The all-new car from Aston Martin Racing's factory in Banbury, U.K. was presented this evening and is set to replace the current Aston Martin Vantage GTE that, among other accomplishments, won the 2017 24 Hours of Le Mans in the LMGTE Pro class, and participated in its final race at the Bahrain round this past Saturday. It will compete in the 2018/2019 Super Season of the World Endurance Championship (WEC).
This new Aston Martin Vantage GTE was built in compliance with the FIA regulations in effect for GTEs and is formed from the basis of the new Vantage road car that was also just unveiled. Improvements have been made to the chassis, the transmission and the aerodynamics. The project managed by Aston Martin Racing Technical Director Dan Sayers kicked off in February of 2016. The first car was produced in May and testing began back in August.
The car is equipped with a Mercedes-AMG 4.0-litre turbocharged V8 engine and is built with an aluminum chassis. It has already completed more than 13,000 km of testing including two 30-hour tests, one at the Nararra circuit in Spain. It has also run at the demanding Sebring track in the U.S. where reliability was a main focal point.
Aston Martin Racing keeps its current driver roster and adds Alex Lynn
At the various testing sessions, all Aston Martin Racing drivers have been present and retained for the upcoming 2018/2019 Super Season. Among them are Darren Turner and Jonny Adam, winners at the 2017 24 Hours of Le Mans in the LMGTE Pro class, as well as Nicki Thiim and Marco Sørensen, GT WEC champions in 2016. Meanwhile, a new driver is set to debut with the British manufacturer, British driver Alex Lynn, seen at the wheel of G-Drive Racing's #26 ORECA 07-Gibson (LMP2) for a good portion of this year's World Endurance Championship (WEC) season. Additional drivers will be announced soon.
Three new technical partners are now on deck: Alcon for brakes, Öhlins for the suspension and French company Michelin for tires. The team has also confirmed Total as the official lubricants partner.
John Gaw, Managing Director of Aston Martin Racing: “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.”
This new car will have the sizable task of filling the shoes of the Aston Martin Vantage GTE that competed until the end of this year. It has won 37 of the 51 victories secured by Aston Martin in Endurance racing! At the 24 Hours of Le Mans, the Vantage GTE won the LMGTE Am class in 2014 and the LMGTE Pro class this past June with Daniel Serra, Jonny Adam and Darren Turner at the wheel of the #97.
Information and photos from Aston Martin Racing press release.