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Aston Martin Dominates GTE-Pro in Mexico

Darren Turner, Richie Stanaway secure first AMR GTE-Pro win of season…

Photo: Vision Sport Agency

Photo: Vision Sport Agency

Aston Martin Racing took its first GTE-Pro win in over a year in the inaugural Six Hours of Mexico presented by AT&T on Saturday, with Darren Turner and Richie Stanaway in the No. 97 Aston Martin Vantage GTE.

The British squad dominated the race throughout, and ran 1-2 for most of the first half, with the No. 95 Aston Martin starting from pole position.

Nicki Thiim was the early leader in class pole-sitting Aston Martin, and along with Marco Sorensen he paced the GTE field for the first four hours, but faded after an accident with two hours to go.

From there, the sister car took over, and survived advances from the AF Corse Ferrari 488 GTEs in the later stages to put an Aston Martin on the top step of the GTE-Pro podium for the first time since Spa-Francorchamps 2015.

Gianmaria Bruni took the No. 51 AF Corse Ferrari to second, co-driving with James Calado, after the turbocharged Ferraris and Ford GTs initially struggled.

Third in class went to Thiim and Sorensen, recovering from the crash, which had dropped the No. 95 Aston down the field.

The highest-placed Ford was the No. 67 car in fifth, in a weekend to forget for Ford Chip Ganassi Racing.

It was a worse race for the No. 66 Ford, which ended up last in class and over 20 laps down following a series of incidents and problems.

Abu Dhabi Proton Racing was another team to take its first class win of the season, in the GTE-Am category.

Khaled Al Qubaisi, David Heinemeier Hansson and Patrick Long combined to claim class honors in the No. 88 Porsche, after a race-long battle with AF Corse and KCMG.

A late stop and driver change for the then class-leading No. 83 AF Corse Ferrari 458 Italia handed the lead to Long, who finished one lap ahead of the Ferrari of Francois Perrodo.

The remaining Porsches of KCMG and Gulf Racing came third and fourth. Ben Barker put in an impressive opening stint, taking the Gulf car into the class lead in the opening hour.

Both the No. 98 Aston Martin and Larbre Competition Corvette C7.R had races to forget, with several accidents and issues throughout.

After losing the class pole to a ride height infringement, the GTE-Am class Aston Martin went to the garage mid-race after contact from a Ford that sent Paul Dalla Lana into the wall.

Larbre, meanwhile, lost time as Yutaka Yamagashi spun from a collision with Wolf Henzler. Later with less than ten minutes on the clock, he hit the barrier, severely damaging the No. 50 Corvette.

RESULTS: Six Hours of Mexico

Jake Kilshaw is a UK-based journalist. He is a graduate of Politics and International Relations.


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