Fresh from his first win in the GP2 Series, Richie Stanaway has put himself in position to challenge for Le Mans 24 Hours victory after scoring a fine pole position on his debut with Aston Martin.
Driving the distinctive Hanergy-liveried V8 Vantage alongside Alex MacDowell and Fernando Rees, Stanaway ensured Aston Martin swept the board in the GT class during qualifying for the endurance classic, with the #98 sister car of Pedro Lamy, Mathias Lauda and Paul Dalla Lana also taking the top spot in the GT Am class, as well as being third fastest overall.
However, it was Stanaway's efforts on his first appearance at the iconic French venue that drew plenty of attention, not least because the same set-up was forced to withdraw before the race due to a large crash in qualifying
“That was the start we were looking for, but there's still a lot of work to do to win the race,” the Kiwi said. “The car feels great and we're all on top form so we just need to bring it all together on Saturday.”
Across the full 23-strong GT class, Aston Martin will start first, third, fourth and sixth.
Aston Martin is seeking its first Le Mans GT win since 2008 when it triumphed with Darren Turner, Antonio Garcia and David Brabham in a DBR9