Nicholas Mee Racing celebrated a maiden victory in the Aston Martin GT4 Challenge after an inspired strategy on the pitwall made the best of a safety-car strewn race at Snetterton last weekend.
The three-hour endurance race saw guest driver Dan de Zille take the checkered flag alongside Karsten Le Blanc for their first win in only the second round of the championship.
The race meeting started well as they secured a front row grid slot in a weather-affected qualifying session that prevented a pole position, but the team was happy with second.
And this optimism proved to be well placed as the NMR Aston Martin led by the second corner with Le Blanc at the wheel.
But it was not all plain sailing and oil deposited on the track by the Frankel/Watkins car caused Le Blanc to lose control and spin, dropping down to sixth overall.
By the time the drivers swapped half way through the race, Le Blanc had raced back up to fourth and de Zille was well placed to challenge for the podium.
It was at this point that the team strategy turned the race in NMR's favour. Team Manager Giles Dawson decided to make the last fuel stop of the race under yet another safety car and leave de Zille free to race to the end.
The inspired strategy paid off as de Zille inherited third place with other teams forced to stop for fuel as the race wore on, and eventually the guest driver hit the front and held on to the checkered flag.
De Zille was delighted with his day's work and is hoping to return to the series later in the year. He said: “What an amazing day. Karsten did a great job in his stint, keeping us in contention at the front of the pack.
“It was great racing coming through the pack and the guys behind ensured I could never let up the pace, pushing hard to the end.
“As a first outright race win it’s brilliant and do to it in an Aston Martin and by such a margin is the icing on the cake, I'm hoping I can get back in the Aston later in the season.”
Karsten Le Blanc and NMR's Team Commercial Director Neal Garrard both praised the role that Giles Dawson played in the race victory and NMR are hoping for another win in the next round.
Garrard added: “All credit to Team Manager Giles Dawson. He's done a great job this year, and it was his strategy, which helped us win this weekend.
“Dan was consistently on the pace and both drivers kept it clean, despite the race becoming quite a battlefield. Great teamwork by all, and we're looking forward to the next round.”