Aston dominates Nurburgring 1000km
|By Gary Watkins||Sunday, August 23rd 2009, 18:33 GMT|
Aston Martin Racing claimed all three podium positions at the Nurburgring 1000Km after a dominant display in the penultimate round of the Le Mans Series.
Stefan Mucke, Jan Charouz and Tomas Enge claimed the victory aboard the fastest of the three AMR Lola-Aston LMP1 coupes after leading much of the way.
They ended up a minute clear of the second-placed car driven by Darren Turner and Harold Primat and two laps ahead of the third entry shared by Miguel Ramos, Stuart Hall and Chris Buncombe.
The winning car looked set for an easy victory until Charouz spun early in the fourth hour. A lead of over a minute shrunk to less than 30 seconds as a result of the spin and then Turner was able to close down and pass the Czech driver over the remainder of the stint.
Turner then had the measure of Enge, who was struggling on with the same set of tyres used by Charouz after what the team described as a "communication error". That resulted in an early stop that left Enge more than a minute behind his fellow AMR driver.
That put the leading Lola-Astons out of synch on pitstops and, although Primat early in the final hour, the positions were reversed when he made his final stop.
AMR's cause was helped by problems for the Pescarolo Sport team, whose drivers led the championship ahead of the Nurburgring weekend. The Pescarolo-Judd driven by Jean-Christophe Boullion, Christophe Tinseau and Emmanuel Collard went out early with a gearbox problem.
The LMP2 division was dominated by the ASM team's Ginetta-Zytek. Olivier Pla raced away from the class opposition and then Miguel Amaral was able to hang onto a two-lap lead. Only in the dying minutes when a front wheel arch louvre was replaced did its lead shrink to a lap.
Larbre Competition won the two-car GT1 class even though its Saleen S7R dropped nine laps off the lead after a long stop to resolve brake issues. Laurent Groppi, Roland Berville and Sebastien Dumez subsequently inherited class victory when the Luc Alphand Aventures Chevrolet Corvette encountered engine problems.
Marc Lieb and Richard Lietz won GT2 honours in the Felbermayr Proton Porsche. They took over the lead once the JMW Motorsport Ferrari driven by Rob Bell and Gianmaria Bruni lost one-minute advantage when a driveshaft failed.
AMR drivers Mucke, Charouz and Enge have now taken a seven-point lead as the LMS heads to Silverstone next month for the Autosport 1000Km.
Pos Cl Drivers Car Time 1. P1 Charouz/Enge/Mücke Lola Aston Martin 5h57m26.595s 2. P1 Primat/Turner Lola Aston Martin +1m04.856s 3. P1 Ramos/Hall/Buncombe Lola Aston Martin + 2 laps 4. P1 Karthikeyan/Meyrick/Zwolsman Audi + 2 laps 5. P1 Ragues/Mailleux Courage-Oreca Judd + 5 laps 6. P2 Amaral/Pla Ginetta-Zytek + 6 laps 7. P2 Francioni/Ceccato/Piccini Lola Judd + 8 laps 8. P2 Lahaye/Ajlani Pescarolo Mazda + 10 laps 9. P2 Nicolet/Hein Pescarolo Mazda + 11 laps 10. P2 Ojjeh/Gosselin/Peter Zytek + 12 laps 11. P2 Bobbi/Piccini/Biagi Lola Judd + 13 laps 12. P2 Kane/Leuenberger/Pompidou Lola Judd + 18 laps 13. GT2 Lieb/Lietz Porsche + 21 laps 14. P1 Coronel/Janis Spyker Audi + 22 laps 15. GT2 Ehret/Farnbacher/Beltoise Ferrari + 22 laps 16. GT2 Simonsen/Kaffer Ferrari + 23 laps 17. GT2 Narac/Pilet Porsche + 24 laps 18. GT2 Montermini/Ricci/Rosa Ferrari + 26 laps 19. GT2 Felbermayr Jr/Ried/Martins Porsche + 26 laps 20. GT2 Garcia/Mansell/Melo Ferrari + 26 laps 21. P2 Schell/Thirion/Metz Courage AER + 26 laps 22. GT2 Bell/Bruni Ferrari + 26 laps 23. GT1 Berville/Groppi/Dumez Saleen Ford + 27 laps 24. GT2 Griffin/Bamford Ferrari + 27 laps 25. GT2 Basso/Plati/Tenchini Ferrari + 29 laps 26. P2 Ibanez/Cavailhes/Rocha Courage AER + 34 laps 27. P1 Belicchi/Fässler/Prost Lola Aston Martin + 39 laps 28. GT2 Hartshorne/Kutemann/Scheier Ferrari + 53 laps 29. GT1 Jousse/Goueslard/Clairay Chevrolet + 57 laps 30. P1 Leventis/Watts Ginetta Zytek + 64 laps 31. GT2 Drayson/Cocker Aston Martin + 64 laps 32. P2 Salini/Salini/Gommendy WR Zytek + 71 laps 33. P2 Bruneau/Sini/Vergers Radical AER + 81 laps 34. P2 Cortes/Nieto/Jorda Lucchini Judd + 120 laps 35. P2 Erdos/Newton Lola Mazda + 138 laps 36. P1 Albers/Bakkerud/Mondini Audi + 155 laps 37. P1 Boullion/Tinseau/Collard Pescarolo Judd + 160 laps 38. P2 Lavaggi/Kaufmann Lavaggi AER + 174 laps