Today was a busy day in Gaydon, Aston Martin’s London headquarters, as the company launched both its road-going and GTE specification race version of the Vantage.
The race version replaces the outgoing but legendary Aston Martin Vantage V8, which ran from 2012 through 2017 both internationally and occasionally, domestically.
Although the oldest car in the FIA World Endurance Championship field, it was still a regular pole, race, Le Mans and championship winner through 2017 (the car is credited with 37 of the team’s 51 international race victories, including two Le Mans 24 Hour class wins).
A famous GTE-Pro win occurred at this year’s Le Mans, with Aston’s Jonny Adam denying Corvette Racing’s Jordan Taylor right at the end of the race, while Paul Dalla Lana, Pedro Lamy and Mathias Lauda claimed an overdue first championship in GTE-Am.
As for the new car, here’s some of the highlights:
- Designed and engineered in-house at Aston Martin Racing’s headquarters in Banbury, with project is led by Technical Director Dan Sayers, who also guided the design and development of the current V8 Vantage GTE
- Development of the new Vantage GTE race car is well advanced, with more than 13,000km of testing completed, including a successful 30-hour run at the Spanish circuit of Navarra. The car has also been through a rigorous durability program at the notoriously rough Sebring circuit in Florida.
- Reliability has been exceptional straight out of the box, while the drivers have reported the car is easier to control on the limit than its predecessor. This car has Mercedes-AMG 4.0L turbocharged V8 engine, that has been developed for use in the Vantage GTE application by Aston Martin Racing.
- Aston Martin Racing is working with new technical partners: Alcon for the braking system, Öhlins for the suspension and Michelin for a bespoke tyre program. Also, the in-house Aston Martin Design team, led by Chief Creative Officer Marek Reichman have taken their intimate knowledge of the road Vantage styling and amplified it for the WEC version. The result is an extreme and exciting evolution of an already aggressive road car design – a lesson in Aston Martin’s ethos of pure form and function.
- Official partners and associations include both retained and new elements: Hackett London (Clothing), Immun’Age (who produce immune system boosting natural papaya food supplements), Total (Lubricant), Waldorf Astoria (Hotel), and Beats by Dr. Dre (Audio)
“Designing and developing this new car has been an extremely satisfying process,” said Sayers. “We’ve collaborated closely with Aston Martin’s Gaydon headquarters to develop the road and race cars in parallel. Attention to detail has been a priority at every step of this process and we’ve made big improvements in each area of the car. We’ve spent every second optimizing the design right until the build of our test car, which has paid dividends during our current testing schedule. This project has been one of the most intensive but also rewarding of my career so far.”
John Gaw, Managing Director, Aston Martin Racing added, “It’s terrific to be involved in this exciting new chapter for Aston Martin Racing. The increasingly tough competition in the GTE class and the prospect of two visits to Le Mans and a return to Sebring within the 2018/19 super-season is thoroughly tantalising. To conduct the development process of this car so closely with Aston Martin’s design and engineering teams was essential for both road and race car to retain the same underlying DNA. We believe the Vantage GTE will bring further success worldwide to Aston Martin Racing in the coming years.”
LYNN JOINS FACTORY LINEUP
Englishman Alex Lynn has been confirmed as a member of Aston Martin Racing’s factory lineup, joining the quartet of Darren Turner, Jonny Adam, Nicki Thiim and Marco Sorensen.
Lynn raced occasionally in the FIA WEC this year in the TDS Racing-run G-Drive Racing Oreca 07 Gibson, and won the LMP2 class pole position at the 24 Hours of Le Mans. He also won in his only IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship start with the No. 10 Konica Minolta Cadillac DPi-V.R outfit at Sebring, on debut in the car, the track and the series, co-driving with Jordan and Ricky Taylor.
Elsewhere he races in the FIA Formula E Championship. He’ll be teammate to Sam Bird at the DS Virgin Racing outfit, which starts in a couple weeks in Hong Kong. This comes after Lynn won pole on his series debut at New York City’s Red Hook round, filling in for Jose Maria Lopez.