Aston Martin Racing will utilize a spare chassis for its No. 95 Vantage GTE following Marco Sorensen’s heavy crash in Sunday’s Le Mans Test Day.
The Dane reported side-to-side contact was made with the No. 35 SMP Racing Dallara P217 Gibson of Harrison Newey on the right-hand kink before Indianapolis, with the Aston making heavy impact with the barriers.
Sorensen, who is set to share the car with Nicki Thiim and Darren Turner, was evaluated and released from the medical center without injuries, while Newey managed to bring the Dallara LMP2 back to the pits.
The incident brought Sunday’s four-hour morning session to a halt, approximately 50 minutes earlier than expected, and resulted in the afternoon session being started early to make up the lost time.
Earlier in the afternoon, Aston Martin’s previous-generation GTE-Am Vantage experienced an oil leak in the pit lane that the manufacturer believes was caused by an altercation with another prototype.
AMR team principal Paul Howarth reiterated that the team has “the full capability” to have its new No. 95 chassis prepared for the race in two weeks’ time.
“We came here with a very clear test plan and unfortunately through two track incidents, it’s cost us valuable time in our new car’s and our GTE Am entry’s test schedule,” said Howarth.
“It’s clear from the size of the accident that we can’t use the No. 95 car. We now have to prepare a fresh chassis, which is not the ideal way to ready ourselves for Le Mans.
“We have every confidence in Aston Martin Racing that we will be back next week with a fresh focus, ready to race on. We have the full capability to prepare the No. 95 for the next race.
“Our approach and our planning allows us to react to an event such as this. We always plan for all eventualities. We will be ready to race at Le Mans.”
Sorensen “Lucky” After “Heavy Impact”
Sorensen praised the strength of the Aston Martin chassis, which made its race debut at last month’s Total Six Hours of Spa.
“For me, it’s unfortunate that our test day ended this way, I consider myself lucky and grateful to be going home fit and healthy,” he said.
“It was a really heavy impact for me, but the car was really strong. I am glad for that because I will be able to compete in the most important race of the year – the 24 Hours of Le Mans.
“When the car came to a stop, I jumped out and I obviously saw how heavy the damage was and it’s a testament to its strength that I am OK.
“Now the team has to build a new car which is frustrating, but I have every confidence in Aston Martin Racing and we will be ready for the race.”
Both Sorensen and Newey were handed in-race 1-minute stop-and-hold penalties, which are suspended unless a repeat offense, by race stewards for “unsafe maneuver during overtaking.”
It was the only significant accident of the day.