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September 16, 2009

Aston Martin Aims For Le Mans Series Glory At Silverstone

By Pardhasaradhi Gonuguntla

Fresh from its incredible podium clean sweep at the ADAC Nürburgring 1000km in August, Aston Martin Racing heads to the final round of the 2009 Le Mans Series (LMS); the Autosport 1000km of Silverstone on 13 September to compete for the LMS Driver and Team titles.

After claiming first, second and third in Germany, the team is looking forward to concluding the series it currently leads at its home race, Silverstone. Less than 30 miles from the Aston Martin and Aston Martin Racing headquarters, the 3.2 mile Northamptonshire circuit should suit the V12 Aston Martin powered LMP1 car with its great combination of medium and high-speed sections.

2009 is a special year for the British marque as it celebrates a historic racing achievement. In 1959 Aston Martin won the World Sportscar Championship with the DBR1. 50 years on, Aston Martin Racing’s three Gulf liveried LMP1 challengers seek to emulate this success.

The 007 Aston Martin and its drivers head to Silverstone seven points clear in the Team and Driver Championships. However, with one point for pole position and 10 points awarded for the win there is everything to play for.

“After the team’s outstanding result at the Nürburgring, we head to our home race with confidence but also realism. Undoubtedly we are in a strong position but the Team and Driver Championships are by no means secure and we still have six hours of extremely tough racing against very strong opposition to get through,” said Team Principal, George Howard-Chappell. He added: “That said, the circuit should suit our car and is well known to our drivers. I’m sure we will have a huge amount of support from the British fans too so we are looking forward to the race.”

The driving squad for Silverstone will remain the same as at the Nürburgring where all eight of the Aston Martin Racing drivers were on the podium. In 007, Jan Charouz (CZ), Tomáš Enge (CZ) and Stefan Mücke (DE) will be hoping to secure enough points to win the Team and Driver titles.

In the 008 car, British drivers Chris Buncombe and Stuart Hall will partner with Portuguese driver Miguel Ramos.

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In the 009 Aston Martin, Darren Turner (GB) and Swiss driver Harold Primat will share the wheel, hoping to match or better their second place finish at the Nürburgring.

Aston Martin Racing will utilise the three one-hour practice sessions on Friday and Saturday to hone the set-up for the 195 lap race which takes place on Sunday from 11:35 until approximately 17:35. Qualifying for the race takes place on Saturday at 14:10.

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