Aston Martin Racing Team quotes
Two questions to Paul Howarth, Aston Martin Racing Team Principal
« The partnership with Total is a major advantage to Aston Martin Racing »
What is the objective of Aston Martin for this season?
« Our objective is to deliver strong performances throughout the season. We have big ambitions, especially to win in the GTE Pro class. We would also love to win the 24 Hours of Le Mans and take our revenge from last year, after leading both Pro and Am classes earlier in the race. If we are successful in Le Mans, we would have some good points on the table and we’d be in a good position to fight for the title. The balance of performances settled by the FIA is unique and will be interesting. There will be more turbo cars this year, while Aston Martin utilises its naturally aspirated engines. It can only lead to close racing, which is better for the spirit of the Championship. »
What about this new partnership with Total?
« It is crucial especially with the 24 Hours of Le Mans coming. We are very impressed by the commitment of Total and with the work of their engineers at the track. Their analysis work is crucial for our own race technicians. Their expertise can highlight some issues that could occur several hours later improving reliability, performance, and fuel consumption. We are very happy to be able to rely on their technology, which has already proved to be perfectly efficient in Formula One. It is a great asset to Aston Martin Racing. »
Two questions to Evert Van Doorn, Aston Martin Racing engineer
« With Total, we hope to improve our engines’ lifetime. »
What are the changes made to the Aston Martin V8 Vantage GTE for this 2016 season?
"I think we made a big step forward with the help of all our partners. We are satisfied by the tests carried out this winter. During the off-season, we especially worked on the aerodynamics of the car. With the exception of the roof panel and the rear part, the whole body is different both in terms of the design of the carbon elements, which are better aligned with each other, and on a strictly aerodynamic level. The drivers seem very happy with the balance of the car. This is an important point for us because in GT, there are cars with very different structures. The naturally aspirated V8 of our Vantage is set at the front and our biggest challenge is to find a good balance for the car. This will be necessary for us in order to fight against such strong competition! "
How can Total help your action this year?
"The partnership with Total helps us to move on as it allows us to try lubrication solutions that we have never worked on before. This allows us to extract additional performance from the car. To be able to benefit from the expertise of Total is very precious to us. Similarly, the possibility of having an on-site analytical laboratory will allow us to better understand the health of our V8. The engines are having a hard time in endurance! It is imperative to stay in the right temperature frame for the engine to give its full potential. Lubrication plays a vital role. At present, our engines can run between 5,000 and 6,000 km. With the help of Total, we hope to increase the life of our engines up to 7000 km."
Two questions to Marco Sorensen, Aston Martin Racing driver
« The level of the GT grid has never been that high »
How would you compare the driving of a GTE to a single-seated?
« I used to drive single-seated cars and I discovered the world of endurance as well as the GTE last year. Driving is very different from one another. It takes a little time to adapt and it was really not easy to carry on with two different programmes as I did last year. Unlike on single-seated, the engine is at the front of the Aston Martin. Thus, the weight distribution is very different. The environment is also quite specific. As the car is closed it’s much warmer in the compartment and the visibility is very different. It might be less physically demanding than the single-seated, but you must concentrate for much longer periods. A relay in Le Mans can last for more than three hours! »
What do you think of the concurrence in GT?
« The level of the grid has never been higher in GT than this season. Ford is arriving with very high expectations and four cars at Le Mans. We also have to consider Porsche, Ferrari and Corvette which were already there. As far as I am concerned, I focus 100% on the Aston Martin Racing programme. My goal this year is to blossom as a GT driver, and I will make every effort to break through. I am certain that our new partnerships such as Total, will help us reach our goals especially at the 24 Hours of Le Mans. The car is even better this year in many ways and the work of the engineers has been rewarding. »