Aston Martin Racing reveal 2012 programme

Aston Martin Racing presented their programme for 2012 at the Royal Garden Hotel Kensington, London. The British marque goes back to its roots by entering the new FIA World Endurance Championship in LM GTE Pro with a derivative of the Vantage. The car will participate in two races of the American Le Mans Series in Gulf livery.
After conspicuous failure of the AMR 1 project (a petrol powered open prototype in 2011), Aston Martin Racing falls back on territory that the British marque knows well: the GT. Recreating the epic battles of the former LM GT1 class with the Aston Martin DBR9 developed by Prodrive, that took class victory in 2007 and 2008.

The duel between Corvette and Aston Martin produced some great battles and Aston Martin Racing will again face their great rival of the LM GT1 era at the Sebring 12 Hours, opening round of the FIA World Endurance Championship. One car is entered, to be driven by the trio of factory drivers Darren Turner, Stefan Mücke and Adrian Fernandez.

A second car will make its appearance for the third race of the season, the 24 Hours of Le Mans, in the hands of Danish Christoffer Nygaard and two drivers whose names have not yet been revealed. To prepare the race in La Sarthe, Aston Martin Racing will cross the Atlantic for two events in California; Long Beach and Laguna Seca, the second and third rounds of the American Le Mans Series.

The British team has left nothing to chance and intends to play a leading role in LM GTE Pro, as revealed by David Richards, Chairman of Aston Martin Lagonda: “It’s great to be returning to our core motorsport activity; production-based GT racing. It formed the basis for Aston Martin’s return to competition when the DBR9 GT1-racer was launched in 2004, and it was in GT racing that we achieved our famous victories at Le Mans in 2007 and 2008. The GT category is also now the most competitive class in world sports car racing and with the new FIA World Endurance Championship the GTE class will, I believe, offer the closest fought and most exciting spectacle. We will see many premium sports car brands competing with great sounding racing cars based on their production models, which all the fans can relate to.”

Like his boss, Darren Turner could not hide his pleasure: “I’m excited about this programme as it’s our opportunity to take Aston Martin back to the top of the world of GT racing. The Vantage GTE is a great car; she’s coming along nicely now and we’re ready to take on what we expect will be tough competition. The FIA World Endurance Championship calendar looks good to me, especially as I’ve already won in an Aston Martin at half of the tracks: Sebring, Silverstone, Interlagos and of course at Le Mans. We are going to Sebring next month with a brand new car, but that’s exactly what we did with the DBR9 back in 2005 and we won that race. I’m not promising we can repeat that but we’ll certainly try!”

Cécile Bonardel (Source: Aston Martin Racing press release.)

Photo: The trio of factory drivers (left to right) Darren Turner, Stefan Mücke and Adrian Fernande

Fonte: http://www.lemans.org/