Fifer Jonny Adam wins Le Mansposted in LEMANS18 | 06 | 2017

    SCOT JONNY ADAM delivered a signature end-of-race surge to dramatically power his Aston Martin to a sensational victory in GTE Pro class at this year's Le Mans 24 Hours. (Related: Adam confirms Aston Martin WEC assault)

    The Kirkcaldy racer, who made his debut in the world’s most famous endurance race last year, was charged with reeling in the leading #63 Corvette of Jordan Taylor when he slid into the race seat of the #97 Aston for the final stint.

    In a hugely dramatic finale, it was only on the last lap that Adam, at the end of a mighty 24-hour battle, managed to edge past the Corvette to take the lead; one he retained for the final 8.43-miles of the famous La Sarthe circuit.


    And after celebrating with his team-mates — Daniel Serra and Darren Turner, who set a new lap record to put the car on pole position — he relived the dramatic final stint.

    "At the final pitstop, the words on the radio were, 'OK, this is for Le Mans, if you want to win it you've got to get by'," a hugely delighted Adam explained after spraying the winners’ Champagne from the top step of the podium, looking down on the thousands of sun-drenched spectators who filled the pitlane.


    “For Daniel and Darren to put me in that mix to battle for the front was testament to how good the car has been all weekend.

    “To see how well the guys had driven, we had zero mistakes and we did our best to keep the car out of the pits as often as we could and just try and run a consistent pace throughout.


    “It was an extremely tough last stint, we nearly pipped the Corvette on the pit exit in the last hour, and when he did get the jump there he was fast.

    “He managed to pull at one point a six-to-eight car length gap, but our goal was not to give up.


    "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.

    "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.

    “When I got on to his bumper I knew it was now or never if I wanted to win Le Mans. We got it and it was really cool to get him just before the finish line and to see fans in the grandstands and the team on the pit wall celebrating, and it was then just time to bring it home.”


    Frustratingly for Taylor, the Corvette had suffered a puncture, and though he managed to nurse the car through the final lap, he was overtaken by the Ford GT of Brits Harry Tincknell and Andy Priaulx, and Brazilian Luis Derani, and had to settle for third.


    Porsche won the race outright with their LMP1 hybrid in the hands of Timo Bernhard, Earl Bamber and Brendon Hartley. The Porsche only took the lead of an incident-filled race when Bernhard passed LMP2 racer Ho-Pin Tung in the #38 Jackie Chan DC Racing ORECA in the penultimate hour.

    Related: Chris Hoy — My amazing Le Mans debut

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    Jim McGill

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