Mixed fortunes for Aston at first test

Aston Martin Racing’s Le Mans 24 Hours project experienced highs and lows on its track debut.

Two new Gulf-liveried Lola-Astons ran without major issues straight out of the box on the first morning of the official Le Mans Series test at Paul Ricard in March. Tomas Enge then wrote off one of the cars after just 33 laps of the second session.

Enge, who was sharing the lead Prodrive-run AMR entry with Stefan Mucke and Jan Charouz, spun at the fast Signes corner at the end of the Mistral Straight. He said the accident happened when the car bottomed out on exiting the sixth-gear corner.

AMR team boss George Howard-Chappell said he was satisfied with the two-day test despite the loss of track time with the lead car.

“We were really pleased,” he said. “While it is not a brand-new car, a lot has changed since last year [when Prodrive ran a Lola-Aston under the Charouz banner].”

Darren Turner was fifth quickest in the second AMR entry, having returned to the wheel of a Le Mans-style prototype after a five-year gap.