Aston Martin Chief Executive Andy Palmer and youngest-ever AMOC podium place
take centre stage at sizzling Snetterton race meeting
Aston Martin Chief Executive Andy Palmer joined over 100 other drivers competing in a world-class collection of grids from classic through to modern in the official Aston Martin Owners Club racing series fourth round at a sizzling Snetterton Circuit on Saturday 8th July.
Palmer, a relative newcomer to the track, raced with his more experienced co-driver and Aston Martin team member Matthew Becker, Chief Engineer of Vehicle Attribute Engineering. The dynamic duo raced in an Aston Martin Vantage GT4 in the in the Aston Martin GT Challenge.
In bright and dry conditions, the pair qualified in 6th position and in a tactical and well-driven race finished 7th overall in a highly competitive field.
Said Andy: ““Aston Martin is involved in everything from club level racing and GT4 right the way through to the World Endurance Championships and the Le Mans win, as well as our involvement with Red Bull in Formula 1. So in almost all formulas we touch with racing and racing touches with us.
“That’s why I enjoy racing so much. I think it is very important for someone who is involved in the development of cars to understand them and talk the language of the engineers and evaluators. It’s really valuable for both Matthew and I to get a very real experience of what our cars feel like out on the track.”
“I sincerely believe that the closer you can get to the road car – the accessibility of the road car to the track, and more importantly, the track car to the road – the better the direct access is to racing at this level and if you buy an Aston Martin you can get the level of capability I’m racing today.”
The exciting Aston Martin GT Challenge race was won by Chris Kemp, no stranger to the AMOC podium, in his Aston Martin Vantage GT4. Constant forerunner Tom Black in an Aston Martin GT4 took 2nd while previous multiple winner David Tinn enjoyed a proud moment with his 21-year old son Robert in 3rd. The GT Challenge was Robert’s first-ever race and to make the podium together was an incredibly special moment that resulted in a ‘shoey’-style celebration.
Other highlights from the day included the AMOC Intermarque Championship which, in an unexpected turn of events, saw hot favourites James Hilliard and James Guess in their Porsche 968 come off with an engine issue opening up the lead to Rob Hollyman in his Porsche 964 who took 1st place on the podium.
It wasn’t an easy win though as Rob explained: “The race was really hard work. I was pushed by James in first half and then thought I might have an easy finish after he came off. Then the BMW got faster and was chasing me hard right to the line.”
In a commanding performance Tony Ditheridge in his beautiful red Cooper Monaco won the AMOC 50s Sports Cars Jack Fairman Cup after taking an early lead over pole position Robi Bernberg in his Cooper T39 Bobtail. With just one lap to go Ditheridge produced his fastest lap time of the race, beating Robi Bernberg who remained in 2nd and James Patterson in his Lotus Eleven who finished 3rd.
Rob Cull once again dominated the Equipe GTS field bringing home another win in his TVR Grantura MK3, despite racing with no front windscreen or back window due to earlier damage! Cull’s commanding performance left David Beresford in 2nd in an MGB Roadster and Max Cawthorn in a MGA Roadster in 3rd.
An exhilarating Innes Ireland Cup was a fantastic end to the day with James Hilliard and James Guess in their Ginetta G10 back on top of the podium despite battling gearbox issues during the race. Hilliard and Guess were chased right to the line by Mike Dowd and Jeremy Cooke in their Lotus Elan who enjoyed an exciting battle with Martyn Corfield in his Austin-Healey 3000 for 2nd and 3rd place.
A lunchtime track parade of over 50 AMOC members’ cars was another great highlight of the day, as was the membership hospitality overlooking the pit lane.
Concluding a wonderful day, Aston Martin Chief Executive Andy Palmer said: “AMOC is an outstanding club. There’s a very welcoming atmosphere, but really competitive racing out on the track which is a fantastic combination. Behind the scenes everyone is helping each other and very friendly, which I think really sums up the spirit of Aston Martin.”
The next round of the official AMOC Racing Series takes place at Brands Hatch on Saturday 12 August 2017. For more information or to book your place on one of the exciting grids go to www.amocracing.com . AMOC dedicated parking and hospitality is available to AMOC Members.
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Posted by Peter Goodgame on
14 July 2017 at 1:00 PM