and Tom Blomqvist surprised even themselves when they split the Aston Martins to take a front row spot in LMGTE Pro for this weekend’s .


The number 82 briefly topped the timesheets earlier in qualifying before eventually being demoted to second spot, however the turnaround this weekend has been a microcosm of their entire season so far.



“I’m quite surprised to be honest”, said Da Costa after qualifying.


“We’ve been struggling a little bit with car balance since we got here yesterday and through the first three practice sessions. But the team did a great job overnight to improve things and we’re very happy to be on the front row”.


The BMW’s have struggled so far, with podiums being largely out of reach whilst the German manufacturer has get to grips with World Endurance GT racing whilst it’s opposition in Porsche, Aston Martin and Ferrari have had years to perfect their set-up.


“There are still a lot of big unknowns for both the drivers and the engineers”, adds Da Costa.


“We’re learning about the car every day and every day we make a step forward. It’s good to see it’s finally paying off and we’re in a position to fight for something”.


The BMW’s M8 GTEs receive a 20kg weight reduction, along with a turbo boost pressure increase, and a two-litre increase in fuel capacity as part of the Balance of Performance adjustment (BoP) for Fuji, but Da Costa says the dispensation has only been part of the performance turnaround for the team.


“It’s not only the BoP for sure”, explained Da Costa.


“That (BoP) obviously helps us, but it’s just a little bit on car balance as well combined with the understanding we have of the car.


“They’re just little things of knowing what to do and what not to do. We’re avoiding mistakes that we probably made before in terms of set-up changes, so we’re slowly chipping away”.


Six hours on track though is a big difference over one lap performance, but it’s a challenge that Da Costa and Blomqvist will be relishing on Sunday.



“Tomorrow is a big unknown”, says Felix.


“The car didn’t feel too bad this morning on our longest run, but whether or not it’s good enough I don’t know”.


The 6 Hours of Fuji begins at 11am local time Sunday.