PokerStars and Aston Martin win in Utah
The PokerStars-sponsored Aston Martin Racing team claimed a second successive American Le Mans Series (ALMS) GT1 victory in the Utah Grand Prix at Miller Motorsports Park, Salt Lake on Saturday 15 July.
The team's brace of DBR9s crossed the finish line first and second after the cars ran without any major issues in ambient temperatures of 103 degrees Fahrenheit and track temperatures of 128 degrees.
The 007 DBR9 took the chequered flag. British driver Darren Turner drove consistently for the duration of his stint building up a convincing lead before handing over to Tomas Enge on lap 29. The lead was such that the 007-car crew managed to get the DBR9 back out in the lead after the first pit stop. Enge remained in the car until the end of the race, coming in to the pits briefly when the safety car was out for fresh tyres and fuel. The team discovered an alternator problem at the final pit stop and quickly rectified the problem.
In the 009 DBR9, Stephane Sarrazin struggled during the first hour of the race, loosing second place on lap 17 to the No 4 Corvette before pitting on lap 20, Andrea Piccini taking to the wheel.
Piccini drove an excellent stint and, on fresh Pirelli tyres, pressured the No 4 Corvette into a mistake, regaining second place.
Sarrazin took over for the final 45 minutes and recorded the fastest lap in the race with a time of 2:36.650.
George Howard-Chappell, Team Principal, Aston Martin Racing said, "Fantastic result. A special mention should go to Richard Luxton who managed to change the alternator belt on the 007 race-winning car in record time during a safety car period near the end of the race. Again, a superb effort from the whole team. The drivers were very consistent which is what we needed to get the life out of the tyres and a big thank you to Pirelli, they gave us an excellent compound for this new circuit. Great job all round."
From Salt Lake the team will head west to Portland International Raceway, Oregon for round six of the American Le Mans Series on Saturday 22 July.