Beechdean Aston Martin Racing (AMR) successfully returned to the European Le Mans Series (ELMS) podium, following a six week gap in the championship. Beechdean AMR drivers; Andrew Howard, Darren Turner and Alex MacDowall raced together in a fiercely contested four hour race at Paul Ricard in France, where the action on the track was as hot as the weather.
On Saturday afternoon, Aston Martin Racing factory driver Darren Turner brilliantly took Beechdean AMR’s maiden ELMS pole position. Turner circulated the 3.642 mile Le Castellet track in a time of 1.56.285 in the 10 minute qualifying session. Beating his nearest GTE rival by over two tenths of a second.
Sunday proved to be a close encounter between the #99 Aston Martin Vantage V8 GTE car, JMW Motorsport and Formula Racing Ferraris. Unable to make the most of a Full Course Yellow (FCY) period to pit, the Beechdean AMR team found themselves playing catch up in the second half of the race. Ending with MacDowall giving an entertaining chase in the final moments, but with the team ultimately having to settle for third.
“It’s always great to get on the podium,” stated Beechdean AMR driver and owner Andrew Howard. “Paul Ricard proved to be a tyre and fuel sensitive circuit with the hottest temperatures of the season.”
Turner, who secured the team their first pole position in the competition said, “It’s still very close with two rounds to go. We need to up our game and be as strong as we were this weekend for the last two events. Maximum attack for maximum points is what we need to focus on.”
“I’m really happy with my two stints in the race” commented Alex MacDowall. “I was flat out pushing like crazy to try and gain back the time we had lost. Third place is still a good result and we have a lot to be proud of, now we are just looking forward to Spa.”
The next round of the European Le Mans Series will take place at Spa Francorchamps on the 25th September. However the teams focus will be shifting back to the UK for the next few weeks as they look forward to the final rounds of the British GT, which will take place at Donington on the 11th of September.
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