With five Gulf-sponsored Vantage GTE racecars competing at Le Mans this year, Aston Martin has swept the board in qualifying, taking pole and second place in the GTE Pro class, and Pole in the GTE Am class. This continues the marques remarkable string of pole positions in the famous French race.
The fastest GTE lap time of the three qualifying sessions - 3:54.635 - was set by Frédéric Makowiecki (FR) in the #99 car in the final moments of the third qualifying session. It followed a close battle with team-mate Stefan Mücke in the #97 machine, who would eventually take second position.
Makowiecki will share the #99 Vantage GTEe with Bruno Senna (BR) and Rob Bell (GB), starting from the front row of 26 GT cars in the race.
In the GTE Am class, Allan Simonsen (DN) put the #95 car at the top of the timesheets at the start of qualifying one. They held that position until the end of session three when Simonsen improved on his time with a 3:57.776.
The #96 Vantage GTE Am car driven by Jamie Campbell-Walter clinched third place when the British driver put in a lap of 3:59.805.
The #98 GTE Pro car will start from fifth on the grid after Pedro Lamy (PT) set the time in the first qualifying session. Afterwards, the team focused on acquainting the drivers with the car and course during the fragmented sessions.
John Gaw from Aston Martin Racing said: "We came here with the aim of qualifying on pole in both classes, so we are pleased to have started off our 24 Hours of Le Mans campaign so positively. The qualifying sessions were a little frustrating because of the rain and red flags meaning little changed until the final 15 minutes. We did well to secure both pole positions in the dying minutes.
"We all know, however, that in a 24-hour race, starting positions aren't too important. We need to ensure we continue the reliability that we demonstrated at Silverstone and Spa to get all our cars to the end of the race safely and without issues."