Crash.Net Le Mans News
Aston Martin claims 1-2-3 at Nurburgring
24 August 2009
Aston Martin Racing's decision to run a third Lola-Aston Martin LMP1 car at the penultimate round of the 2009 Le Mans Series Championship paid dividends when the team secured a clean sweep of the podium at the Nurburgring on Sunday.
The #007 car, in the hands of Jan Charouz, Tomas Enge and Stefan Mucke, took maximum points with pole position and an emphatic win.
The result sees Aston Martin now head to the season finale at Silverstone leading the drivers', constructors' and team championships but still with a fight on their hands against French rivals Team Pescarolo Sport.
The Pescarolo-Judd of Jean-Christophe Boullion, Christophe Tinseau and Emmanuel Collard - winners of the Algarve night race earlier in the month - retired in the early stages of Sunday's race with gearbox problems.
Having ceded the championship lead to Aston Martin, they have set up a UK-French battle for the title next month, albeit with two Czech drivers and a German fighting for the British cause.
Sporting their famous Gulf Oil livery and enjoying a seven-point advantage, Aston Martin will be determined to end the season as they started, with a victory that should seal all the honours. Fourth place, or higher, for the #007 car would be enough to win the drivers' and team championships.
In the LMP2 class meanwhile there was victory for the pairing of Portuguese Miguel Amaral and Frenchman Olivier Pla in Germany for the Quiffel ASM Team. The result sees them take their Ginetta-Zytek car to the next event with a virtually unassailable lead from the Lola Judd's of Italy's Racing Box team. Only victory for the Italians will be enough to thwart the Portuguese team.
Luc Alphand's Alphand Adventures team did enough to secure the GT1 series title in Germany despite the continued absence of the former French skiing champion. Alphand continues to recover from injuries sustained in an enduro motorcycle fall earlier this year. Second place for the Corvette C6.R was enough to guarantee the glory, but the team will be looking to crown their season with a win at Silverstone.
A typically competitive GT2 race at the famous Nürburgring saw a race win, and a move to the head of the standings, for the Team Felbermayr Proton Porsche 997 of Marc Lieb and Richard Lietz. Despite posting the fastest lap of the race, Briton Robert Bell failed to score in the JMW Motorsport Ferrari F430 and will go to the finale with an eight-point deficit to make up on the Austro-German pairing.
Nigel Mansell's son Leo was edged out of title contention with an eighth place finish in the Team Modena Ferrari.