Aston Martin Racing Le Mans Festival, a British legend as prelude to the 24 Hours
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Aston Martin Racing Le Mans Festival, a British legend as prelude to the 24 Hours

The 2018 Aston Martin Racing Le Mans Festival was won by Ross Gunn, a young driver for the marque that claimed the top step on the overall podium at the 1959 24 Hours.

Just nine laps in, the Aston Martin Racing Le Mans Festival was interrupted by two long neutralizations. The safety car was deployed on the heels of a collision and an incident in the second lap. At the time, British driver Peter Dumbreck (six participations in the 24 Hours) was in the lead. After a round of pit stops, the #3 Vantage GT3 driven by Ross Gunn took over as soon as the safety car gave the green light, but then another incident provoked a Slow Zone at the 24 Hours circuit.

Seven minutes remained in the race when green flags signaled the restart. Ross Gunn crossed the finish line with 16 seconds on Dumbreck, clocking the fastest in-race lap in the bargain, followed by Benny Simonsen and Lasse Sorensen.

Several Aston Martin executives and major players were in attendance, including CEO Andy Palmer, David Richards (the man who has brought the British marque to Le Mans since 2006) and John Gaw, the current owner of Aston Martin Racing. A competitor in vintage races, Shaun Lynn took the track, a few hours before his son Alex, a factory Aston Martin Racing driver at the wheel of the #97 Vantage GTE. 1990 24 Hours of Le Mans winner Martin Brundle finished the race in 16th place.

At 15:00, four Aston Martin Vantages will battle for victory in their respective classes: two in LMGTE Pro (#95 and #97) and two in LMGTE Am (#90 and #98).

 

PHOTO (Copyright - Jean-Pierre Espitalier/ACO): Second at this year's Aston Martin Racing Le Mans Festival, British driver Peter Dumbreck finished third in LMGTE Pro in 2013 for his last participation to date in the 24 Hours of Le Mans.