The Jota run, R-Motorsport Aston Martin team claimed its first victory in the Blancpain GT Series Endurance Cup at Silverstone this afternoon.
The best of the Swiss outfit’s V12 Vantages driven by Matthieu Vaxiviere, Jake Dennis and Nicky Thiim led for most of the three-hour race on the way to a stunning 10.9-second win.
The victory remains provisional at this time because the #76 car raced under appeal after it had been disqualified for a technical infringement following qualifying. The winning crew qualified on pole, but the Aston Martin’s data logger had a fault, violating the rules that state that it must work throughout the event.
Vaxiviere converted the pole into the lead of the race and held a narrow advantage over the Akka ASP Mercedes-AMG GT3 started by Adam Christodoulou at the first round of pitstops.
Jake Dennis dropped behind the Mercedes that was taken over by Tristan Vautier during the pit window, before quickly moving the Vantage back to the front. Dennis was then able to pull away from Vautier, extending the lead to 16 seconds before handing over to Dane Nicky Thiim.
The Mercedes driver Raffaelo Marciello then lost time to the Aston in the second round of pitstops and again early in the stint, before managing to halve the distance from more than 20 seconds in the closing stages of the race.
The Emil Frey Lexus RC-F GT3 took its first Blancpain GT Series podium, with Stephane Ortelli, Markus Palttala and Norbert Siedler claiming third from the seventh position on the grid. The car moved up a place from sixth to fifth during the first pitstops, before Palttala moved ahead of the Black Falcon Mercedes-AMG driven by Luca Stolz and the second of the R-Motorsport Astons driven by Alex Brundle.
By the closing stages of the race, Siedler had to fight hard to resist a late challenge from the Belgian Audi Club Team WRT Audi R8 LMS with Dries Vanthoor at the wheel. After a small mistake on the final lap, the Audi was just over half a second behind the Lexus at the finish line.
The Silver Cup class was won by the Black Falcon Mercedes-AMG of Abdulaziz Al Faisal, Hubert Haupt and Giorgio Piana, while Ram Racing’s Euan Hankey, Salih Yoluc and Darren Burke took the Pro-Am win.
The British Garage 59 McLaren 650S GT3 driven by Chris Goodwin, Alexander West and Chris Harris won the Am Cup class from pole position.
The Belgian Audi Club Team WRT now leads the championship by five points (37) from R-Motorsport after two rounds.
At the time of writing there has still been no final decision following R-Motorsport’s disqualification appeal.
The next race will take place at Paul Ricard early next month.