Wednesday, January 5, 2011

2010 Aston Martin Racing Year in Review


From the official Aston Martin site.

In 2010, the Aston Martin Racing works team, more than 40 customer teams and in excess of 50 cars, competed in national, regional and international championships across the world. They competed in every Aston Martin racing car from Vantage GT4s and GT2s to the GT3 DBRS9, the GT1 DBR9, and the LMP1 car; and they helped demonstrate the performance and reliability of the Aston Martin brand to a global audience of passionate fans.

We take a look back at some of the highlights in all the different race categories Aston Martin Racing and our customers, compete in.

LMP1

In 2010, the Aston Martin Racing team returned to the track at the 12 Hours of Sebring taking a very creditable third place, behind the two works diesel Peugeots. A few weeks later, at Long Beach, the team took second place and headed to Le Mans in June, knowing it would have a battle on its hands to stay in touch with the diesel Audis and Peugeots. Qualifying once again as the fastest petrol car, the team looked set to finish as the best placed petrol car for the second year in a row until the final hour saw the 009 having to retire.

During the year, Team Signature also competed in the LMP1 car, both at Le Mans and in the Le Mans Series, with a best finish of third in the Algarve round.

In September, at the Silverstone round of the Le Mans Series, we announced that we would be returning to Le Mans in 2011 with an all-new LMP1 car with an Aston Martin carbon chassis and a purpose-built race engine. The first car and engine is currently being built by Aston Martin Racing in Banbury and should be unveiled in early 2011. With assurances from the ACO that it will balance the performance of diesel and petrol cars, Aston Martin Racing are determined to compete on equal terms for an outright win at the 24 hour race.

GT1

2010 saw the inaugural FIA GT1 World Championship with the Hexis AMR and Young Driver AMR teams competing in four DBR9s. The now six year old car proved that it is still very competitive, winning several races with both teams and ensuring Aston Martin clinched the SRO Manufacturers’ Trophy.

Young Driver AMR also took one of their cars to Le Mans to represent Aston Martin in the final year of competition for the GT1 class at the 24 Hour race; a class it dominated for several years. The team gave the car a fitting send off, taking a podium on its last visit to Le Sarthe.

GT2

The Aston Martin Racing team has continued to develop the Vantage GT2 during 2010 with a resultant improvement in performance and on-track results. The car had its debut victory in the European Open GT Series at Brands Hatch with the Villois Srl team; took pole position at Silverstone, and achieved notable podium places with JMW Motorsport in the Le Mans Series and Triple A in Japanese GT.

With significant engineering enhancements for 2011, Aston Martin Racing is expecting further successes and there will be two new teams competing with the Vantage GT2, Jota and First Racing.

GT3

The DBRS9 has taken on a new lease of life in 2010 and was competed very successfully by nine teams this year. The highlight was Hexis Racing’s win at Zolder in the FIA GT3 European Championship and a further podium at Silverstone.

GT3 remains a very competitive and popular class and Aston Martin Racing is now looking at how it may replace the DBRS9 with an even more competitive product.

GT4

2010 was again a very successful year for the Aston Martin Vantage GT4, once again proving why it is the leading car in the GT4 class and a firm favourite among many smaller teams and private individuals.

At the very beginning of the year, the Vantage GT4 won its class at the Dubai 24 Hours and then followed this up with further endurance race wins at the Nürburgring 24 Hours, Silverstone 24 Hours and the Spa 24 Hours. However, it was the car’s first major international championship victory in the European GT4 Cup with Rhesus Racing that was the crowning of an excellent year for the car.

2010 also saw the inaugural season of the Aston Martin GT4 Challenge of Great Britain – the first time Aston Martin Racing has run a one make series. The series, which was only open to the Vantage N24 and Vantage GT4, saw six races at circuits including Silverstone, Brands Hatch, Donington and Spa Francorchamps with close racing throughout the field. In the end, it was the father and son partnership of Chris and Ant Scragg which took victory.

In 2011 the GT4 Challenge returns, this time with nine races and a larger grid and is open to owners of the new 2011 Vantage GT4, with its enhanced aero, engine and Bosch ABS/traction control.

The year ahead

2011 promises to be one of the most exciting in the history of Aston Martin Racing. The new LMP1 is the first Aston Martin purpose-built for racing in nearly 60 years and we are now relishing the challenge of competing with the diesel cars on equal terms.

The Vantage GT2, with its performance enhancements, will be a very competitive package and the new Vantage GT4 should see the car continued to lead the entry level sports car class.

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