2017 24 Hours of Le Mans: LM GTE Am Analysis


JMW Motorsport #84 © Craig Robertson

After the Aston Martins dropped out of contention for the class victory, it became a Ferrari-dominant race. From around the halfway mark, there was no challenge for the winning JMW Motorsport Ferrari 488 GTE. It took the class victory with over a lap advantage on the rest of the field.

It was an unlucky race for the participating Aston Martins, with only one of the three getting through the 24-hour race without issue. World Endurance Championship entrants Pedro Lamy, Paul Dalla Lana and Mathias Lauda took a hit to their championship campaign as they suffered a tyre blow out that caused them to fall down the order early in the race. They managed to recover to fourth in class, but after starting on pole position it was not the result they were after.

The European Le Mans Series entrant TF Sport #90 was looking to be in with a chance to challenge the #84 JMW Ferrari for the class victory, but a mistake in the night shift saw them also delayed in the garage and dropped down the order. This result saw the Clearwater Racing #61 taking third in class, but being rewarded second-place points as the JMW was not eligible to WEC points.

Luckily for the #98 crew, this year’s misfortune at the 24 Hours of Le Mans has not been as costly as it was last year. Although they are second in the Am Driver’s Championship, they are only six points behind championship leaders Weng Sun Mok, Keita Sawa, and Matt Griffin. It will be a tight battle between the Ferrari and Aston Martin cars in the second half of the season for the Am Driver’s and Team’s Championship.

The best finishing non-Ferrari car was the Beechdean AMR #99 that finished fourth in class. Considering that this is only the second year that this team has participated in the 24 Hours of Le Mans, it was an impressive performance from the team. Le Mans rookie Ross Gunn performed spectacularly, starting and finishing the race for the team. Hopefully they will be back next year to, once again, improve on their Le Mans finishing result and fight for at least the class podium.