Aston Martin takes last-lap Le Mans win

British team defeats US Corvette rival at the last.

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Aston Martin sent the 60,000 British race fans attending the Le Mans 24 Hour race home happy, claiming victory in the GTE Pro class after a bold last-lap pass.

The #97 Aston Martin V8 Vantage GTE of Darren Turner, Jonny Adam and Daniel ran faultlessly throughout the day and night of the classic race, and it fell to Adam to try and secure the victory in the closing stages.

The Vantage pitted for its final fuel stop with 45 minutes of the race left, the class-leading #63 Chevrolet Corvette of Jordan Taylor pitting at the same time and resuming just ahead of Adam.

Contact made

The Aston closed on the Corvette and with two laps left made a lunge for the lead at Arnage bend, only to bounce off the side of his rival and have to drop back.

The relentless hounding had its effect on Corvette driver Taylor, however, as on the next lap he locked up and went straight on at the chicane, starting a slow puncture that meant that when Adam tried again at the final corner, the Aston went through to victory.

“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,” Adam said later. “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.”

Aston Martin Vantage GTE Pro wins at Le Mans 2017
A faultless performance netted the win for the Aston Martin team, run by Prodrive in Banbury.

 

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Andrew Charman
Andrew Charman
Andrew is a road test editor for The Car Expert. He is a member of the Guild of Motoring Writers, and has been testing and writing about new cars for more than 20 years. Today he is well known to senior personnel at the major car manufacturers and attends many new model launches each year.

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