Aston Martin chairman David Richards admitted he was delighted to secure top petrol honours in the Le Mans 24 Hours after the #007 Lola Aston Martin took fourth place at La Sarthe.
One the 50th anniversary of Aston Martin's victory in 1959, the famous British marque returned to the premier class in the event with a three car entry and a focus on being the leading petrol car at the finish against the diesel entrants.
The team saw two of its car run into problems, with the #008 being delayed by an incident with one of the Luc Alphand Corvettes on Saturday evening and further delayed by gearbox and brake issues on Sunday morning – although the car lapped quickly after its problems and finished 13th.
The #009 crashed out following an accident for Harold Primat – who had been left to run alone with Peter Kox after Stuart Hall was excluded from the event for an accident with the Bruichladdich Bruneau Radical – which left the AMR Eastern Europe entered car crewed by Jan Charouz, Tomas Enge and Stefan Mucke to lead the Aston challenge.
The #007 ran without major issues in the race having been involved in an accident in qualifying, and it was left to Enge to bring the car home to the finish just one place away from the podium.
“I have to say how impressed I have been with the reliability of the car,” the Czech star said. “We had no real problems at all from start to finish, which is an amazing achievement for such a tough race. I‚d like to thank the entire team for making this result possible, which certainly exceeds our expectations. This is always going to be one of the best memories of my career.”
Having achieved the aims set out before the race, Richards was delighted with the result having seen his expectations exceeded during a hard fought 24 hours.
“I'm absolutely delighted,” he said. “We came to Le Mans with modest expectations and we've exceeded all of them. Once again, Aston Martin has punched well above its weight and it's a fantastic achievement from everyone involved. Now we have to ask ourselves some serious questions about where we go from here.”