The New Generation Aston Martin Vantage Is A Proven Race Winner
After a dramatic, rain-filled Shanghai 6 hours, the new shape Aston Martin Vantage GTE has ended up on top in GTE Pro.
As the WEC Super Season enters its winter break, the Shanghai 6 hours was the last race of the 2018 leg of the year-and-a-half long season. The race was filled with rain induced red flags, spins crashes and drama.
The race started under Safety Car but quickly got stopped after the rain became too much to handle and cars were running off the track despite the reduced pace. The race ended up being stopped for nearly an hour until the race director decided to try restarting the race. The second part of the race only lasted a whole 12 laps as the rain was playing havoc with the drivers and teams. After a second long stoppage and the rain easing off, the race was finally put back to green flag racing treating us to battles up and down the field. In fact, the two Toyota's were close for the majority of the race battling for the lead while the #1 Rebellion and #18 SMP fought for third.
Further back in the field, the tricky conditions seemed to suit the new generation Aston Martin just as they did in Fuji. However, this time, the team made the perfect strategy call putting Niki Thiim and Marko Sorenson for the top step for the first time in the new car. In fact the car seemed to thrive so much in the British-like rain that they finished in front of every car except the LMP1s. That means they managed to beat all the LMP2 cars which is an astonishing accomplishment reminding us of the 2015 Petit Le Mans when a GTLM Porsche 911 RSR won the overall race ahead of the prototypes.
In the LMP2 field, it was Jackie Chan DC Racing who won at their home race after leading from start to finish despite spending the last hour or so on intermediate tyres even though the conditions demanded wets.
As always, it was the two Toyota LMP1 cars that finished that race on top as the #7 just edged ahead of the Le Mans winning #8. However, for a change, it was the SMP car of Button and Petrov that completed the podium beating the Rebellion by under 5 seconds.
Finally, it was an all Porsche podium in GTE AM as the amateur drivers all managed to keep it on the island despite the wet and foggy conditions.
The next race is the Sebring 1000km and with the championship tighter than ever, we cannot wait to find out what happens. Will you be watching on the 15th of March 2019?