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Dunlop Le Mans

Aston Martin Racing Launch - Thoughts and Quotes From The Drivers

Rob Bell is set to contest Spa and Le Mans for the AMR team:

"They asked if I was available for Sebring too but we're expecting a baby on 18 March so I bowed out of that one."

In answer to a question on the rather unusual ability to mix his McLaren factory duties with racing for another factory GT team Rob was very straightforward:

"McLaren won't be at Le Mans this year and, of course, I'm delighted that they have released me to do this.  My contract allows it at their discretion and, in truth, there's very little reason to worry about read across, even if I was minded to do it, this has the engine at the front and the McLaren's is in the middle!  Aside from that though there's the pretty obvious poin that you don't work as hard and as long as I have to be working for a factory team only to blow it by breaking their trust.

"This effort looks very strong and I am really pleased to be back at Le Mans."

Fred Makowiecki:

"Of course I have driven Aston Martin GT cars before (GT3 DBRS9 and GT1 DBR9 for Hexis) but until now there was not the opportunity to race with the factory team.

"It's great to be here, and fantastic to be in the full FIA WEC.  We saw already how good the 2012 car was, the changes for this year look very good too.  We'll be racing to win for sure."

Bruno Senna:

"This is going to be an interesting challenge.  The car weighs twice as much as an F1 car and has a lot less downforce - but a race car is a race car.  You learn it, and you learn to get the very most out of it, drive it to the limits.

"The team looks great, and the relationships are interesting.  We want to help each other, but we want to beat the other cars too! 

"The objective is to win races, and to fight for the Championship.  That's going to be tough but that's exactly what I like.

"It may seem an odd comparison but Fred suggested to me that the car is a little like an F3 car - it doesn't quite have enough power to overcome the grip.

"I will get in the car for the first time at the Portimao test and am looking forward to that, to racing at Sebring and the. Beyond to the whole season, Le Mans and Interlagos will be highlights of course for me.  I told Emerson about the programme only recently and he is very pleased.  I hope I can help him to bring more people to the race."

Chris Goodwin (Senna's manager)

So why this programme Chris?

"It's simple really.  Bruno is a racing driver and he wants to win.  He enjoyed his spell with Oreca but very clearly had his sights set on F1.

"F1 though turned into a very difficult environment for him and when you race to compete that can be very tough.

"This programme is a fantastic opportunity to be part of a great team as an important part of an already good Championship that is growing in importance rapidly.

"One other thing too - It would be nice to add another World Championship trophy to the family cabinet wouldn't it?"

Stefan Mucke:

"The strength in depth is amazing this year, not just with our team whis is a very good one, but with the opposition too.  I think every race looks like it will be a battle, and I think we have what we need to win."

Darren Turner:

"I've been with the factory team now since late 2004 and the start of the DBR9 programme and it has been an incredible journey with race wins, including Le Mans of course, and some wonderful cars.  We have had our down times too but the mark of this team is how you respond - And I think it is fair to say that this is some response!

"It isn't just what you see here today either.  The commitment from Aston Martin to testing is excellent too, we've just done a little cold weather testing in the UK so far but from here on in we are very busy on track, in the wind tunnel, and in the races too - I can't wait."

Jamie Campbell Walter:

"This is a funny old game, one minute you're flying high and the next it seems like you are off everyone's radar.

"I have actually had a full season deal as a professional racing driver every year since 1998 with Lister, then with Creation and JRM until last year - Then the was the programme with Roald and Stuart in the McLaren and that has led directly to this full season deal in the WEC.

Peter Dumbreck:

"I've been talking to AMR for a long time, I was always keen to get involved back in the GT1 days, the team is a very good one, the factory is very close to home and that brings advantages all round.

"I believe John (Gaw) was keen to do something but nothing had come together until really very recently. I can talk pretty soon about the rest of the season but it looks like I will be pretty busy.  It looks like I have gone from the position of having nothing in early January to the possibility of three programmes now!"

Christoffer Nygaard:

"Ours was the last of the four cars to be finally confirmed.  I think it finally came together just a couple of days before the WEC entry deadline.

"I am really very happy to be in the WEC.  It is already a big Championship and it will only build in importance.  Looking at the entry last week I think it is very clear that the GTE Am class will take a big step forward this year.  It is going to be a tough fight at every round but that's really good for the whole Championship.

On the significance of the all Danish squad

"Tom (Kristensen) has achieved a huge amount and that has pushed endurance raci g to be one of the biggest sports in Denmark.  It is already on a high level throughout the year and in June it very much puts all other sport into the shade, including F1.

"We expect around 40,000 Danes at Le Mans again this year and it will be good to give them something else to cheer about again."

Stuart Hall:

"This all really started back in 2008 when I initially got into discussions with AMR.  Of course I have always wanted to get back to Le Mans since what happened in 2009 (when Stuart was controversially excluded from the race after an on track incident with Tim Greaves Radical LMP2) but Roald (Goethe) has been the key.

"Silverstone last year (where the pair entered a Vantage in a one-off WEC appearance) was great for us.  Roald loved it and I went well too. It was a highlight in what had been a tough year in the McLaren (with Gulf Racing in the Blancpain Endurance Series).

"The deal was done pretty early (this car was the one described to DSC at Interlagos as being "90% done") and bringing Jamie (Campbell Walter) in was just the icing on the cake.  Jamie and I have been very good friends since we drive together at Creation, it's perhaps slightly controversial to say it but he's the best team-mate I have ever had.  he's fast, he's generous with his feedback and his time. I've never thought he's got the recognition that his talent deserves.  I was happy to introduce him to Roald and happily they gel really well.

"One key to this driver line-up is that I am now a Silver ranked driver, I simply don't qualify as a gold (this despite a 4th place finish overall at Le Mans!).

"One of the oddities of the season is that having been a factory driver pushes you from Gold to Platinum, but it doesn't push you from Silver to Gold!

"Looking at the grid I'd say that our car has real potential to do well.  Roald is the epitome of the gentleman driver and he loves the car.  We have a great test programme ahead of us now.  I can't wait."

Roald Goethe:

"I love racing but I cannot remember a programme that I have been more excited or enthusiastic about than this one.

"I have to say that I am proud to be part of a squad that really is a proper Pro-Am line-up.  I like to challenge myself to do better and the WEC should do that very well I think!

"I never forget that I am here doing this purely for the enjoyment, for the experience.  It takes a lot of organisation and some personal sacrifices to make the pretty considerable amount of time available that it requires but having done that, having made the commitment I want to do well and I want to enjoy it.

"I am looking forward to Le Mans of course but also to Spa, my favourite circuit of all, and to Interlagos.  I lived in São Paulo, pretty close to the circuit in fact, for two years as a young man and I am delighted to be going back there."