Set up knocks Tom Gamble and co back in round one and two of the Asian Le Mans Series
Tom Gamble encountered a mixed weekend of endurance racing in the United Arab Emirates in the four hours of Dubai, reports Paul Horton.
The 19-year-old driver took to the wheel of the number 77 D’station Racing Aston Martin Vantage AMR GT3 at Dubai’s Autodrome circuit for round one and two of the Asian Le Mans Series as the team’s silver graded driver.
For race one, which took place on Saturday afternoon, team-mate Satoshi Hoshino handed over to Gamble on lap 26 in 15th place.
The Epperstone racer dived straight into a battle with the top silver class pilots for 30 laps before pitting the Aston Martin on lap 56.
The pit stop fell in line with a full course yellow flag and gave the team time to refuel, change tyres and get D’station Racing’s managing director Tomonobu Fujii in the driver’s seat who, after an eventful stint, crossed the chequered flag in 13th place.
The D’station team worked through the night to get the No 77 Aston Martin ready for Sunday afternoon’s race.
Again, it was Hoshino who started proceedings and the Dubai Autodrome was to show its demands on the drivers again, characterised by a layout with continuous high-speed blind corners in sector one.
Hoshino overtook two cars — a BMW and a Ferrari — on the opening lap and finished the first lap in 12th place.
The teams first pit stop came on lap 22 and Gamble climbed into the cockpit after sitting out.
The young driver, who had studied the track during his spell out of the car, gained time, and showed his potential as he recorded a team-best lap time of 01-05-676.
Fujii managed to build on Gamble’s progress and finished in 13th.
Gamble said: “We has some set up problems with the Aston Martin in race one and it hampered our chances, but we were improving all the time.
“Race two went a lot better and we were pleased with the best time.
“I’m looking forward to seeing what rounds three and four bring for us this weekend.”