The #98 Gulf-lubricated Aston Martin Vantage GTE of Paul Dalla Lanna, Pedro Lamy and Mathias Lauda, started from Pole Position and, while initially falling almost to the back of the category on the opening lap, worked its way through the GTE Am field to come home to its third GTE Am victory of the season. It was a faultless performance and a well deserved result from the squad that has really been at the forefront of the category throughout the year and, but for its Le Mans non-finish, when it had comfortably led for the majority of the race, would certainly have been 2015 champions.
“It really is a testament to the hard work of the team and my co-drivers,” enthused Paul Dalla Lanna. “We’ve been fighting very hard for this. To get back to the top step at the end of the year is a great feeling and it’s also a nice way to get ready for next year. I hope that we won’t just be competing for the race win in 2016, but for the overall GTE Am championship”.
The sister GTE Am #96 car of Roald Goethe, Stuart Hall and Francesco Castellacci showed extremely well in the early stages, but dropped back in the middle section of the race to finish 7th in the category.
The three GTE Pro cars cars had demonstrated that they had the pace to be competitive during qualifying, and so it proved with the Danish-crewed #95 “Young Driver” car battling with #97 Aston Martin of Darren Turner and Johnny Adam over most of the second half of the race for a spot on the podium. In the end the #97 car took the podium place, coming home a fine third - but only a matter of seconds ahead at the end of six hours.
The #99 car ran strongly, but had to endure a three-minute stop-go penalty early in the race, which in a category as competitive as GTE Pro is, effectively put it out of contention for race honours.
Aston Martin Racing Team Principal, John Gaw, was pleased with the performance. “Today we achieved the maximum that we could and stepping on to the podium in the Pro class and taking the Am win was incredibly satisfying”.
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GTE AM Wins in GTE Pro at WEC Bahrain