Alex Lynn says he’s “very proud” of the “vast improvement” made by the Aston Martin GTE squad that enabled it to take victory in the Le Mans 24 Hours last weekend.
Lynn set the fastest GT lap of the race as the #97 Aston Martin Vantage he shared with regular FIA World Endurance Championship teammate Maxime Martin and Harry Tincknell had a faultless run to claim Aston’s first win at Le Mans since 2017.
The #97 car led for 189 laps of the 346 lap-distance and beat the #51 Ferrari of James Calado, Alessandro Pier Guidi and Daniel Serra by 1m33s to move into second in the WEC GTE Pro drivers’ championship with one round to go in Bahrain.
Aston Martin endured a difficult WEC 2018/19 superseason with its new-for 2018 Vantage, which was hampered by the decision to switch from Dunlop to Michelin tyres coming late in its development phase.
This rendered it uncompetitive at Le Mans in 2018 and ’19, not helped by a last-minute BoP penalty in the latter race, but improvements to the car ahead of the 2019/20 WEC transformed its competitiveness in dry conditions, with the #95 Aston Martin of Nicki Thiim and Marco Sorensen scoring three victories at Fuji, Bahrain and the Circuit of the Americas.
Lynn admitted that Aston’s travails with the Vantage meant the victory was even sweeter, saying: “I’d be lying if I said it didn’t.
“It’s fairly well documented the last couple of years we’ve had a painful run of things at this place in particular and to be fair, trust me, it’s a long 24 hours when you’re running around a long way off the pace.
“To do what we did in the style we did, in the attacking manner, I’m very proud of what the team has been able to achieve and the vast improvement the car has made in sheer laptime and also in balance and reliability in every sense. For me it feels very sweet.”
#97 Aston Martin Racing Aston Martin Vantage AMR: Alex Lynn, Maxime Martin, Harry Tincknell
Photo by: Sam Bloxham / Motorsport Images
After making his first start with Aston Martin, Tincknell said that he knew the Vantage GTE would be a force to be reckoned with from his time battling the British marque at Le Mans in the past two years as a Ford driver.
“High-speed corners, downforce corners we were really strong, it was very impressive but I knew it was going to be the case having followed it through the Porsche Curves in the past,” said Tincknell. “And I think raceability was really strong.
“From that side it made battling slightly easier than what I’ve been used to in the past.”
Lynn’s fastest lap of 3m50.321s was also 0.553s quicker than the time Porsche driver Gianmaria Bruni set to take pole in Friday’s Hyperpole session.
Asked by Motorsport.com if his best lap had shown how much pace Aston had in reserve, Lynn said: “I said to Tincks after the race, ‘mate, you should have driven it the last two years’.
“The car has come such a long way and in the end, we had the same Balance of Performance as we had last year before qualifying and even then, we wouldn’t have been able to win with what we had last year.”
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