19 November 2016
ASTON MARTIN RACING WINS 2016 FIA WEC GT DRIVER'S CHAMPIONSHIP
Aston Martin Racing has won the FIA World Endurance Championship GT Drivers' championship. Nicki Thiim and Marco Sørensen took the title after taking victory in the FIA World Endurance Championship’s season finale in Bahrain.
It is the first time Prodrive has won a full FIA world drivers' title since Petter Solberg won the World Rally Championship for Subaru in 2003.
Heading into the race, the pair led the GT Drivers' title battle by 12 points, with the team controlling the GTE Pro championship with a 2-point advantage. While a third place finish would provide the necessary points to take the GT Drivers' title, the Danes claimed victory in style by taking their second win of the season, securing the GTE Pro championship for Aston Martin Racing in the process.
After battling hard with the #51 Ferrari in the opening hours, the duo accrued a lead of over 20 seconds by the fifth hour. With their rivals pushing hard in the closing stages to close the gap, Thiim showed true class to maintain the advantage to the chequered flag, finishing 12.695 seconds over second place.
Thiim said, “As I said over and over again. I made a big change to my racing career at the beginning of this season. That was to come to a new team in Aston Martin Racing with a range of new partners in Total and Dunlop.
"I told my teammate that it would be amazing to win the championship with this team and with a fellow Dane and I still can’t really believe that we now have our first WEC championship with Aston Martin. I’ve just driven two stints in the car so I need a moment to calm down but I am sure the emotions will come."
He added: “The consistency throughout the season has been amazing, the car has been great and the improvements we’ve made with our partners throughout the year have been incredible. To be up there in our first year with two new partners in Dunlop and Total and to compete against some big teams with their two new cars is really something special. Right now, I’m very happy with what I and the team have achieved."
Thiim’s teammate Sørensen added: “It’s absolutely amazing to win the championship and I’m going to say it’s even more incredible to win it with a Danish brother like Nicki. When we were 10 years old, we raced against each other in karting but to be here winning a championship with him and Aston Martin Racing is fantastic.
"Nobody would have thought we could be here together. I’m so proud of the whole team. We had a lot of new partners at the beginning of this year but it all just came together so well and today has been fantastic. I still can’t really believe it.”
Speaking of today’s success and reflecting on a successful season overall for Aston Martin Racing, team principal Paul Howarth said: “What a fantastic day to get to the end of the season and for Marco and Nicki to claim the GT Drivers' and GTE Pro titles. Credit to them and the way they drove today and to all the team for helping them deliver these results.
"2016 has been an incredible journey for this team and for us to consistently prove ourselves against other world-class outfits is testimony to the professionalism of this team. I’m proud to have led them throughout this season and the team can travel home thoroughly proud of their achievements."
Aston Martin Racing leaves the Middle East with two world championships to its name, adding to its other recent championship victories in European Le Mans Series with customer team Beechdean AMR and British GT with TF Sport.
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