Laguna Seca, 17 September 2011. Aston Martin has won the annual Laguna Seca American Le Mans Series Race. Under sunny skies, in a race dominated by yellow flags, the team ran faultlessly for 6 hours to take the top spot on the podium. Drivers Adrian Fernandez (MEX), Stefan Mücke (D) and Harold Primat (CH) drove the Aston Martin DBR1-2 consistently in the top three, and in the final hour remained dominant in first position.
Official partner team Muscle Milk Racing was also running perfectly in the top three until lap 146 when a fuel pump problem brought the car back into the garage for an hour. The car went on to finish the race crossing the line fifth in class.
In qualifying the day before, Fernandez put in a 1:14.621 lap in the factory entered Lowes-sponsored DBR1-2, which successfully gained the team third on the grid for today’s race.
Klaus Graf (D) qualified the V12 powered Aston Martin LMP1 machine of Official Partner Team, Muscle Milk Racing achieving a time of 1:15.564 which earned them fourth on the grid.
Mücke started the race and within five laps he’d moved up to second position after a smart overtaking manoeuvre. By the seventh lap he was leading the race and making good progress. The remaining five hours, the blue and orange Gulf Oil liveried DBR1-2 stayed in the top three throughout.
Aston Martin Racing Team Principal, George Howard Chappell said: “I am obviously extremely pleased with the result. It is a great shame to see the Muscle Milk car drop out when it did, as we could have been on for an Aston 1-2, but nevertheless we have an Aston Martin victory which is fantastic.
“I am delighted for the team who have achieved this result on our return to the States after a difficult year – they’ve all worked hard for this, so it is a just reward.”
Mücke who brought the Aston Martin DBR1-2 across the finish line said: “It’s a great result for us all; the team did a perfect job, as did the drivers.
“Nobody made a mistake and she [the car] was fast today. It’s our first win in the American Le Mans Series, and the race started well, but then we had contact twice and after that, we never thought we could win. I am really happy and thanks to everybody.”
Primat said: “This is an absolutely fantastic result for the whole team. It is a great feeling to be standing back on the top step of the podium and the whole team should be proud of today’s result. Everyone has worked extremely hard to keep improving the car step by step and today’s victory is testimony to all that effort.”
Aston Martin Racing will return to the American Le Mans Series in two weeks time at the final round; Petit Le Mans.
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