FLORIDA, USA, March 20, 2006 - Aston Martin Racing team finished the 12 Hours of Sebring endurance race in second and third place after a thrilling finale in the GT1 competition. The 007 car, driven by Tomas Enge, Darren Turner and Nicolas Kiesa, was involved in a transatlantic tussle with the second American Corvette entry that culminated in a nail biting battle to the chequered flag. Tomas Enge drove a double stint to finish the race third and keep the hard chasing Corvette behind.
At the half way point in the race the DBR9 number 007 was fourth in GT1, but thirteen laps behind the leader after an incident on lap 121 forced a 20 minute repair stop. The car returned to the garage when the bonnet and part of the front wings, previously damaged in a spin, flew off as it negotiated a high speed section of the circuit.
In the closing stages of the race, the drivers of Aston Martin number 009 consolidated their second place, while in the 007 car Tomas Enge was locked in the battle with the number three Corvette. For the last ten laps the pair was separated by less than a second.
Kiesa comments: “Quite a lot of ups and down today! Things improved as soon as it got dark and I saw a chance for us to finish third. But as I have only two laps of night driving under my belt I said to Darren and Thomas that they’d better do it if we’re going to have any chance and they have both done an unbelievable job!
"It’s been a very steep learning curve for me this weekend. It’s the first time ever for me in a racing car with a roof and I think I’ve learned as much here as you’re supposed to in six months. But it’s a very good experience and to top it off we finished on the podium.”
Team Principal, George Howard-Chappell comments: “A good race, particularly later on. I think the whole team worked really well. Things weren’t going well at the beginning but we kept our cool and the guys did fantastic jobs. We worked on the car a fair bit during the race, learned more about the tyres and I’m pleased with the final result.”