Aston Martin has won the 88th 24 Hours of Le Mans. The British manufacturer, which was last victorious in the world-famous event in 2017, recorded its best ever result at the Circuit de la Sarthe by winning both GT classes and with three crews standing on the podium. The result means that Aston Martin scored enough points to secure the FIA World Endurance Championship (WEC) manufacturers’ title with one round remaining.
It was works drivers Alex Lynn (GB) and Maxime Martin (BEL), along with former Le Mans class-winner Harry Tincknell (GB), who took the most coveted win in endurance racing after a flawless performance in the #97 Vantage GTE and a thrilling and nail-biting 24-hour battle with the works team Ferraris.
Lynn, who set the fastest lap of the GTE classes at 03.10 on Sunday said: “I won’t lie, that was emotional… I had a few tears on the last lap. I have driven this exact car for the last three years and so much hard work and sweat has gone into it. It honestly feels incredible.”
TF Sport’s Vantage GTE took class-winning honors in GTE Am with works driver Jonny Adam (GB) and Charlie Eastwood (GB), and team-mate Salih Yoluç (TUR) and, with it, the lead of the WEC GTE Am drivers’ title going into the season finale at Bahrain International Circuit. The British outfit is the first privateer team to win Le Mans with the Vantage GTE.
Nicki Thiim (DEN) and Marco Sorenson (DEN), who were joined this weekend by Richard Westbrook (GB), will also take the WEC pro-class drivers’ title to the wire – they now lead team-mates Lynn and Martin by just 15 points after taking third place in the GTE Pro class.
In the GTE Am class, huge disappointment came for long-standing Aston Martin Racing driver Paul Dalla Lana (CAN), who had high hopes for his eighth Le Mans. Outstanding pace from the Canadian and his team-mates Augusto Farfus (BR) and works driver Ross Gunn (GB) proved fruitless after an extended pit stop put a halt to their race-leading charge.
The trio of podiums at the double-point-scoring event was enough for Aston Martin to take the WEC Manufacturers’ title for the first time – the British manufacturer crossed the line 76 points ahead of Porsche and 97 ahead of Ferrari.
Tobias Moers, Aston Martin CEO, commented: “I am extremely proud of everyone who has played a part in this momentous victory today. To win both GTE classes and the WEC Manufacturer’s title is testimony to the quality of both the team, the Vantage GTE and the Vantage road car that is the basis of the race car.”
The 2020 24 Hours of Le Mans GT winners completed 346 laps of the 13.8km track. While Lynn set the fastest lap time of the GTE competitors – 3:50.321 – Thiim drove for 10:02.35 of the 24-hour race, more than any other Aston Martin Racing driver.
Alex Lynn (GB), #97 Aston Martin Vantage GTE: “I won’t lie that was emotional. I had a few tears on the last lap. I have driven this exact car for the last three years and so much hard work and sweat has gone into it.”
Maxime Martin (BE), #97 Aston Martin Vantage GTE: “It’s awesome to win Le Mans for Aston Martin. It was a difficult race – the Ferrari was strong and it was tough for more than 22 hours. To win Le Mans is something special. We had two years when we struggled here so to learn, improve, come back so prepared and win… it feels emotional. Alex did an amazing job, Harry was incredible on his first outing in the car and the team was faultless.”
Harry Tincknell (GB), #97 Aston Martin Vantage GTE: “I feel incredibly lucky to be part of this team and experience. It’s fantastic to be a winner in an Aston Martin at Le Mans. The history that the brand has here and the emotion of the British fans, who couldn’t be with us but are still watching at home… it’s really something special. I have to pinch myself that I’m going to be a small part of Aston Martin’s history forever.”
David King, Aston Martin Vice President Chief Special Operations Officer and President Aston Martin Racing: “The team have worked so hard with the new Vantage for three years now to make it a Le Mans and a world championship winner against the toughest of competitor teams. I am so proud to see the Aston Martin Vantage beat such illustrious rivals on the track in the ultimate test of man and machine. I’m only sorry that so many of our brand partners, customers and fans who usually join us here in France were unable to do so this year, but we felt the support and really appreciate all the messages and the good will.”