Darren Turner (GB), driving the Nexcel-liveried close-to-production Aston Martin GT8, delivered a 8m59.652s lap with less than half-an-hour to go in Friday’s sunny morning session, improving on his 9m06.325s class pace-setting lap from the night before.
Turner said after the session: “I’m happy with that. We were actually a bit quicker during the qualifying race weekend, but the ambient temperature was a lot lower then, so 8m59s is an okay lap and we are P2 on the grid – which is where we wanted to be.
“The guys that are P1 are a good couple of seconds up the road from us, but I think our group of drivers is very strong as a team and the car should be very reliable through the race. Our main priority is to get to the end, obviously, but I think if we can achieve that we will be in a really good position.”
Reigning FIA World Endurance Champion Nicki Thiim echoed his team-mate’s views and said he was reveling driving the No.7 Aston Martin GT8 in the uncharacteristically sunny conditions: “First of all it’s brilliant to be here at my favourite event, and with this weather it is just the best place there is a for a motorsport fan and for a driver at the Green Hell.
“The Aston Martin is not bad so far. The car is in one piece and this is the most important thing. We all got some good laps in and my team-mates did a really good job. It’s a long race tomorrow and so far I think everyone is happy with the car and the tyres.”
Turner and Thiim are joined this weekend by Peter Cate and Nordschliefe regular Markus Lundstrass.
Cate said: “The car is great. It’s pulling strongly down the straight with good top speed. It’s obviously very busy out there so most of the laps are compromised, but the car feels good – it feels like a 24-hour car.” Lundstrass, who is also driving a privately-entered R-Motorsport Aston Martin Vantage GT4 in the SP10 class, added: “The car felt fantastic this morning, so I’m really looking forward to the race. The plan is to get a good start, get in a good rhythm in the race and stay out of trouble, then see what happens after the night.”
David King, Vice President and Chief Special Operations Officer added, “Qualifying went exactly to plan and we’re happy to start P2 in the class, just behind the pole car. We have got a great strategy for the race, which we’ll try our best to execute perfectly.
“We’re happy with where the car is at. It’s just nice to have a pretty good view of the conditions as well because it has been so changeable over the past few years that at least we can plan for dry, hot weather and work out our tyre strategy accordingly.”
Source. Aston Martin