Aston Martin Racing claimed two of the top three places at the FIA World Endurance Championship (WEC) Six Hours of Mexico.
Driving a clean and consistent race, despite the changeable conditions experienced at the Autódromo Hermanos Rodriguez in Mexico City, Banbury team drivers Darren Turner and Richie Stanaway brought their #97 V8 Vantage GTE home in first place.
From the very first session the whole team has committed to achieving our end goalTeam boss Paul Howarth
Having built a commanding lead in the initial three hours of the race, the advantage allowed the team to take a lower risk strategy in the tricky conditions and maintain the lead to the finish.
The result leaves Turner leading the GT Drivers Championship on 86 points.
Team boss Paul Howarth said: “From the very first session the whole team has committed to achieving our end goal of winning and to have both Pro cars on the podium.
“Of course a one-two would have been brilliant but the #95 crew did an outstanding job to get the car back into a podium position.
“Like all things in motorsport, you get out what you put in, which is a true testament to the Aston Martin Racing ethos.
“Dunlop’s contribution to this weekend’s result has been to the highest level, like all of our partners, and they’ve committed to Aston Martin’s bid to become world champions.
“We leave here as championship leaders and head to Austin in just over a week’s time with great confidence.”
Aston Martin Racing return to the FIA World Endurance Championship in Austin, with the Six Hours of the Circuit of The Americas taking place later this month.
Turner said: “I think the turning point was Richie’s stint in the wet when he was running on slicks. That really put us in a great position and broke the back of the race for us.
“It was a great result for everyone in the team and especially for Dunlop to get their first win in GTE Pro with us.
“This helps hugely with the manufacturer’s championship points and I think we can go forward for the rest of the flyaway rounds with the confidence that we’re in good shape to take on the title fight.”
The #95 V8 Vantage GTE of Nicki Thiim and Marco Sørensen also took their place on the podium in third.
Despite essential bodywork repairs made to their V8 Vantage GTE after an incident on the four hour mark, the pair drove superbly to ensure a podium finish.
Sørensen said: “It was good to get the podium but I had to drive with a little bit of anger for my final stints to get the best result possible.
“It was great to finish third again but I’m also a bit disappointed because we’ve been searching for our first win in GTE Pro. This gives me even more determination to perform next time out at Austin.”