24h Le Mans
26/08/2019 - 11:01

Aston Martin at the 24 Hours of Le Mans (5) – The Vantage legacy

In anticipation of seeing the Valkyrie in action after the new hypercar regulations were announced the day before the 87th running of the 24 Hours of Le Mans this past June, here is a look back at the history of the Vantage and the remarkable track record it has established since 2012.
Aston Martin at the 24 Hours of Le Mans (5) – The Vantage legacy

PHOTO ABOVE: LE MANS (SARTHE, FRANCE), CIRCUIT DES 24 HEURES, 24 HOURS OF LE MANS, SATURDAY 15 & SUNDAY 16 JUNE 2019. For Aston Martin Racing Team Manager John Gaw, the Vantage "is Aston Martin's current flag bearer, so its success is extremely important." 

For Aston Martin, the Vantage could match the cachet of the GTO for Ferrari and the 911 for Porsche, firmly establishing the marque on the level of top high-end GTs, both road and competition.

The Road Version – The Vantage label first appeared on an Aston Martin in the early 1950s, originally intended as an improvement on the DB Mk II. The proper Vantage V8 first hit the track in 1977. The road Vantage that participated in the 24 Hours of Le Mans and the FIA World Endurance Championship from 2012 to 2018 was unveiled in 2005, borrowing the silhouette of the DB9, its predecessor in endurance racing. The road version 2018 Vantage was released on 21 November 2017 before hitting the track in the 2018-2019 FIA WEC Super Season. In addition to its body, the engine was totally different: the 2005 had a 4-liter atmospheric V8 and the 2018 had 4-liter double turbocharger V8.

PHOTO ABOVE: LE MANS (SARTHE, FRANCE), CIRCUIT DES 24 HEURES, 24 HOURS OF LE MANS, FINISH, SUNDAY 18 JUNE 2017. After a battle through the final kilometers of the race, Jonny Adam claimed the top step on the class podium for the first time, as did his teammate, rookie Daniel Serra. The third driver, Darren Turner, won his third 24 Hours after 2007 and 2008 with the DBR9.

The Vantage at the 24 Hours of Le Mans – Since 2012, the Vantage has triumphed twice in its class at Le Mans. In 2014, the car won in LMGTE Am thanks to an all-Danish driver line-up of David Heinemeier Hansson, Kristian Poulsen and Nicki Thiim (19th overall). In 2017, in the wake of a stunning fight at the very end of the race, Jonny Adam, Daniel Serra and Darren Turner snatched victory in LMGTE Pro from the Corvette shared by Antonio Garcia, Jan Magnussen and Jordan Taylor going into the next to last lap (17th overall). In 2012, the Vantage driven by Adrian Fernandez, Stefan Mücke and Darren Turner reached the thrid step on the LMGTE Pro podium.

Record – With 40 wins since 2012, the Aston Martin Vantage is the winningest car in the history of the FIA WEC, all classes considered. In addition to the two aforementioned victories at the 24 Hours of Le Mans, the Vantage also won the FIA Endurance GT Drivers Trophy (Nicki Thiim-Marco Sorensen in 2016), three FIA Endurance LMGTE Am Drivers Trophies (Jamie Campbell Walter-Stuart Hall in 2013, Kristian Poulsen-David Heinemeier Hansson in 2014 and Pedro Lamy-Paul Dalla Lana-Mathias Lauda in 2017) and two FIA Endurance LMGTE Am Teams Trophies in 2014 and 2017.