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Aston Martin wins second Okayama race

Stefan Mucke and Harold Primat take victory in the second Asian Le Mans Series race of the weekend at Okayam
While Stefan Mucke and Harold Primat dominated the second Asian Le Mans Series race at Okayama to secure victory in race two although the Sora Racing Pescarolo of Christophe Tinseau and Shinji Nakano emerged as the overall winner of the event to earn a slot in the 2010 Le Mans 24 Hours.

The grid lined-up as it had for the opening race, although without the Tokai University Courage-Oreca, which was withdrawn at the last minute after the Japanese engineers discovered that a cylinder head was cracked.

The opening laps were a repeat of the previous day with Jonny Cocker in the Drayson Racing Lola-Judd coupe in the role of the hare. He tried to pull away from Tinseau in the Pescarolo-Judd, Mücke's Lola-Aston Martin, Nicolas Lapierre's Oreca and the two Audi R 10 TDIs driven by Christijan Albers and Christian Bakkerud. Mücke, who passed Tinseau, quickly caught the leading Lola, which he sliced past on lap 14 and quickly opened up a gap over the rest of the field.

Just after the refueling stops it looked like there would be a good scrap between Nakano, who had taken over from Tinseau in the Pescarolo, and Loïc Duval in the Oreca-AIM, but it didn't happen after Duval was forced to pit with a faulty ECU.

Up front the Lola-Aston Martin set a searing pace despite also suffering from a small ECU problem. It was a minute in front of Tinseau's Pescarolo, and had a lap in hand over Duval's Oreca-AIM back up into third place after his stop. The Lola-Judd that had led early on had fallen back to fifth spot sandwiched between the two Audi R10 TDIs driven by Oliver Jarvis and Hideki Noda.

The battle between the British and German cars provided a thrilling end to the race. Jonny Cocker was glued to the #15 Audi's gearbox and pulled off an audacious passing move in the closing seconds. Mücke however took the chequered flag after a dominant drive in his blue and orange Lola-Aston Martin coupe and finished a minute ahead of the Pescarolo-Judd.

The OAK Racing Pescarolo took a second win of the weekend in LMP2 after its lone rival – the Ibanez Courage – ran into problems early on while the GT1 victory went to the Team Nova Aston Martin. GT2 victory went the way of Alan Simonsen and Dominik Farnbacher in the Hankook Team Farnbacher Ferrari.



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