Aston Martin completed preparations for its return to the Le Mans 24 Hours in perfect style by scooping the Tourist Trophy at Silverstone on May 15 with the Prodrive-built and run DBR9. Following on from the Aston’s debut class-winning triumph in the Sebring 12 Hours, Darren Turner and David Brabham led for much of the three-hour FIA GT encounter at Silverstone after the Australian had set a blistering pole position time. But it was fellow Aston men Pedro Lamy and Peter Kox who added their names to the TT silverware and gave the marque its first victory in the revived race since 1959, when Stirling Moss, Carroll Shelby and Jack Fairman won at Goodwood with the DBR1.
As Turner emerged from his final pitstop he found the car’s handling deteriorating and his eight-second lead to Lamy was swiftly eradicated. With just 15 minutes to go the two Astons touched momentarily and Turner waved the Portuguese past rather than back him up into the Vitaphone Racing Maserati MC12 of third-placed Fabio Babini/Thomas Biagi. Just 11 seconds covered the podium finishers at the flag.