The last round of the 2012 FIA World Endurance Championship (WEC), the Six Hours of Shanghai, was won by Aston Martin Racing. With this win, Aston Martin Racing took the No. 2 spot in the very competitive GTE Pro championship standings. It was able to prove the rate and reliability of the V8-powered Vantage GTE.
The first WEC race win of the team is the latest in a fantastic run of six straight podium finishes. Aston Martin Racing is preparing to enter the six-hour endurance race and is focused on keeping its second rank in the championship while targeting its first WEC victory. The team has not been able to race at the 5.4km circuit previously so it’s not sure if the #97 Vantage GTE is suited for the Shanghai International Circuit.
After the first free practice session, it became obvious that the abrasive surface and long straights would give works drivers Darren Turner (GB) and Stefan Mücke (D) the chance to optimize the Gulf-liveried racer. However, its competitors seemed to similarly well suited as mere fractions of a second divided them. Turner had a simple plan in approaching the 20-minute qualifying session.
It had established a competitive lap time early on while tires were at their peak before rapidly going back to the garage to preserve them for the beginning of the race. It recorded a first flying lap of 2.03.721, which was later determined to be the quickest GTE lap of the entire weekend. It was sufficient to give the team the pole position by over half a second ahead of the #77 Porsche, the championship runner-up rival.