PokerStars and Aston Martin Racing finish season in style

Aston Martin Racing finished first and fourth at the Monterey Sports Car Championships at Laguna Seca on Saturday 21 October. Pedro Lamy and Stephane Sarrazin taking the final victory of the 2006 American Le Mans Series in their Aston Martin DBR9, the team's fifth win this year.

Aston Martin Racing finished second in the teams and manufacturers championships and Stephane Sarrazin also finished second in the drivers championship.

Seconds after the two-hour point Stephane Sarrazin was forced to take evasive action as a prototype crashed just in front of him. Sarrazin went to the left of the accident across the gravel, narrowly missing a large piece of the prototype's bodywork. The 009 car did not sustain any damage and continued to race.

The safety car picked up the race leader and Sarrazin received a wave by, pitting on lap 88 for fuel and tyres and rejoining in fourth position. The safety car was deployed for 14 laps to enable track officials to clear debris and oil from the track.

A fourth safety car period on lap 101 allowed Sarrazin to pit for fuel without loosing track position.

At the three-hour point the 007 DBR9 lead the race and the 009 DBR9 was in second place. Enge in the 007 DBR9 suffered a left front puncture on lap 119 and was forced to pit for tyres and fuel rejoining in fourth place.

Sarrazin took the lead following Enge's pit stop and began a titanic battle with the one of the Corvettes who was just a fraction of a second behind.

Sarrazin lost the battle for first place to the Corvette with 30 minutes of the race remaining, but he regained the class lead moments later as the pair reached the corner at the end of the straight.

The battle for first place continued right until the end of the race with Sarrazin coming out on top.

George Howard-Chappell, Team Principal, Aston Martin Racing said, "A fantastic drive and an amazing manoeuvre from Stephane when it looked like we were going to loose the lead. Clearly we didn't have the fastest car but the race strategy from both camps won us the race."

Brad Willis
@BradWillis in