Aston Martin Racing took out its LMP1 Le Mans race car for the 3,500-strong public to see at the Paul Ricard Circuit. The team says the test results were encouraging despite one of its cars being badly damaged in an accident.
Aston Martin Racing showed off its 2009 LMP1 challenger at the Paul Ricard Circuit in France. This was the first time that the Le Mans Series race car had been driven but team Aston Martin came out of the test with a positive attitude. Reliability and performance were the yardsticks that they measured success on. One accident involving Czech driver Tomas Enge driving car number 007 ruffled the team's feathers a little but Enge escaped injury. Nevertheless the car was heavily damaged. The second car numbered 009 is fine.
Other than that all six drivers Jan Charouz (CZ), Tomas Enge (CZ), Stefan Mücke (DE), Harold Primat (CH), Miguel Ramos (PT) and Darren Turner (GB) managed to get a feel for the car.
"The LMP1 feels great, the speed on corning is great," said Ramos. "I'm not yet used to it as I normally drive a GT car but it is getting easier...I'm comparing my lap data with the more experienced drivers and making adjustments each time I drive which means I'm improving every lap. My last lap was my fastest of the two days."
About 3,500 spectators witnessed the event which saw 28 of the 50 competitors taking part in the test. It was the first time in 10 years that the public were allowed access to the Paul Ricard Test Track.
Aston Martin Racing team partner Drayson Racing also put their number 87 Aston Martin Vantage GT2 through its paces. They were also encouraged by the results they achieved.
Team bosses at Aston Martin Racing are aiming to reclaim the brand's 1959 ultimate success at the 24 Hour Le Mans which takes place on June 13 and 14, 2009.