Aston Martin’s farewell tour of the aging V12 Vantage GT3 continues to be a success story. After a victory in British GT and a stellar performance in the Nürburgring 24 Hours, the British marque took a solid win in the Blancpain GT race at Silverstone up against Europe’s finest teams. Behind the wheel of the R-Motorsport Vantage and key for the win was local racer Jake Dennis, who brought the car back into the lead and opened a large gap to the challenging AKKA ASP Mercedes-AMG GT3.
“It was incredible,” Jake Dennis says.
“I’m so happy to get the win here in the second race with the team on sort-of home ground, and home race for myself… To do the overtake and run away by 15 or 20 seconds is just incredible.”
The 22-year-old took over from Matthieu Vaxivière, who had done the start of the race. While the Frenchman was pivotal in the Swiss team’s pole-position by setting the quickest time in the Whitsunday morning qualification session, it was Dennis who needed to go past AKKA ASP Mercedes-AMG GT3 driver Tristan Vautier as the AMG squad had leapfrogged the Aston through the pitstops.
“I came out just behind Tristan, which was a bit of a shame, but I didn’t take too long to get back past him: maybe two or three laps.”
The R-Motorsport Vantage was back in the lead and Jake Dennis began a sovereign ride to the next stop where he’d let Nicki Thiim race it to the finish.
“I then kept my head down and pushed lap after lap as if it was qualifying.
“With 5 laps to go I asked for the gap and the team said ‘15-second lead’. That was sort of the first real sign if I had done a good job or not. I didn’t know if he was still behind me by two or three seconds, or if he was a minute behind—I didn’t know.
“We pulled off a big enough lead to have a clean pitstop and I handed over to Nicki who finished the job.”
Jurek Biegus contributed to this report.