- GTE Pro victory hopes dashed by tyre issue after dominant performance
- Partner team TF Sport records back-to-back victories in WEC GTE Am
- Lynn and Martin take third consecutive GTE Pro podium of season
- Dalla Lana delivers star turn as works team records double-podium
Shanghai, China. An Aston Martin Vantage GTE won its class for the third time in the 2019/2020 FIA World Endurance Championship season, as the British luxury sportscar brand finished first and third in the GTE Am class of the 4 Hours of Shanghai on Sunday. Meanwhile in GTE Pro, the works #97 Aston Martin of Alex Lynn (GB) and Maxime Martin (BEL) recorded their third successive podium of the season.
This was also the second consecutive victory for Aston Martin Racing’s partner team TF Sport, following their win in Japan last month. In Fuji, the works GTE Pro team had also dominated proceedings with a pole and a win with Denmark’s Nicki Thiim and Marco Sørensen in the #95 car. It was only through pure misfortune that they were prevented from replicating it in China, after another exemplary performance was curtailed by a left-rear puncture when they were leading comfortably. Up until that point, the ‘Dane Train’ had led almost nine consecutive hours of GTE Pro racing, or 85% of the Asian leg of the WEC season.
Having taken the lead at the start, Thiim resisted early pressure before dropping back to second as he managed his tyres. He then pitted before his rivals to hand over to Sørensen, undercutting the leading Porsche. From that point on the duo established a formidable 15s advantage.
Thiim was 22 laps into his 32-lap second stint, with 70 minutes to go, when he was alerted to the tyre problem as he passed the pits. The tyre gave way on the back straight and Thiim controlled the car brilliantly, pitting with minimum time lost. But the debris prompted a Full Course Yellow (FCY) compromising both Pro car strategies. Sørensen recovered to fourth position, one place behind team-mates Maxime Martin (BEL) and Alex Lynn (GB) in the #97, whose ‘Season 8’ podium streak remains intact.