Aston Martin had to force Corvette error at Le Mans for GTE Pro win
|By Glenn Freeman, Stuart Codling||Sunday, June 18th 2017, 17:30 GMT|
Jonny Adam said Aston Martin knew it had to pressure the Corvette team into a mistake to win the GTE Pro class at this year's Le Mans 24 Hours.
The battle of the GT manufacturers was resolved at the beginning of the final lap when Adam pounced on the class-leading Corvette of Jordan Taylor, as it suffered a tyre failure that would ultimately cost it second place to the leading Ford GT driven by Harry Tincknell in the final stint.
Adam spent the final stint hounding Taylor, failing to make a lunge at Arnage corner stick near the end.
But on the following lap Taylor locked up and went straight across the second Mulsanne chicane, and from that moment he was unable to hold the Vantage off to hang on for victory.
"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'," Adam said.
"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.
"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."
Taylor said the high-speed lock-up at the chicane took him by surprise, and afterwards he was battling a flat spot on one tyre while another was deflating.
"When the lock-up happened it was so abrupt and unexpected - usually you lock in the second part of the brake phase, but these just locked as soon as I touched the brake, so it caught me off-guard," he said.
"When I knew I wasn't going to make the chicane I decided just to go straight, try to make the most of it, so I went flat-out through the gravel trap to try to maintain the gap.
"But at that point I had such a big flat-spot on the tyre, and I think I had another tyre going down at the same time - it was just a train of unfortunate events."