Defending Champions Beechdean Aston Martin Racing maintained their 100% podium record for the 2017 European Le Mans Series, yesterday at Autodromo Nazionale Monza.
The #99 Aston Martin Vantage V8 GTE car, driven by Andrew Howard, Darren Turner and Ross Gunn proved to be both reliable and consistent in comparison to it’s GTE class competitors. After starting the race from last position, Howard was able lure himself into the mix, and keep higher graded drivers within eye catching range.
An early FCY (Full Course Yellow) saw rivals take advantage and pit earlier than scheduled, putting the Howard up to third place temporarily, before pitting with just under an hour complete. Following Howard’s impressive display, Gunn and Turner took over for the middle part of the race and were able to keep the #99 car within touching distance of the podium positions.
With just 40 minutes remaining, a quick driver change (Turner to Gunn) and a shorter fuel stop saw Gunn emerge from the pits in fourth place with the home favourite Ferrari 488 GTE #51 car in sight. Gunn was able to chase down and pass the Ferrari to secure third place.
“To race at Monza is awesome.” Said a satisfied team boss and driver Howard. “To race wheel to wheel is just great fun and to get on the podium from the back of the grid was more than we could have hoped for. Next stop Le Mans.”
Aston Martin Racing Factory Driver Darren Turner commented, “Very Pleased for the whole team that we managed to grab the last spot on the podium. With an eventful race, strategy is always going to be key and the team made perfect use of the full course yellows.”
“Standing on the podium at the historical Monza circuit is a dream come true.” Said 20 year old Gunn. “We didn’t have the pace to fight at the front this weekend, but because of a great strategy and pit stops by the team we salvaged 15 championship points.”
Beechdean AMR is now set to begin it preparations for the 24 hours of Le Mans on the 17th/18th June. The next ELMS race will be held at the Red Bull Ring on the 23rd July.