Aston Martin bags 2nd in 2017 Hankook 24 Hours of Circuit of The Americas SP3 class

November 17, 2017

British carmaker Aston Martin made a brilliant run at this year’s Hankook 24 Hours of Circuit of The Americas in Austin Texas, USA. As regard, it took home 2nd place in the SP3 class with the brand’s President and CEO Dr. Andy Palmer helping to secure it with a notable podium finish.

Prior to this momentous achievement, Palmer came prepared with a number of experiences and wins in several Aston Martin Owners Club races. These include victories in such venues as Snetterton, Brands Hatch, Rockingham, and Silverstone.

The resulting 2nd place win at the Circuit of the Americas was the culmination of that bank of experience, which was boosted with the help of his teammates John Hindhaugh (Radio Le Mans commentator), Paul Hollywood (Great British Bake Off star), and Peter Cate (2017 Nürburgring 24-Hour class winner). The 4 men took turns in piloting the Vantage GT8 racecar, with Hollywood being the last man to cross the line and clinch the silver award.

However, the team’s 2nd place win wasn’t a walk in the park as the race presented quite a number of challenges that almost ended its outing. The most serious of which were a contact from a fellow competitor and a severed front-right ball joint due to on-track debris during the race’s half-way point.

These, in turn, had the team pitting for repairs 2 times. Fortunately, the team’s pit crew from its Special Projects division and Nürburgring test center handled the 2 incidents well, repairing the car and sending it back on track just 15 laps down from the leading SP3 competitor.

By the closing hours, the leading competitors began suffering from mechanical failures, thus allowing Aston Martin to pull up and close the gap to just 5 laps down. Eventually, the team, led by Hollywood, got up to 2nd with just a few hours left and held that position until the end. The 2nd place win caught the attention and votes of race fans worldwide, thus earning the team its Radio Le Mans’ coveted Spirit of the Race Award.

In a celebratory mood, Palmer said, “That was marvellous. To take second place was great and it could have been first if we hadn’t suffered damage to the car. But actually, I think that makes this finish rather special. Often people focus on the drivers, but what the team did to make each of those repairs so quickly and efficiently shows their quality and expertise. To get the deficit back down to five laps after our earlier issues wasn’t down to just one driver, but to the whole team and I think that encapsulates the spirit of Aston Martin and racing in general.”

About the Author

Randolph de Leon
Randy is a person with disability (PWD), a partially-blinded person with only his left eye functioning. Since childhood, the automobile has always been his passion, and is able to express it through photography and most recently, through writing as well. Outside the motoring beat, Randy spends time manning the media aspect of his business which he co-founded with his sister/college classmate. It's called Dragonlight Wellness and Solutions, a multi-business venture centering on improving peoples' lives through earning.