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Jun 15, 2014 - 02:25 PM
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2014 Le Mans 24: Aston Martin Leads The Gte Am Class After 20 Hours
Posted by: newsla on Jun 15, 2014 - 02:22 PM
Le Mans News
2014 Le Mans 24: Aston Martin Leads The Gte Am Class After 20 Hours


With just four hours of the 24 Hours of Le Mans remaining, Aston Martin Racing is leading the GTE Am class with the #95 Young Driver V8 Vantage GTE and the #97 is in fourth place in the GTE Pro class.

 

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The #95 car, driven by the Danish trio David Heinemeier Hansson, Nicki Thiim and Kristian Poulsen, has continued to lead the GTE Am class and is now three laps ahead of the second place car.

“The night at Le Mans was pretty crazy,” Kristian Poulsen said. “There weren’t many incidents during my stints, but some cars are really driving crazy. The car is perfect, let’s cross the fingers.”

In the GTE Pro class, the #97 Vantage GTE of Darren Turner (GB), Stefan Mücke (DE) and Bruno Senna (BR) had an eventful four hours. Having taking advantage of a ‘slow zone’ yellow flag and pitting for brake pads early, the #97 was more than a minute behind the #51 Ferrari and, with an unfortunate safety car, this quickly gap grew to two-minutes.

However, on hour 18, the safety car was withdrawn and the #51 made its brake pad stop before exiting the pits twelve seconds ahead of the #97. With Mücke behind the wheel, the Vantage GTE began to close in on the race leader and, just a few laps later, the German had passed and taken the lead.

At the next series of stops, Senna replaced Mücke and was released just in front of the #51 Ferrari. The cars were locked in a fierce battle for the lead with Senna losing out for several laps but, on lap 255 of the race, the Brazilian made his move and regained his first place position. On the following lap, he recorded to fastest lap of the GTE race, a 3:53.901.

This success was not to last, however, as Senna was forced to bring the car back to the pits with a loose power steering fluid pipe. The crew fixed the car but not before the team had lost several laps. The car continues in fourth place, six laps behind the class leader.

The #98 Vantage GTE Am led its class for several hours of the race but is now in eighth following a similar issue with the power steering fluid pipe in the early stages.

“It’s been a real mixed bag of emotions this morning,” commented Team Principal John Gaw. “We’ve seen some really outstanding driving from all of our drivers and the #95 has, so far, been able to convert this into a deserving position on track. The #97 has been very unfortunate. It has suffered the same small issue that the #98 experienced last night – the power steering fluid pipe has come loose. It’s frustrating when your race is hampered by a technical issue, but even more so when it is something so simple.

“We’re now into the final straight so we hope the race is kind to the #95 car.”

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