance of the season to put more valuable racing miles on the all-new Chevrolet Corvette C8.R although Jan Magnussen and Mike Rockenfeller struggled to match their competitors on straight line speed here in Austin. Sebring is sure to be different.

The only problem for any of the GTE Pro runners was to the No.91 Porsche GT Team entry of Gianmaria Bruni and Richard Lietz who stopped on track with 75 minutes to go due to a gearbox issue.  After a re-set, and a later return to the pits for a battery change, it went on to finish the race.  This was only the fourth time in the series’ history that all cars were classified as finishers. 

TF leads home an Aston Martin 1-2 in GTE Am

TF Sport’s No.90 Aston Martin Vantage AMR claimed its third win of the season after a nose to tail and, at times, side to side, battle with the No.98 Aston Martin Racing entry.  Salih Yoluc, Jonny Adam and Charlie Eastwood took maximum points in the race to get their championship campaign back on track after a disappointing non-finish at the last round in Bahrain.

The trio finished 3.6 seconds ahead of the No.98 Aston Martin of Paul Dalla Lana, Darren Turner and Ross Gunn after a thrilling battle between all drivers in both cars.  At the final round of pit stops the No.98 emerged from the pits ahead of No. 90 thanks to a quicker pit stop, but Eastwood pushed Gunn hard in the final stages and took the lead with 20 minutes to go. 

The No.56 Team Project 1 Porsche 911 RSR of Egidio Perfetti, Matteo Cairoli and newcomer Laurents Hörr, in his first WEC race, took the final podium place.  After leading the category for the first 3.5 hours of the race, Perfetti was passed by Adam but held on to cross the line just 22 seconds behind the class leader. 

Fourth in class went to the No.83 AF Corse Ferrari of François Perrodo, Emmanuel Collard and Nicklas Nielsen, the result being enough to give the trio a 2-point lead in the GTE Am drivers’ points standings.   

The next round of the WEC’s Season 8 will be the 1000 Miles of Sebring as part of the SuperSebring weekend in Florida between 18-20 March.  

Provisional results can be found HERE

Provisional championship results can be found HERE