Aston Martin take LMGT1 Donington honours

The ...

The #63 Team Modena Aston Martin DBR9 of Antonio Garcia and Peter Hardman won the LMGT1 class in the 1000Km European Le Mans Series race at Donington Park. The car took the lead on the penultimate lap after a strong comeback drive from Garcia to take the win by just seven seconds.

The #50 Aston Martin Racing Libre of Pedro Lamy started in pole position and the second-placed #55 Team Oreca Saleen driven by Stefan Ortelli received a stop-go penalty for passing before the green flag.

Lamy gradually dropped down the field and was caught by the #72 Luc Alphand Aventures Corvette of Jerome Policand, the #63 Team Modena Aston Martin of Antonio Garcia and the recovering Ortelli were all covered by less than three seconds.

After one hour Ortelli was running at the front of the class making a fuel-only pit stop, although he sneaked a quick trip through the gravel on lap 46 while just two seconds of Policand, and then lost the lead on lap 52 when Garcia made a pass.

Peter Hardman took over the #63 Aston Martin from Garcia and spun at the final corner on lap 83 which dropped him down to third place behind the #72 Corvette, now driven by Patrice Goueslard, and the #55 Saleen with Soheil Ayari now behind the wheel and pushing hard.

Ayari briefly took the lead on lap 108 when the #72 Corvette pitted but handed the lead back when the #55 car pitted on lap 110 and was pushed backwards into the garage and was eventually retired with an engine problem.

The leading #72 Luc Alphand was hit on lap 127 in the Craner Curves by the #12 Courage Competition of Gregor Fisken, sending both cars into a spin. Alphand pitted with a punctured right-rear tyre, handing the lead to the #50 Aston Martin Racing Larbre of Vincent Vosse, and the cars lapped nose-to-tail.

Alphand maintained the pressure continuously for twenty laps and eventually dived inside Vosse at Redgate corner on lap 148 to take the lead.

Pertti Kuismanen made an unexpected stop from fifth place on lap 138 to fix a broken door on the #70 PSI Experience Corvette but remained in fifth place due to the retirement of the #55 Saleen.

The #63 Aston Martin of Garcia went off the circuit on lap 198 at the first corner but was able to crawl through the gravel trap and rejoin. The incident handed the lead to the #72 Corvette.

The #50 Aston Martin of Vosse pitted with an over-heating right-front brake on lap 168 for a 35-minute pit stop and dropped out of contention. Lamy returned to the track but brought the car back to the pits after a few laps.

The #63 Aston Martin of Antonio Garcia put in a late charge and closed up on the leading #72 Corvette of Jerome Policand by four seconds per lap and took the lead with minutes of the race remaining.

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About this article
Series European Le Mans
Drivers Antonio Garcia , Pedro Lamy , Vincent Vosse , Luc Alphand , Patrice Goueslard , Jérome Policand , Gregor Fisken , Soheil Ayari , Peter Hardman , Pertti Kuismanen , Craner Curves
Teams Aston Martin Racing