Aston Martin is celebrating its centenary with ambitious plans for this year’s racing season, as it plans to win both the 24 Hours of Le Mans and the FIA World Endurance Championship (WEC). In order to achieve its lofty goals, Aston Martin announced it will enter the races with four entries: two Vantage GTEs in both the Pro and Am classes.
Two of the cars, No. 97 and No. 99, will be based on the V8 Vantage and will be heavily revised when compared to the model used in the 2012 racing season, while cars No. 95 and No. 96 will be built on the 2012 specifications.
Aston Martin revealed nearly no details on the 2013 Vantage GT2, but it confirmed the cars will get redistributed weight, revised suspension and a new fly-by wire throttle – a newly allowed feature under this year’s regulations. Everything else seems to be pretty much identical to the road-going version: aluminum structure, and the design of the engine and suspension.
Hit the jump for more details on the 2013 Aston Martin Vantage GTE.
When compared to the road-going Aston Martin Vantage, the GT2 version features a body fully made in lightweight carbon fiber and an advanced-aerodynamic package that offers improved stability at high speeds. This package includes a carbon-fiber splitter, flat floor and diffuser, and a carbon-fiber rear wing designed using the latest computational fluid dynamics (CFD) techniques.
|Dry weight|| 1195kg (2634 lbs) |
|Length|| 4450 mm (175.19 inches) |
|Width|| 1980 mm (77.95 inches) |
|Height|| 1500 mm (59.05 inches) |
|Wheelbase|| 2600 mm (102.36 inches) |
For the interior, the new Vantage GT2 has been specially prepared for the race track. It receives carbon-fiber seats with six-point safety harness, a fire extinguisher system for dangerous situations, and a lightweight lithium battery. For driver’s optimal protection, in case of a crash, the car has also been equipped with a steel roll-cage.
Under the hood, the car keeps the same V-8 engine as in the road-going version, but in the racing version it delivers more than 600 horsepower and more than 515 pound-feet of torque. The engine is mated to a Xtrac six speed sequential transmission with semi-automatic paddle shift gear change and racing clutch.
Thanks to the extra power and the reduced weight, the new Vantage GT2 will be considerably faster than the road-going version which already delivers impressive numbers: 4.7-second 0-to-60 sprint and a 180 mph top speed.
Suspension and Braking
For the 2013 racing season, the GT2 features a lower center of gravity, improved rear stability and increased torsional rigidity. Aston Martin also offers revised a front and rear suspension with optimized geometry. The GT2 version also receives new purpose-designed uprights and wishbones, while the upper damper pick-up points have been relocated to increase the installation stiffness.
The car has also been equipped with a new set of high performance vented brake discs featuring six-pot front calipers and four-pot rear caliper.
Rounding out the package is a set of 18-inch wheels wrapped in high-performance tires and hydraulic power-assisted steering and a quick-release steering wheel.
Prices for the 2013 Aston Martin Vantage GTE will be announced at a later date.
Audi R18 e-tron quattro
It’s true Aston Martin has ambitious plans for the 2013 racing season, but it will have to pass models like Audi R18 e-tron quattro. The German model is powered by a V-6 TDI engine combined with kinetic energy that’s recovered whenever the car brakes. This system delivers a total of 510 horsepower.
Porsche GT3 R Hybrid
In the same race, we will see cars like Porsche GT3 R Hybrid. It is powered by a 4.0-liter flat-six engine combined with two electric motors for a total output of 480 horsepower.
The two German models have scored impressive results in the previous years, so outgunning them will be pretty difficult for Aston Martin, but who knows, maybe it will get lucky.
Aston Martin plans to honor their centenary celebration with some amazing results during the 2013 racing seasons. Ambitious plans, but we will see if the new Vantage GT2 will manage to outtake them. The models received significant updates for the 2013 racing season, and it will help the racing team a lot, but we will have to wait and see the final results.
