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Le Mans 2014: a driver’s eye view
After an exhausting 24 hours of racing, the No.97 Aston Martin Vantage GTE crossed the line at Le Mans in sixth place in the GTE Pro Class. Despite leading a large part of the race, luck wasn’t on the side of Stefan Mucke, Bruno Senna and our columnist, Darren Turner.
“Finding the sweet spot”
“So far in the World Endurance Championship this year we have struggled for pace in dry conditions so we were expecting a tough time at Le Mans. A little bit of magic happened during the race though. Once the track rubbered up the car really came alive and we could race hard without fear of the car biting back. It’s so important to have a well-balanced car at Le Mans so it was a good feeling to feel the car responding just how I want it to and allow us to take the fight to Ferrari, Porsche and Corvette.”
“Winning for Allan”
“This year’s Le Mans was a big deal for everyone at Aston Martin Racing as it was the first one since we lost Allan (Simonsen) last year. I was so happy to see the #95 car win the GTE Am class; that’s the Danish car, the one that Allan drove. So many people would have walked away after last year but those guys came back even stronger and won the race for Allan. It was clearly the most popular win in the pit lane and definitely the highlight of the 2014 Le Mans 24 Hours for me.”
“Another epic Le Mans, with the occasional curveball”
“Le Mans 2014 will go down as that race that could have been. It was another epic Le Mans; this is never a straightforward event so you always have to look out for curveballs. They came in the shape of some terrible weather in the opening hours and then in the form of technical gremlins getting into our power steering system. You might think power steering is a luxury item but believe me, you need it in a modern GTE car.
All this does is make you realise how hard it is to win at Le Mans and makes you want to come again next year to try all over again.”