Aston Martin Racing took the victory at the 85th 24 Hours of Le Mans in dramatic style, after Jonny Adam snatched the GTE Pro lead on the final lap of the iconic endurance race. Partnered by Darren Turner and Daniel Serra, the trio and their Aston Martin V8 Vantage GTE performed faultlessly to ensure they remained in the hunt for victory right until the death.
With just over 45 minutes left on the clock, Jonny Adam found himself pitting at the same time as the No.63 Corvette of Jordan Taylor for a final fuel stop. With both cars exiting the pit lane together, with Adam in second, it was inevitable that he would have to make the pass while on track.
After trading places with his rival for much of the final stint, Adam prevailed and overtook the No.63 Corvette as he crossed the start/finish line on the penultimate lap. With his rival running wide at the second Mulsanne corner under pressure from the Adam, a slow puncture halted their progress and ensured the victory.
“For Daniel and Darren to put me in that mix to battle for the front was testament to how good the car has been all weekend." said Adam "To see how well the guys had driven, we had zero mistakes and we did our best to keep the car out of the pits as often as we could and just try and run a consistent pace throughout. It was an extremely tough last stint, we nearly pipped the Corvette on the pit exit in the last hour and when he did get the jump there he was fast. He managed to pull at one point a six to eight car length gap, but our goal was not to give up. He looked weak in a few corners and I knew I had to capitalise on them and when I got on to his bumper I knew it was now or never if I wanted to win Le Mans. We got it and it was really cool to get him just before the finish line and to see fans in the grandstands and the team on the pit wall celebrating, and it was then just time to bring it home”.
Turner, who earlier this week set a new qualifying GTE lap record, took his third Le Mans class win following victory in 2007 and 2008 with the Aston Martin DRB9 added, “After how our preparations went, it was always looking like it was going to be an epic battle and it was right from the start. The lead ebbed and flowed from every manufacturer in the GTE Pro class at some point in the race but the Aston Martin Racing Vantage was always there or thereabouts. I have to say Jonny’s last stint was exceptional and Daniels’ pace considering it was his first time at Le Mans was great, I couldn’t ask for two better team mates. The team did an exceptional job throughout the night, and what a feeling, I am so proud to be part of this team. It was a great team effort and it was great to be on the top step. It’s just a shame that the whole team couldn’t join us as it was one of the best podiums I have ever been on and for me personally this was my hardest Le Mans and my sweetest victory”.
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