Aston Martin Racing managing director John Gaw has targeted a top-five finish at the opening round of the FIA World Endurance Championship at Sebring.
Gaw expects the GTE class to be highly competitive, with over 20 cars battling against Aston Martin's V8-powered Vantage for class honors. The team boss also expects the Vantage's performance to improve as the season progresses, as he said that everyone in the team was eagerly anticipating the Mobil 1 Twelve Hours, which also serves as the season opener for the American Le Mans Series.
"Everyone in the team is eager to get back into competition. Indeed, many were at Sebring when Aston Martin Racing won on its debut with the DBR9 back in 2005," Gaw said.
The Vantage GTE will arrive at Sebring on the back of a three day test at the Road Atlanta circuit in Georgia where the team's works drivers, Darren Turner, Stefan Mucke and Adrian Fernandez all covered significant mileage in the new car. Turner said a strong first impression had left him confident for the year ahead.
"I think everyone has been pleasantly surprised with initial performance and reliability," he explained, "which bodes well for Sebring and the season ahead."
IndyCar and sports car veteran Fernandez is the only driver from the trio not to have raced a GT car before, but he has raced at Sebring and feels confident that he will be on the pace of his new teammates after the successful test at Road Atlanta.