Reduced center of gravity
Up to this point we just love the new GT2
Aston Martin Racing has unveiled its most ambitious motorsport programme to date as it aims to win both the 24 Hours of Le Mans and the FIA World Endurance Championship (WEC), as the marque celebrates its centenary year.
Underlining the success of its return to GT racing in 2012 and its commitment to the WEC, the team has confirmed a four-car entry into the series; two Vantage GTEs in both the Pro and Am classes.
Entry into the series means that each of the four V8-powered Vantage GTEs will compete at the 24 Hours of Le Mans, the third round of the WEC on 22nd-23rd June, making this the largest factory team entry into the event by Aston Martin in the history of the marque. Two potential further entries for Le Mans and selected WEC rounds are on the reserve list.
The GTE Pro entries, #97 and #99, will be the heavily-revised 2013 Vantage GTE. Dan Sayers, chief engineer at Aston Martin Racing explains: “When redeveloping the race-winning 2012 Vantage GTE for the 2013 season, the design team focussed on increasing the drivability of the car and optimising the performance.”
The new Gulf-liveried #97 machine will once again be piloted by Darren Turner (GB), who celebrates his 9th season driving for the team. Stefan Mücke (D), who joined the team in 2008, will partner Turner once again. Together, Turner and Mücke will contest every round of the WEC with the aim of winning the GTE Pro championship. For the 24 Hours of Le Mans and for the second round of the WEC, the Six Hours of Spa-Francorchamps, Peter Dumbreck (GB), who returns to GT racing after competing in the 2012 WEC in the LMP1 category, will join the team.
The second GTE Pro car, the #99 Vantage GTE, will bring some new faces to Aston Martin Racing; Formula One driver Bruno Senna (BR) and Frenchman Frédéric Makowiecki will drive at each round of the WEC and will be joined by Rob Bell (GB) for the 24 Hours of Le Mans and Six Hours of Spa-Francorchamps.
The #95 car is a brand new Vantage GTE, which, in accordance with the WEC GTE Am class regulations, is built to 2012 specification. The car – which proved its competitiveness by winning the 2012 Six Hours of Shanghai in the hands of the factory team – will be driven by three Danes; Allan Simonsen, Christoffer Nygard and Kristian Poulsen. The trio are no strangers to Aston Martin Racing following their GTE Am entry at Le Mans last year.
The final car in the four-strong line up – the #96, which is a new car identical to the #95 car – will run in the GTE Am category and will see Roald Goethe (D) and Stuart Hall (GB) team up once again. The pair, who proved to be a formidable force for Aston Martin Racing last year at the Six Hours of Silverstone, will be joined by FIA GT Championship-winning driver Jamie Campbell-Walter (GB).
In addition to the WEC programme, Turner, Mücke and Senna will contest the first round of the American Le Mans Series, the 12 Hours of Sebring, on 16th March in the 2013 Vantage GTE.
David Richards, Chairman of Aston Martin, comments: “There is a real sense of anticipation in the Aston Martin Racing team this year and a belief that it is once again our time to return to the top step of the podium at Le Mans. It would be a fitting way for Aston Martin, which has such a rich heritage in motorsport and particularly at Le Mans, to cap its centenary year.”
John Gaw, managing director and team principal at Aston Martin Racing adds: “Last year we proved how fast and reliable the car was, and our two GTE Am entries will pick up where the Pro car finished with victory in Shanghai last year.
“Overall, around 30 per cent of all components on the 2013-specification Pro cars are new, which makes for a significant improvement. We looked at specific areas where we could take weight out of the car and redistribute it to a better location. We have also revised the suspension, which has not only improved the handling but, when combined with the new fly-by wire throttle allowed under this year’s regulations, makes the car easier to drive.
“Our aim is to win at Le Mans and in the WEC and we are particularly pleased to welcome such a professional driver line-up to Aston Martin Racing for this centenary year.”
The V8-powered Vantage GTE is based upon Aston Martin’s sportiest road-going model, the Vantage coupé. It shares that car’s bonded aluminium structure and fundamental engine and suspension designs, emphasising the base car’s inherent sporting nature.