R-Motorsport dominated the Blancpain GT Series Endurance Cup race at Silverstone on Sunday afternoon to take Aston Martin’s first win in the series in five years.
The team started from pole position despite initially being disqualified from qualifying after no data had been found in the car’s data-logger.
It decided to appeal the decision, therefore keeping its pole position, but could still be penalized if the appeal is unsuccessful.
Nicki Thiim took the car to the line with a 10.947-second lead over Raffaele Marciello in the No. 88 AKKA ASP Mercedes-AMG GT3 which was the only other car to lead in the three-hour race.
Thiim and co-drivers Jake Dennis and Matthieu Vaxiviere led all but a couple of laps after the French crew momentarily put Tristan Vautier ahead of the Aston Martin in the first round of pit stops.
It is Aston Martin’s first Blancpain GT win since the Silverstone round in 2013 when Darren Turner, Stefan Muecke and Frederic Makowiecki claimed a home victory for the brand.
Behind AKKA ASP, Emil Frey Lexus Racing scored the Lexus RC F GT3’s best series finish to date in third after the Swiss team had run strongly all weekend, while the sister car crossed the line in seventh.
While the top three positions didn’t change within the final hour, Monza winner Dries Vanthoor managed to pass Yelmer Buurman after the Dutchman had brief contact with one of the factory Bentley Continental GT3s.
Vanthoor stayed on to keep the No. 1 Belgian Audi Club Team WRT car in position and make it four manufacturers in the top four positions, although Buurman’s Black Falcon Mercedes lost a position to Maxime Martin on the final lap.
Martin, driving the other R-Motorsport Aston Martin, moved into fifth to make up one of the positions lost earlier in the race after it had run third in the first half.
Alex Brundle lost two places to Markus Palttala and Luca Stolz during the second stint, denying R-Motorsport from scoring a double podium finish.
Black Falcon took the Silver Cup class win with its No. 6 Mercedes driven by Gabriele Piana, Hubert Haupt and Abdulaziz Al Faisal in 17th overall, while Ram Racing’s Euan Hankey, Salih Yoluc and Darren Burke secured the Pro-Am honors.
Garage 59 drivers Chris Goodwin, Alexander West and Chris Harris won the Am Cup battle from pole position, meanwhile.
There were no major incidents in the race with only a couple of localized yellow flags and no full course yellows.