The #188 Garage 59 Aston Martin Vantage GT3 came home in third place in the AM class after three hours of hard racing at Silverstone yesterday. Round 2 of the Blancpain GT Series Endurance Cup was a bruising affair for many of the runners, not least the Garage 59 PRO entry whose race ended abruptly on the opening lap.
This is the second podium in a row for the car shared by Alexander West, Chris Goodwin and Chris Harris. The #188 Aston Martin was running in fourth place during the closing stages of the race but a last minute lunge into Brooklands on the final lap paid off for Goodwin and he grabbed the final podium position.
Despite coming away with more silverware, Goodwin is keenly aware that there is work to do before the next race at Paul Ricard in three weeks’ time.
“It was good to salvage something from a difficult weekend,” he said, speaking after the race. “The car was hard to drive today so we’re going to go away, regroup and do the homework we need to do to make the car faster as we just didn’t have the pace this weekend. This is all part of the process of learning a new car. We thought we knew where we were at after testing extensively at Paul Ricard but now there are clearly a whole load of set up steps we need to discover as we continue to learn about the Vantage GT3. This is what we do though and I expect to see us doing a lot better next time out.”
The #59 Aston Martin shared by Côme Ledogar, Jonny Adam and Andrew Watson had a race that was memorable for all the wrong reasons. Ledogar was forced to start the race close to the back of the grid along with amongst others the Monza-winning Porsche. Two red flags during the first part of qualifying meant that he was unable to set a time so the aggregate after Adam and Watson’s runs left the team’s PRO entry way down the order.
One of the dangers of starting that far back means that you are right in the middle of it if things get messy at the start and that is exactly what happened. Exiting Chapel at full speed, Ledogar was confronted by a spinning car and he had nowhere to go. The accident did extensive damage to the Aston Martin Vantage, which forced an immediate retirement. Fortunately Ledogar escaped without any major injuries, thanks to the strength of the car and its safety features.
The team will now work to get the #59 Aston Martin Vantage GT3 back on track for Round 3 at Paul Ricard, just under three weeks from now.