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Le Mans Test Day #95 the Aston Martin was virtually destroyed

90, TF Sport S. YOLUC _ E. HANKEY _ C. EASTWOOD Aston Martin Vantage

90, TF Sport S. YOLUC _ E. HANKEY _ C. EASTWOOD Aston Martin Vantage


Le Mans , 03 June, 2018

Fine warm and sunny weather attracted large crowds to La Sarthe for the annual pre-24 Heures du Mans Test Day, no doubt the attraction of current F1 driver Fernando Alonso, together with Jenson Button, Juan Pablo Montoya, “veteran” Jan Lammers and a host of other motor racing “names” also helped to boost the attendance. Added to this was the return of BMW with its M8 GTE, featuring a pair of corporate “M” liveried examples in the LMGTE Pro class. A further attraction was Porsche’s 70th Anniversary, for which they entered two cars in iconic Porsche liveries, one in the white, blue and gold of Rothmans cigarettes (obviously without the cigarette branding)  worn by the 956 and 962 Le Mans cars, and the other as the “Pink Pig”, which was worn by a 917 (chassis # 917/20) in the 1971 race The test day gives teams, drivers and the organisers the opportunity to fine tune everything  prior to the hectic week of activities leading up to the race itself on 16-17 June. 

A total of 60 cars spread over the four classes were in attendance, with 10 in the LMP1 class, 20 in the LMP2 class, 17 in the LMGTE Pro class and 13 in the LMGTE Am class. The schedule was two four hour sessions, one in the morning and the other in the afternoon. However, about three quarters of the way through the morning session, the # 95 Aston Martin driven by Marco Sorensen had a big accident after contact with the # 35 SMP Racing entered Dallara P217 Gibson driven by Harrison Newey, then a heavy hit on the guardrail in the right-hand kink before Indianapolis. Fortunately neither driver was injured, but debris was spread all over the track, and damage to the barriers necessitated the session being red flagged. Due to the length of time needed to repair the barriers, the session was halted early, and the afternoon session started 30 minutes earlier to recoup some of the time. The damage to the Dallara was minimal, but the Aston Martin was virtually destroyed, so the team will have to build up a new car for the race. Both drivers were given a suspended 1 minute Stop-Go penalty for the race, enforceable should there be a repeat “unsafe manoeuvre during overtaking” offence. 

Fortunately the afternoon session was less troublesome, although there were further incidents causing local and full course yellow flags, but most came through unscathed, apart from the # 31 Dragonspeed Oreca 07 which was in need of some TLC after an altercation with the barriers. At the end of the day it was the # 8 Toyota TS050 Hybrid driven by Fernando Alonso that topped the overall timesheets with a lap in 3mins 19.066secs, which was 0.614sec quicker than the fastest non-hybrid, the # 3 Rebellion R13-Gibson of Laurent/Beche/Menezes. In the LMP2 class test day honours went to the # 31 Dragonspeed Oreca 07 of Gonzales/Maldonado/Berthon, before its untimely departure from the proceedings. In the GT categories it was Porsche at the head of both classes, with the # 93 911 RSR of Pilet/Tandy/Bamber taking LMGTE Pro honours, and the # 77 Dempsey-Proton Racing entered 911 RSR of Campbell/Ried/Andlauer taking the LMGTE Am honours. The only question remaining is are the times an accurate reflection of what the cars are capable of, or were some holding back there true potential? All will be revealed come the race.

Ferrari Entry

Race #


Chassis #




Class Pos’

Class GTE Pro



Ferrari 488 GTE EVO


AF Corse

Red Met’-Multi

D. Rigon /
S. Bird /
M. Molina



Ferrari 488 GTE EVO


AF Corse


T. Vilander /
A.Giovinazzi /
L.F. Derani



Ferrari 488 GTE EVO


AF Corse

Red Met’-Multi

A Pier Guidi /
J. Calado /
D. Serra


Class GTE AM



Ferrari 488 GTE


Spirit of Race


T. Flohr /
F. Castellacchi /
G. Fisichella



Ferrari 488 GTE


Clearwater Racing


W. Mok /
K. Sawa /
M. Griffin



Ferrari 488 GTE


Keating Motorsports


B. Keating /
L. Stolz /
J. Bleekemolen



Ferrari 488 GTE*


JMW Motorsport


L. Griffin /
J. Segal /
C. MacNeil



Ferrari 488 GTE


MR Racing

White Met’-Red

M. Ishikawa/
O. Beretta /
E. Cheever


*488 GT3 Converted to GTE Specification


Keith Bluemel