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Aston Martin and Gulf Announce Winner of LeMans Livery Contest

Aston Martin and Gulf Announce Winner of LeMans Livery Contest

A few months ago, Aston Martin and Gulf decided to hold a competition, encouraging aspiring auto designers to design one of the cars that the British automaker will be enter in the 24 Hours of Le Mans this weekend.

It took some time for a winner to be announced, but now the British marque has one after naming Jonathan Wesley from Kettering, UK, as the ultimate winner.

The Gulf livery designed by Wesley on the #97 Vantage GTE will be used to compete at Le Mans this weekend. As part of design triumph, Wesley will be invited by Aston Martin to be a VIP guest during the famed race.

If it isn’t enough for Wesley to have front row seats to watch Le Mans, he gets to do so while watching the Aston Martin Vantage GTE, whose livery he himself designed, compete in race’s 90th installment.

Click past the jump to read about the Aston Martin Vantage GTE

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Aston Martin Hydrogen Rapide S Becomes First Emission-Free Car to Lap an International Race

Aston Martin Hydrogen Rapide S Becomes First Emission-Free Car to Lap an International Race

WhenAston Martin announced the Hybrid Hydrogen Rapide S we were pretty impressed by the company’s ambitions to enter a hydrogen-powered car in the 24 Hours of Nürburgring. However, it looks like the company did more than just enter the race, as the Hybrid Hydrogen Rapide S made quite a splash at the race where it managed to become the first race car to complete emission-free laps in an international automotive race. Even more so, there were moments when the car hit a top speed of 160 mph, while running just on hydrogen.

The Hybrid Hydrogen Rapide S was the only car to enter a special E1-XP2 race classification. The car needed only 30 seconds to refill, with the hydrogen being stored at 350 bar (5,076 psi) of pressure.

After the race, Aston Martin said that the new racecar "has showcased the most practical technology available to fundamentally address the challenge of global emissions without disrupting the automotive industry."

Click past the jump to read more about the 2013 Aston Martin Hybrid Hydrogen Rapide S.

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2013 Aston Martin V12 Vantage Race Car

2013 Aston Martin V12 Vantage Race Car

This weekend, the 41st ADAC Zurich 24 Hours of Nürburgring (N24) in Germany takes place and Aston Martin will be on-hand to join in on all the fun.

The British automaker recently announced that it will bring three very different race cars to the event. Two of them, the championship-winning V12 Vantage GT3 and the record-breaking Hybrid Hydrogen Rapide S, are particularly noteworthy for pretty different reasons.

The third and last one, a close-to-production specification 2013 V12 Vantage, probably won’t get as much attention as the other two. But that doesn’t mean we’re not going to show it the love it deserves.

This is the Aston Martin V12 Vantage Race Car and it was designed and developed particularly for this weekend’s race. Far more than just being dressed for the party, the V12 Vantage Race Car also comes packed with a 6.0-liter V-12 engine that delivers a stout 510 horsepower and 420 pound-feet of torque, good enough to allow it to sprint from 0 to 60 mph in just 4.2 seconds and go up to a top speed of 190 mph.

Click past the jump to read more about the Aston Martin V12 Vantage

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2013 Aston Martin V12 Vantage GT3 Bilstein

2013 Aston Martin V12 Vantage GT3 Bilstein

Aston Martin, and the damping and suspension specialist, Bilstein, have been partners for a long time and now, the British automaker is paying homage to its long-standing partners with the unveiling of a special Bilstein-liveried V12 Vantage GT3.

It’s safe to say that Bilstein’s iconic blue and yellow colors fit the V12 Vantage GT3 to a tee the same way its dampers do on all of Aston’s road cars. It’s a tie-up that seems natural too, considering the history between the two companies.

And let’s not forget; the V12 Vantage GT3 is a pretty fantastic race car, too, one that is a direct line to Aston Martin’s V12 Vantage road car, sharing the same chassis and a modified version of the 6-liter V-12 engine. This is capable to deliver more than 600 horsepower and 516 pound-feet of torque, but due to race regulations the output has been restricted to to approximately 550 horsepower.

With the Bilstein and Aston Martin tie-up, we can only expect big things to come for this car in 2013.

The Bilstein-liveried V12 Vantage GT3 will first be seen in action at the ADAC Westfalenfahrt four-hour race (VLN1) on March 23rd before proceeding to the ADAC ACAS H&R Cup (VLN3) on April 27th in preparation for the ADAC Zurich 24-Hour race on May 19th and 20th.

UPDATE 05/15/13: The Aston Martin V12 Vantage GT3 is ready to rumble out on the track after the British brand officially announced plans to compete in this weekend’s Nürburgring 24 Hour race. Best of luck, fellas!

