After a very difficult six hours, Aston Martin Racing celebrated their second win of the Super Season, the first for the #97 crew, and a home win for Maxime Martin.
There were plenty of stories to come out of Spa, even without talking about the weather (which of course will be mentioned in this article.) One of those stories was a win for Aston Marin Racing in GTE Pro. At the start of the season, also at Spa, the team looked to be struggling with the new Vantage. The team qualified eighth and tenth, and only managed sixth and seventh during the race. Fast forward to now and they qualified less than a tenth behind pole position. And they’re onto their second win of the Super Season. It’s amazing the improvements that can be made across a 14-month season.
AMR’s first win came at Shanghai for the #95 crew. Nicki Thiim and Marco Sorensen piloted the ‘Dane Train’ to victory through torrential rain. Sound familiar? Well, this time around Alex Lynn and Maxime Martin conquered every kind of precipitation Spa could muster. Through snow, rain and hail, the pair pulled the best out of their Vantage to earn the full twenty-five points. So that’s two wins this season for Aston Martin, a first win for the #97 and a win on home soil for Belgian driver Maxime Martin. The only thing that could have improved the result would be a finish for the #95 higher up the order.
Driving time was a little uneven, with Martin spending over three and a half hours behind the wheel. “Yeah, it was definitely a really hard one.” He admits. “I’ve been racing here in a lot of conditions, but in the snow was maybe the first time. It was really hard. Strategy was a big point, a bit of a gamble on the tyre choice because the car was drying so fast, and then raining so quickly and snowing.”
“We did a really good job, no mistakes. Alex did also a really good double stint, and at the end it was really close. It’s good for me to win my first race with Aston Martin in Belgium. It’s the best place I could have done it.”
He may have spent less time in the cockpit, but Lynn’s performance was no less impressive. An impressive move around Richard Lietz at Blanchimont sticks in one’s mind. He’s seemed to really settle into the car across the season, and the pairing with Martin was a great move by Aston Martin.
“I think just as the whole race, it was crazy to be a part of.” Lynn said after the race. “When I jumped out of the car, I thought the race was lost from our side. We stayed on the full wet tyre and a lot of our competitors were on the intermediate. Honestly, I think the car was working really well all weekend. We were in the top three for almost all of the practice sessions and then qualified second, but I think we came into this morning with a good feeling that the car was going to be capable of producing this result.”
“I think as a driver pairing, we knew it we didn’t make any mistakes and we got the right calls that we could be sitting here today. I’m just really proud to be a part of this effort. Maxime drove a crazy, crazy amount, and drove incredibly. We had a lot of cool battles through the field, quite a lot of contact on the car! The car stood up well.”
Plenty has changed in the last twelve months. There’s a lot to be said for how much this new car has improved since the start of the season. And just how good it is in wet conditions. Should there be a bit of rain at Le Mans, be sure to keep an eye out for this luminous beast.