Aston chief says GTE-Pro decider was “do or die” moment

Aston Martin Racing boss David Richards said the last-lap decider of the GTE-Pro battle was always going to be “do or die” between his driver Jonathan Adam and Corvette Racing’s Jordan Taylor.

Aston chief says GTE-Pro decider was “do or die” moment
#97 Aston Martin Racing Aston Martin Vantage: Darren Turner, Jonathan Adam, Daniel Serra
GTE Pro podium: first place Darren Turner, Jonathan Adam, Daniel Serra, Aston Martin Racing
#97 Aston Martin Racing Aston Martin Vantage: Darren Turner, Jonathan Adam, Daniel Serra
#63 Corvette Racing Corvette C7.R: Jan Magnussen, Antonio Garcia, Jordan Taylor
GTE Pro podium: first place Darren Turner, Jonathan Adam, Daniel Serra, Aston Martin Racing
GTE Pro podium: first place Darren Turner, Jonathan Adam, Daniel Serra, Aston Martin Racing, second place Andy Priaulx, Harry Tincknell, Pipo Derani, Ford Chip Ganassi Racing, third place Jan Magnussen, Antonio Garcia, Jordan Taylor, Corvette Racing
#97 Aston Martin Racing Aston Martin Vantage: Darren Turner, Jonathan Adam, Daniel Serra
Jordan Taylor, Corvette Racing
#97 Aston Martin Racing Aston Martin Vantage: Darren Turner, Jonathan Adam, Daniel Serra

In the most thrilling of finishes to a 24-hour race, Adam passed erstwhile leader Taylor on the exit of the Ford chicane starting the last lap – after they had earlier made contact at Arnage.

“We knew it was always going to be close,” said Richards. “When we shadowed the Corvette in to the last pitstop, we knew it was going to be do or die – only one of us was going to come out of this!

“It was just one of the most extraordinary races from start to finish.”

Adam – who shared the #97 Vantage with Darren Turner and Daniel Serra – went on to claim a famous win as the Corvette slumped to third, behind the first of the Ford GTs, with a punctured tyre.

“The Corvette was good all the way through that last stint and at one point he [Taylor] had a good seven or eight car lengths gap,” said Adam.

“At the [final] pitstop, we nearly got the overlap but he got away in front, and the words on the radio were, ‘OK, this is for Le Mans, if you want to win it you’ve got to get by.’

“He had a strong pace but the one area I thought he looked weak on was the run to Indianapolis and down to Arnage. So when I got on to the back of him again, I knew I couldn’t not have an opportunity. When it arose I had to take it there and then.

“There was a small bit of contact on the way out of the corner and again the gap rose, but he had a big lock-up down the Mulsanne, into the second chicane, and then after that he was braking a lot earlier in some places.

“Then at the final corner I could see his left-front tyre seem to start delaminating, and the key then was to be patient, wait until the exit, and get him there. But it was weird to go across the line because everybody was ready for the final lap and it was quite a cool feeling.

“But I knew I had to get that because we’d waited 24 hours for it. I had to take that opportunity when it arose.

“I think we all had a battle at some point with the Corvette and we were quite evenly matched. The key thing was to hunt them down and try to force that mistake - and Jordan unfortunately made that mistake.

“They’ll always be a strong car and they had really good race pace this weekend. The racing across all the manufacturers was fair, but close and hard-fought, and we as professionals love that.

“If you’re door-to-door with friends or rivals, then so long as it’s clean, it’s great for spectators.”

Additional reporting by Stuart Codling

shares
comments
Corvette team “can’t feel bad” despite last-lap defeat

Previous article

Corvette team “can’t feel bad” despite last-lap defeat

Next article

How Indians performed over the weekend (16-18 June)

How Indians performed over the weekend (16-18 June)
Load comments
Why Toyota's Le Mans victory was not as simple as it looked Prime

Why Toyota's Le Mans victory was not as simple as it looked

Toyota scored its fourth Le Mans 24 Hours victory and a 1-2, with the #7 car of Kamui Kobayashi, Mike Conway and Jose Maria Lopez beating the #8. But although it looked straightforward from the outside, Toyota faced serious problem that had to be solved with some quick-thinking and ingenuity.

Le Mans
Aug 24, 2021
What we've learned from the Le Mans 24 Hours so far Prime

What we've learned from the Le Mans 24 Hours so far

The new dawn for the FIA World Endurance Championship has arrived at Le Mans, as Hypercars prepare to duel for victory in the world's oldest endurance race. Motorsport.com picks out the 10 things we have learned in the build up to the race.

Le Mans
Aug 21, 2021
Le Mans 2021: The team-by-team guide Prime

Le Mans 2021: The team-by-team guide

After a two-month delay due to the ongoing impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, the 2021 Le Mans 24 Hours is set to get underway with the start of the Hypercar era at the Circuit de la Sarthe.

Le Mans
Aug 21, 2021
The ex-F1 drivers making a name for themselves in LMP2 at Le Mans Prime

The ex-F1 drivers making a name for themselves in LMP2 at Le Mans

Kevin Magnussen will make his Le Mans 24 Hours debut this weekend alongside father Jan in LMP2. But the Danes won't be the only ex-F1 drivers to appear in the hotly contested category this year.

Le Mans
Aug 20, 2021
Can Toyota's #7 crew break its Le Mans curse? Prime

Can Toyota's #7 crew break its Le Mans curse?

One Toyota, normally with the number 7 on the side, always seems to attract the bad luck in the Le Mans 24 Hours. Mike Conway, Kamui Kobayashi and Jose Maria Lopez are hoping for a change in fortune this time around, but face significantly more unknowns than in recent years

Le Mans
Aug 19, 2021
How to prepare an amateur for Le Mans sensory overload Prime

How to prepare an amateur for Le Mans sensory overload

The 23-car GTE Am field promises to be one of the most open in this year’s Le Mans 24 Hours, with the added jeopardy of managing the enthusiasm of amateur drivers to boot, as Absolute Racing Porsche driver Marco Seefried explains

Le Mans
Aug 19, 2021
Why Glickenhaus should be taken seriously on its Le Mans bow Prime

Why Glickenhaus should be taken seriously on its Le Mans bow

Many were quick to dismiss Glickenhaus when the boutique American sportscar firm's entry into the top class of the Le Mans 24 Hours was announced. It's all-new LMH racer, powered by an engine built by a rally specialist, goes in as the underdog against Toyota but the mathematical odds suggest that it has more than just a faint hope of success.

Le Mans
Aug 18, 2021
How 1971's benchmark Le Mans team lost with the best car Prime

How 1971's benchmark Le Mans team lost with the best car

The JW Automotive Engineering team won twice at the Le Mans 24 Hours with ageing Fords and was considered the heavy favourite to add more victories to its tally after partnering with Porsche. But despite being armed with the all-conquering 917, this formidable combination was never as successful in real life as on the big screen.

Le Mans
Aug 15, 2021