Tuesday 21 November 2017

FIA WEC: New Aston Martin Racing Vantage GTE revealed tonight

Aston Martin Racing revealed its new weapon for the FIA World Endurance Championship today in London: the all new Vantage GTE.  The new challenger will take on the competition on the 2018/19 super season all around the world, with highlights at Sebring and the 24 Hours of Le Mans; 

Built to comply with the FIA’s strict GTE class regulations, the new Vantage GTE takes the road car’s core design and dynamic capabilities to a whole new level through extensive optimisation of the powertrain, chassis and aerodynamics. The car has been designed and engineered in-house at AMR’s headquarters in Banbury, and led by Technical Director Dan Sayers, who also led the design and development of the current V8 Vantage GTE - the car credited with 36 of the team’s 50 international race victories, including two Le Mans 24 Hour class wins.

Before the launch of the all new Vantage, the development has been long going already and is well advanced, with up until now more than 13.000 km of testing completed. A 30 hour endurance test in Navarra and a very intense test programme at Sebring have been the highlights in the testing programme so far. Reliability has been reported to be exceptional straight out of the box, while the drivers have reported the car is easier to control on the limit than its predecessor. The engine in the new Vantage GTE is also brand new, and no longer normally aspirated.  The new powerhouse of the Vantage is based on the turbocharged Mercedes AMG 4.0 litre V8 engine which also features in the new road car Vantage, and has been developed for use in the Vantage GTE application by Aston Martin Racing.

With a new car to develop, Aston Martin Racing has kept its highly experienced and successful  driver line-up. This year’s Le Mans 24 Hours GTE Pro class winners Darren Turner and Jonny Adam have been retained, as have the Danish duo and 2016 FIA WEC GTE Pro world champions, Nicki Thiim and Marco Sørensen. In addition, AMR has recruited ex-GP2 race winner and now Formula E racer Alex Lynn. Further driver announcements will be forthcoming.

Aston Martin Racing has also announced a few new technical partners who have been involved in the development of the new Vantage and will be working with the team: Alcon for the braking system, Öhlins for the suspension and the return Michelin for a bespoke tyre programme, after racing with Dunlop for the past few years. 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. 

Aston Martin Racing Technical Director, Dan Sayers: “Designing and developing this new car has been an extremely satisfying process. We’ve collaborated closely with the 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 optimising 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”.

Managing Director, Aston Martin Racing John Gaw: “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”.

President of Aston Martin Racing, David King: “Motorsport is fundamental to the DNA of Aston Martin and our commitment to the FIA World Endurance Championship is stronger than ever. This is a golden era for GT racing and today’s launch of the new Vantage GTE will ensure that Aston Martin Racing remains at the forefront of the world’s greatest endurance series. The team has enjoyed incredible success over recent years with the outgoing V8 Vantage GTE and while this will hold fond memories for me, I can’t wait to see the new car race in anger at Spa next year and continue to write motorsport history”.

Kristof Vermeulen.