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TMG-AMR North America Wants You to Dress Up Their Vantage GT3 Racecar

TMG-AMR North America Wants You to Dress Up Their Vantage GT3 Racecar

Back when we were all kids, a lot of us probably did that thing where we’d take a Bburago auto scale model and proceed to paint over the existing car’s body color in whatever livery we can think of.

It ruined far more models than we would’ve liked, but it was pretty fun.

Fast forward to today and the TRG-Aston Martin Racing North America team is asking us to submit our very own paint scheme creations for its Vantage GT3 racecar. The prize? They’re going to take that livery design of yours and use it to dress up their third race car.

All you need to do is do a preliminary design study using photos of the Vantage GT3 that you can download on TRG’s Facebook page. You can use any photo-editing program you want and you can enter as many times as you want with the deadline for submissions set on February 20. Once you’re done with your work, all you have to do is post the photo on their Facebook page!

It’s pretty easy to do if you’re proficient in any of the aforementioned photo editing software. What might be more difficult is impressing the panel of judges that include Kevin Buckler, CEO of TRG-AMR North America, John Gaw, Managing Director of Aston Martin Racing, and Aston Martin Racing Factory Driver Darren Turner.

But if you can catch the attention of these three individuals, you just might find your livery design on one of the three Vantage GT3s that will be racing in a 2013 Grand-Am event in North America.

Well, what’re you waiting for, guys! Start putting those creative juices to work!

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2013 Aston Martin Vantage GTE

2013 Aston Martin Vantage GTE

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.

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2010 Aston Martin V8 GT2 by Jota Racing

2010 Aston Martin V8 GT2 by Jota Racing

When Aston Martin Racing engineers designed the Vantage GT2 a few years ago, it was built to be a strong competitor in the GT2 race series. Racing team Jota Racing has even been a loyal partner of Aston Martin since the two companies inked a deal back in 2010 that allowed Jota Racing to use the Aston Martin Vantage GT2 in its forays into the world of GT2 racing.

Recently, the two proved that their relationship was as strong as ever after Jota unveiled its official 2013 GT2 race car: the Vantage GT2.

The car itself is based on the V8 Vantage, which shouldn’t be confused with the V12 version that’s being used in the GT3 series. Building it to adhere to racing regulations, the GT2’s body is made from bonded aluminum structure, a material taken directly from the V8 Vantage, and integrating an aerospace-specification-steel roll cage. Every component of the body, excluding the roof, is made from lightweight carbon fiber.

Additionally, an advanced aerodynamic package is part of the car’s overall set-up, with the components including a carbon fiber splitter, flat floor and diffuser, and a carbon rear wing. With all these changes, the Vantage GT2 only weighs 1,175 kg (2,590 pounds), a shade over the 1,150 kg (2,535-pound) minimum weight that the FIA requires.

The V8 GT2 retains a host of the road car’s engine mechanics, including the cylinder block, heads and crankshaft, while also using competition-spec components on the cylinder heads, connecting rods, valves, camshafts and the racing exhaust system. The engine itself is a 4.475-liter V-8 engine that produces in excess of 450 horsepower and 369 pounds-feet of torque. The engine mates to a mid-rear mounted, six-speed paddle-shift transmission with a ‘flat shift’ and competition clutch.

Finally, Jota Racing dressed up its GT2 Vantage in its own team colors: a white front body with a grey rear and orange trims throughout the race car and completed with the usual sponsorship badges. It’s a stylish package that doesn’t go overboard with the overall colors. This is definitely a car to look out for on the GT2 starting grid next year.

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Aston Martin will Race in North America Next Season

Aston Martin will Race in North America Next Season

Aston Martin and TRG (The Racers Group) have just signed a partnership that will bring the famous British sports car to a North American racing series starting next season. TRG will receive a total of 10 race cars that will be seen in competitions like the Twelve Hours of Sebring, Grand-Am Continental Tire Sports Car Challenge, The Grand American Rolex Series and the Pirelli World Challenge Series.

The first model we will see on the race track is the Vantage GTE. It will be unveiled at the Sebring winter test session on February 7th and then raced in the Twelve Hours of Sebring in March. The TRG-AMR Vantage GT3 will be raced in competitions like The Grand American Rolex Series and the Pirelli World Challenge Series, while the V8 Vantage GT4 will be raced in the Grand-Am Continental Tire Sports Car Challenge.

The GTE version and the GT4 are based on the production version Vantage V8 and are powered by a 4.7-liter V-8 engine producing 420 horsepower, while the GT3 is based on the V12 Vantage and will be offered with a 6.0-liter V-12 engine.

