WEC: Aston Martin Racing confirms plans for 2015 season

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Aston Martin Racing has revealed its plans for the 2015 FIA World Endurance Championship as it expands to a five-car assault for the new season.

The entry list for the 2015 season confirmed back in February that the British marque would be fielding three cars in the GTE-Pro class and two in GTE-Am.

Once again, Darren Turner and Stefan Mucke will be teammates as they look to improve on their fifth place finish in last year’s GT driver championship.

“The WEC continues to go from strength to strength and, for any driver, to be involved in an FIA World Championship is always exciting,” Turner said. “I’m back with my teammate Stefan for another year and really looking forward to getting stuck in and taking the fight to our competitors!

“I think we have a strong chance this year; everyone has worked very hard over the winter and we are all focused on winning the championship.”

They will be joined in the no. 97 by McLaren GT factory driver Rob Bell for the 6 Hours of Spa and 24 Hours of Le Mans.

The No. 99 Aston Martin Racing V8 car will once again be raced by Britain’s Alex MacDowell and Fernando Rees, with New Zealand’s Richie Stanaway joining for 2015.

Moving up from GTE-Am to GTE-Pro is the all-Dane No. 95 car, with Nicki Thiim, Christoffer Nygaard and Marco Sorensen completing the line-up this year.

In GTE-Am, AMR will field two cars once again: the No. 96 of Roald Goethe, Stuart Hall and Francesco Castellacci; and the No. 98 of Paul Dalla Lana, Pedro Lamy and Mathias Lauda, son of three-time champion Niki Lauda.

AMR is also set to send two cars to the 24 Hours of Nurburgring in the GT3 class, meaning that its cars will be taking part in all of the premier endurance races in 2015.

“Announcing our largest racing programme to date ten years to the day after Aston Martin Racing’s debut win at Sebring 12 Hours clearly shows how the team has progressed, building year-on-year on its success,” CEO Andy Palmer said.

“Our multiple wins last year underlines our ability to perform at the highest level and, as we look forward to the 2015 season, we’re anticipating another exciting and highly competitive year of exhilarating GT racing in the WEC, as well as at Le Mans and the Nurburgring.”

X44 Racing win 2022 Extreme E championship as Abt Cupra score first race victory

2022 Extreme E Uruguay
Extreme E
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Abt Cupra Racing’s Nasser Al-Attiyah and Klara Andersson scored their first win in the Extreme E Energy X Prix in the 2022 finale in Uruguay as Lewis Hamilton’s X44 Vida Carbon Racing drivers Sebastien Loeb and Cristina Gutierrez survived a chaotic finale to edge the 2021 champion Rosberg X Prix team of Johan Kristoffersson and Mikhaela Ahlin-Kottulinsky, by two points.

“There are so many emotions,” Andersson said in Extreme E’s coverage. “I’ve been waiting for this for so long. In my second race, first full weekend to be at the top of the podium: it’s big.”

Andersson was behind the wheel at the finish.

Rosberg Racing entered the event with a 17-point advantage over X44, but the standings were close enough that four teams remained in contention in Round 5.

“It’s a crucial weekend for us,” Loeb said in Extreme E’s coverage prior to the race. “We are not in the best position to win the championship, but the only thing we can do is try to win the race and score as many points as possible.”

The top two title contenders each crashed in qualification and were relegated to the Crazy Race, Extreme E’s version of the Last Chance Qualifier (LCQ). For the moment, they had the steepest hill to climb, but then the other two championship contending teams, Chip Ganassi Racing and Acciona Sainz Racing failed to advance from their heats.

Only one team advances from the Crazy Race, so the X44 drivers were in a must-win situation to simply keep hope alive.

More: Extreme E 2023 schedule

Ahlin-Kottulinsky and Gutierrez ran wheel to wheel into the first turn at the start of the LCQ.

The Rosberg racer experienced crash damage in that turn that damaged her front steering, but managed to limp back to the pits at the end of her two-lap stint. The team attempted to fix the steering, but incurred a penalty for having too many mechanics in the pit area.

Meanwhile, Gutierrez took the early lead, but knew she would need to sit through a five-second penalty for an incident earlier in the weekend. The female half of the gender equal pair erased the penalty by entering the Switch Zone with a five-second lead before turning the car over to Loeb.

That was all the nine-time World Rally Championship titlist needed to give him the advantage needed to win the Crazy Race.

But the championship was not over yet. X44 Racing needed to finish third or better in the five-car finale to earn enough points for the title and after advancing from the LCQ, they were forced to take the worst grid position.

A chaotic start to the Finale saw Loeb run as high the lead and low as fourth after getting pushed off course during his first lap. And that is how he entered to Switch Zone.

On her first lap, Gutierrez slammed into Molly Taylor. With one lap remaining, X44 and Gutierrez were still in fourth and the title hope was quickly evaporating, but it was announced halfway through the lap that the third-running Andretti United team would suffer a penalty for a Switch Zone infraction. The seven-second deduction for Timmy Hansen braking too late in the zone made the difference in the title.

Coming off a disappointing Copper X Prix when Tanner Foust and Emma Gilmour crossed under the checkers first, but were relegated to fifth by penalty, the McLaren pair scored their first podium of the season in second.