Late BoP change left Aston Martin to just "drive around" at Le Mans

Aston Martin believes a last-minute GTE Pro Balance of Performance change for the Le Mans 24 Hours meant it was reduced from fighting for victory to just "driving around"

Late BoP change left Aston Martin to just "drive around" at Le Mans

Aston Martin had secured pole with the #95 Vantage GTE crew of Marco Sorensen, Nicki Thiim and Darren Turner, before a post-qualifying BoP change issued on Friday penalised Aston by reducing its turbo boost.

The Vantage was also one of five cars to be handed a 5kg weight break, but Aston Martin Racing team principal Paul Howarth was reluctant to outline the impact the changes had on the Vantage GTE's straightline speed or tyre consumption.

Howarth had previously said he was "confident" of being well in the mix for a top-three finish before the BoP change that Aston CEO Andy Palmer described on Twitter as "unfathomable".

Howarth told Autosport: "We delivered well all the way up to the start of the race, then we got a variable [in the BoP].

"We have to analyse the outcome of that variable and see what that did to us, but we come here to race to win - not just to drive around.

"The drivers were pushing as hard as they could, they had to try and make up the deficit, so it's not the outcome we wanted.

"After the pole, the whole team felt confident we could fight for a win or a podium.

"When a grid is so close, the slightest variable is a disadvantage, and you can't afford that. Simple as that."

Both Vantages had faded from contention by the time they were involved in incidents in the night.

Sorensen suffered a high-speed crash at Indianapolis that ended the #95 car's race, while Alex Lynn had an off at the Porsche Curves following contact between his #97 Vantage and an LMP2 runner.

Lynn returned the car to the pits for a lengthy stay in the garage before it returned on track to finish 13th in class, 17 laps down on the winning Ferrari.

Aston has since released a statement that stated Sorensen had sustained "a minor concussion as well as a small foot injury in the crash" and it means he will sit out this weekend's British GT race at Donington Park.

Sorensen is expected to be back to full fitness for next month's Barcelona World Endurance Championship Prologue.

BMW also suffered a Le Mans to forget in what was the final WEC outing for the two MTEK-run M8 GTEs.

Its top finisher was the #82 machine shared by Augusto Farfus, Antonio Felix da Costa and Jesse Krohn in 11th and seven laps down on the Ferrari.

The result followed a pre-test day BoP change that forced the M8s to run an extra 9kg and with a reduced turbo boost.

"I do motorsport because I wake up in the morning to win races, or at least to fight for that," Farfus told Autosport.

"I don't mind losing a race with a fair chance, but today we just did not have it.

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