Aston Martin Racing took advantage of a pre-race test session yesterday, ahead of the penultimate World Endurance Championship race, the Six Hours of Fuji, which takes place on Sunday 14th October 2012.
The extra time on the Fuji Speedway circuit allowed the team to make additional small changes to the Gulf-liveried Vantage GTE and to run-in race components ahead of the final two round of the World Endurance Championship.
After more than one hundred laps of the 4.5km track, Aston Martin Racing’s Team Principal John Gaw answers some post-test questions:
Has the pre-race test session been valuable to you?
JG: Having the extra test session ahead of this weekend’s race has proven invaluable. We completed more than 100 laps and were able to try many things that had been on our wish-list for a while. This has allowed us to find some useful new set ups.
We were also able to run-in all of the race components for here and for the next (and final) race in the championship – the Six Hours of Shanghai, China – so we can maximise upon the official free practice sessions.
None of the other GTE Pro cars took part in the test session. Did this make benchmarking difficult?
JG: Yes, it’s always good to be able to see how your competitor cars perform on a track ahead of a race. In a test session, it’s not a race, so we’d only ever look at lap times as a guideline, but it would have been interesting to compare our pace to theirs.
We were able to look at some of the cars in the GTE Am class, to see if other cars were more or less competitive here, but we’ll have to wait until qualifying to find out for sure.
Was the Vantage GTE as suited to the circuit as you had hoped?
JG: Before today, we’d never been to the Fuji Speedway as a team and neither of our drivers, Darren Turner or Stefan Mucke, had driven the circuit. This meant there were a lot of unknowns for us coming here. On paper, it looked like we would be pretty well suited – not as suited as we were in Bahrain but more so than Sao Paulo. In reality, the track doesn’t appear to be as ideal for our car as hoped but, without seeing how well our competitors perform, we can’t be sure.
Are you still confident Aston Martin can win the Six Hours of Fuji?
JG: Yes, we have proven we have championship-leading pace in the last few rounds of the WEC. The truth is, we might not be as well suited to this circuit as we’d hoped, but we will still aim to qualify on pole and push hard from the start of the race. Our sights are firmly set on the top spot and, if all goes to plan, that’s where we’ll be.
Follow Aston Martin Racing’s progress at the Fuji Speedway on its official website at www.astonmartin.com/racing, or on Facebook at www.facebook.com/astonmartinracing and on Twitter at www.twitter.com/amr_official. The race will be streamed live on the championship’s official website at www.fiawec.com.