Having finally been able to debut the new Aston Martin Vantage GT2, James Watt Automotive was able to celebrate a case of mission accomplished at Silverstone after taking seventh in the GT2 class in the Le Mans Series finale at Silverstone.
The team had been hit by a series of problems during the course of the year in its efforts to get the car on track, but finally managed to get its hands on the car in time for a debut on home soil.
Braking issues in qualifying mean Alan ver der Merwe, Michael Outzen and Tim Sugden were forced to start from the back of the grid and 13th in class, with former F3 champion van der Merwe given the job of starting the race in the black machine.
He pitted after 45-minutes with Outzen next up behind the wheel; the Danish touring car regular enjoying a trouble-free stint despite the first of the race's two full course cautions occurring on his shift. He climbed into the top-ten with 39 laps recorded and was sitting ninth at the two-hour mark when he pitted for Sugden to start a double-stint.
Sugden was back in the pits just a lap later though with the team losing precious time and a potential fifth place finish as a flooring mount required repairing. Returning to the track, held ninth in GT2 at the three hour mark and twenty minutes later climbed to eighth with 90 laps on the board.
van der Merwe relieved Sugden for his second stint as the four hour mark approached and he climbed up to seventh place as the team brought home a points finish from its first outing with the car.
“Well we have to be pleased with a finish for the Aston,” team principal James Watt said. “It's what we set out to get and to claim two championship points against some of the best sports car team's in the world is pretty cool. Naturally we're a bit disappointed not to finish slightly higher up but I have to be pleased with what we accomplished.
“We lost around eight and a half minutes in the pits which equates to close to four laps fixing the mounts on the rear of the front floor shortly after Tim jumped in. Had we completed those laps we'd have likely ended up with a fifth place finish which would obviously have been a fantastic result so I'm a little disappointed we had that issue. Overall we've got a great baseline from this event and we can use it as a springboard for 2009.”