The 007 Aston Martin Racing LMP1 car of Jan Charouz (CZ), Tomas Enge (CZ) and Stefan Mücke (GER) has finished on the podium of the Spa 1000 kilometres in Belgium following a magnificent fightback after the team started from the back of the grid.
Despite failing to set a qualifying time on Saturday as the result of a mechanical problem, the Aston Martin Racing mechanics work late into the night to replace the car’s engine in readiness for Sunday’s six-hour race.

Nonetheless a superlative performance from all three drivers throughout an incident-packed race, plus a well-deserved fifth place for the sister 009 car, resulted in te team adding to its Le Mans Series team points total following victory at the opening round in Barcelona last month.

Mücke started the race at 12:50 in the 007 car from the back of the grid, and soon began cutting through the traffic. Within an hour he had already moved into the top five behind the 009 car. However, a collision with another competitor who had outbraked himself damaged the nose of the 007 Aston Martin, affecting the car’s handling.

Jan Charouz took over for the second stint, which was characterised by several incidents, accidents and safety car periods. Charouz then handed the car over to his Czech compatriot Tomas Enge after a tricky double stint on the notoriously complex Spa-Francorchamps circuit. During Charouz’s stint the 007 car’s nose was changed in order to rectify a problem with the lights, and it was then that the crack in the underside that had affected Mücke was discovered.

Enge got into the car with two hours to go when it was running in fourth, but he was able to close up to the leaders under yet another lengthy safety car period. He emerged in third place with around 20 minutes of racing left, meaning that he had to strike a delicate compromise between guaranteeing a strong finish for the team and attempting to secure a podium place against strong opposition that was right behind him.

The next competitive outing for the Aston Martin Racing team will be its biggest challenge of the year: the daunting Le Mans 24 Hours itself, on June 13-14. Aston Martin Racing Team Principal George Howard-Chappell concluded: “I’m extremely pleased to get both cars home in one piece this close to Le Mans. It was an excellent result for the 007 crew, full credit to the team for working so hard to deal with what was a tough week