18.06.2017 - 18h20

Aston Martin Racing’s Vantage reigns supreme at Le Mans

A winner in the LMGTE Pro category was never going to be easy to predict, but this year’s 24 Hours of Le Mans kept fans, viewers, media and competitors on the edge of their seats right to the chequered flag.

A winner in the LMGTE Pro category was never going to be easy to predict, but this year’s 24 Hours of Le Mans kept fans, viewers, media and competitors on the edge of their seats right to the chequered flag.  The race was held in intense heat and was pronounced “tough” by drivers up and down the field.

  • Aston Martin Racing’s Jonny Adam, Darren Turner and Daniel Serra took a dramatic LMGTE Pro class victory, in a repeat of the classic battles for GT1 honours with Corvette Racing from 10 years ago, claiming maximum WEC points and moving the trio into second place in the GT FIA World Endurance Drivers’ Championship.  
  • The deciding move for victory came on the penultimate lap as Adam’s No.97 Aston Martin Vantage GTE passed the No.63 Corvette at the Ford Chicane, following a lock-up on the Mulsanne Straight that resulted in a left-front puncture for the Corvette driver.
  • It was Darren Turner’s 3rd class victory at Le Mans, and a first for both Adam and Brazilian driver Serra who was making his first appearance in the race.
  • The American car managed to limp across the line but not before also losing second place to the No.67 Ford Chip Ganassi Team UK GT of Harry Tincknell, Andy Priaulx and Pipo Derani.  The resulting points keep the trio at the head of the points standing in the GT Drivers Championship.
  • Five different manufacturers filled the top-five positions in a race that saw at least 5 or 6 cars on the same lap for nearly the whole of the 24 hours. 
  • Daniel Serra in the No.97 set a new race lap record for the class at Le Mans with a time of 3:50.950.
  • A late splash-and-dash dropped the No.91 Porsche 911 RSR of Frédéric Makowiecki, Richard Lietz and Patrick Pilet to 4th on the mid-engined car’s first outing at Le Mans, with the No.71 AF Corse 488 GTE shared by Sam Bird, Davide Rigon and Miguel Molina finishing 5th.
  • Nicki Thiim, Marco Sorensen and Richie Stanaway fought back from a left-rear puncture in the early stages to the lead by the early morning, before Stanaway made a mistake and crashed at Mulsanne Corner, dropping the car to 9th.
  • The major beneficiary of this appeared to be the No.51 Ferrari of James Calado, Alessandro Pier Guidi and Michele Rugolo, but they lost over an hour in the pits with radiator damage following a clash between Calado and a LMGTE Am Aston Martin.
  • It was a tough race in LMGTE for the WEC runners, with the first four places going to non-championship cars. The ELMS’ JMW Motorsport took the victory, with the No.61 Clearwater Racing Ferrari of Mok Weng Sun, Keita Sawa and Matt Griffin taking 4th on the track but enough points to take them to the top of the LMGTE Am drivers’ championship. 
  • The Singapore entry was just in front of the No.77 Dempsey Proton Porsche 911 RSR of Christian Ried, Matteo Cairoli and Marvin Dienst which finished 6th in class.   

With the assistance of and thanks to Sportscar365

All results and championship points can be found HERE

Fiona MILLER