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Frustrating finale

Garage 59 wrapped up the 2019 racing season at the Kyalami 9 Hour in South Africa. A technical problem meant that the team ultimately retired from the race but with a hit rate of five out of seven podiums, it has been an encouraging debut season for the #188 Aston Martin Vantage GT3.

Chris Goodwin was behind the wheel of the #188 Vantage for the start of the nine-hour race, lining up 22nd overall but first in the Pro-Am class.

The British driver managed just two laps of trouble-free racing before a gearbox bearing failed on Lap 3, spraying oil onto the rear tyres and sending Goodwin off the track. He recovered and returned to the garage where the team set about repairing the car. It was a lengthy repair job so the #188 Vantage didn’t return to the track for over two hours.

“An out of the blue technical failure couldn’t have happened at a worse time,” said Goodwin. “If it had happened two laps earlier we could have rectified it overnight before the race. The Garage 59 team did a great job of repairing the car and getting us back out into the race but over two hours is a lot of time to lose.”

As the Pro-Am class was small at Kyalami the team knew that if the car could complete 70% of the full race distance it would be classified and would score points. Alexander West was up next, then Côme Ledogar, before Goodwin got in again. This cycle continued until the worsening conditions made it clear that the Vantage would be unable to make the 70% mark so the team took the decision to retire with just over two hours remaining.

“It’s a disappointing way to close out a good first season with Aston Martin and Garage 59,” said Goodwin. “The #188 car notched up five podiums out of seven events in what was the first season of racing for the new Vantage GT3. It hasn’t been without its teething problems and we are looking forward to developments over the winter and a stronger season still in 2020 for the whole team.”


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