Aston Martin Racing has won the Catalunya 1000 kilometre race, on the team’s Le Mans Series debut with its new LMP1 challenger.
The 007 car, driven by Jan Charouz (CZ), Tomas Enge (CZ) and Stefan Mücke (DE) finished first after a flawless debut run. Car 009, crewed by Harold Primat (CH), Miguel Ramos (PT) and Darren Turner (GB), ran in the top three until the final 40 minutes of the race, when a spin put the crew out of contention.
“This momentous victory is a fantastic reward for the many weeks and months of hard work put in by every member of the team. Endurance racing is above all a team sport, and I think that we have proved this once again today,” said an elated David Richards, Chairman of Aston Martin.
Despite a limited pre-season testing programme, neither the 007 nor the 009 car experienced any mechanical problems during the course of the six-hour race, with just six scheduled pit stops for fuel and tyres on the winning Aston Martin. The car also set the fastest race lap of 1.34:089.
Starting from third on the grid the 007 car showed both speed and reliability throughout the race, which came to a dramatic climax just over half an hour from the finish. Having hounded the leader until the closing stages, the 007 Aston Martin with Mücke at the wheel benefited from a safety car period to close right up to the leader.
With a masterful move around the outside, Mücke was able to take advantage of traffic to claim the lead for Aston Martin Racing. He once again demonstrated his impressive speed to pull away in front and claim an emotional victory by just 14.8 seconds.
In the highly-competitive GT2 class, there was further encouragement for Aston Martin with the Drayson Racing Vantage GT2 of Englishmen Paul Drayson and Jonny Cocker taking a strong eighth place in class on their first ever European outing.