Maxime Martin says the power increase given to the Aston Martin Vantage GTE has resulted in a better-than-expected single-lap pace at this weekend’s Six Hours of Silverstone.
The new-for-2018 car, which has so far struggled in its first FIA World Endurance Championship season, was given a significant turbo boost increase as well as a 5-liter larger fuel capacity in an unprecedented Balance of Performance reset prior to the third round of the season.
The power increase, which Sportscar365 understands equates to around 25 horsepower, allowed Martin and co-driver Alex Lynn to qualify second in GTE-Pro for tomorrow’s race, while the sister car will start third, both behind the class pole-sitting No. 66 Ford GT.
“It has been enough, somehow, for here, for one lap,” Martin told Sportscar365. “But we have to see in the race.
“The track is suiting the car a lot better so it’s better for us. For sure, the BoP change helped us also. All in all, I think we can be really happy with P2 and P3.
“We didn’t really expect to be that far up but, in the end, the track is suiting the car quite good.
“With the BoP, we can have a bit more top speed so we can fight, and we have a better package in general.
“For sure, on one lap, the car is really good. Now we have to see; It’s a six-hour race, it’s long, so we have to see.”
Lynn reckons a “nice position” is possible in the race although both believe the Fords to be too far ahead of the GTE-Pro competition.
“We won’t know until everyone puts their cards on the table tomorrow, but I’m hopeful we’re going to be fighting for a really nice position,” Lynn told Sportscar365.
“I think the Fords are a bit in a different galaxy this weekend but I’m hopeful that we’re going to fight to be around where we are.”
Added Martin: “It’s difficult to be in front of Ford, but the rest is quite close so everything can be possible.”
Farfus: Fords Should “Move to LMP2”
BMW Team MTEK’s Augusto Farfus has joked that the Ford GTs are so fast they should move to the LMP2 class, but admits the other four GTE-Pro manufacturers are closely matched.
“I think, apart from Ford, which should move to the LMP2 class, all the rest are pretty [close],” he told Sportscar365.
“We didn’t expect to be P1. The [BMW’s] BoP from Spa, it’s the same here, so we showed what we had in Spa.
“Aston [made] a step because they got a big help. We knew that we would not have been leading the pack.”
The Brazilian would like to see a BoP adjustment ahead of the next race at Fuji and believes BMW needs a change to allow it to unlock any further pace from its M8 GTE.
“Our pace is pretty much it,” he said. “There will be an adjustment, I think, for the next races. At this stage, it goes without saying, everyone apart from Ford says they need help.
“In our side, I think we will make some progress with the car, but at the end, as much progress as we do, we need help from BoP.
“We can get two or three tenths from the car but there is still a big chunk to come.”
Daniel Lloyd contributed to this report