Finishing third on its very first attempt at the 24 Hours of Le Mans is Aston Martin Racing’s Vantage GTE, which is new for 2012. The V8-powered racer with the No. 97 covered 332 laps or nearly 3,000 miles of the 8.5-mile Circuit de la Sarthe, earning it the third place in the GTE Pro category. It didn’t run into any technical difficulties.
According to David Richards, Chairman of Aston Martin, Le Mans is generally regarded as one of the most special events of the year and is the world’s greatest motor race. The fact that Aston Martin entered the race with a new GTE car and took third place is a tremendous recognition for the team as well as to the Aston Martin product and everyone that had backed them up.
This marks the first time for its two drivers, Stefan Mücke and Adrian Fernandez, compete in a GTE car. However, Darren Turner is a Le Mans leader and has been with the company since the start of the Aston Martin Racing programme. The team was able to get Mücke and Fernandez into the right groove. In particular, Fernandez had a great performance, considering that this is his first season in a production-based racing car.
It’s just right that he gets the honor of driving the Vantage GTE until the finish line. The Gulf-liveried Vantage GTE took the second place on the GTE Pro grid right after the start of the 24-hour race after having done well in the three qualifying sessions that took place earlier in the week. It had been raining continuously up until the afternoon of the rolling start but the track itself was dry from 3 pm June 16. On the first lap, factory driver Mücke was able to pass the pole sitting GTE Pro car to give the class lead to the Vantage GTE during the endurance racing’s crowning event on its fifth competition.