"We are delighted to form this innovative new partnership with TRG which presents great potential across a variety of racing competitions. In TRG we have a proven race partner who clearly knows how to be competitive and win races, helping us achieve new levels of success in North American motorsport for Aston Martin," said John Gaw, Managing Director of Aston Martin Racing.

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1953 - 1959 Aston Martin DB3S

1953 - 1959 Aston Martin DB3S

Launched in 1951, the DB3 was never the successful race car Aston Martin hoped it would be. It was powered by a Lagonda straight-6 engine with 133 HP, which only proved to be very unsuccessful, but that was partly rectified in 1952 when Aston Martin replaced the 2.6 liter engine with a larger one: a 2.9 liter with 153 HP. These changes didn’t drastically improve the DB3, but it improved by placing 2nd, 3rd, and 4th at Silverstone in May 1952 and was then forced out of Le Mans.

After that, Aston Martin had to take some serious measures to save the failing race car. They asked designer A.G. Watson for some assistance and the following year - in 1953 - the company came up with a new prototype in Charterhill, UK. This new version was called the DB3S and featured a lighter chassis with a reduced wheelbase and a few other modifications that helped it be more successful on the race track.

The new DBS3 stayed in production until 1956 during which Aston Martin produced a total of 31 units: 11 work cars - that have never been raced - and 20 cars being sold for customer use.

Hit the jump to read more about the Aston Martin DB3S.

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Aston Martin to Honor Carroll Shelby and Others at the 24 Hours of Le Mans

Aston Martin to Honor Carroll Shelby and Others at the 24 Hours of Le Mans

Carroll Shelby touched the lives of many people in the automotive world. During his racing career, he greatly changed the fortunes of Aston Martin by helping the British automaker take home a 1st place overall finish in the 1959 24 Hours of Le Mans. Shelby was not alone in this victory, as his co-driver, Roy Salvatori, and the car’s chief engineer, Ted Cutting both had heavy influence on this notorious victory.

Sadly, the automotive world has lost all three of these men this year, all within a handful of weeks of each other. First came Cutting’s death on March 22nd, then Shelby’s passing on May 10th, and finally capping off with Salvatori’s passing on June 3rd. Aston Martin feels that all three men deserve the proper send off and what’s better than bringing the car that all three of these men had a hand in to the 2012 24 Hours of Le Mans.

Unfortunately, it appears as if this 1959 Aston Martin DBR1 will not be making a tribute run around the course, but it will be present for the pre-race festivities. While this is not quite on the scale of the thousands of cars that gave Mr. Shelby a moment of noise in tribute, it is still a gesture that proves Aston Martin truly feels that Carroll Shelby, Ted Cutting, and Roy Salvatori are extremely important to its storied racing history.

Our hats have to go off to Aston Martin for rolling out the old DBR1, we are very curious to see what kind of condition it is in. We are willing to bet it is exactly as it was the day it pull out of Le Mans boasting the checkered flag on June 21, 1959.

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2012 Aston Martin V12 Vantage GT3

2012 Aston Martin V12 Vantage GT3

Aston Martin will be entering the ADAC Zurich Nürburgring 24 Hours for the seventh successive year. On May 19, 2012, a total of eight Vantage racers will line up for the start, with the most impressive being the V12 powered Vantage GT3.

The Aston Martin V12 Vantage GT3 will carry the iconic #007 designation, and will be driven by Johannes and Ferdinand Stuck (A) – sons of triple Nürburgring 24 Hour winner Hans-Joachim Stuck – alongside Dennis Rostek (D) and Aston Martin Racing factory driver Darren Turner (GB). According to Aston Martin, the company did everything possible to keep the racing car as close to the production version as possible, except of course for the aerodynamic package needed and a few changes to the technical parts of the vehicle to adapt the car to the circuit.

David King, Aston Martin’s Head of Motorsport, said: "The Nürburgring 24 Hour race is the most important 24-hour race in the world for GT cars. The quality of the entry in the GT3 class and throughout the field is truly impressive. It is a hugely important step for us to be challenging in the SP9 class, with a top class partner team and a fine driver line up. The V12 Vantage GT3 has a direct line to our V12 Vantage road car, sharing the same chassis and base engine, and I know all the fans will love to see and hear these cars hopefully running near the front of the pack."

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2012 Aston Martin V8 Vantage GTE

2012 Aston Martin V8 Vantage GTE

The year 2012 will mark Aston Martin’s return to the FIA World Endurance Championship with the Vantage GTE entering in the GTE Pro category. A second car will join in the third round at the 24 Hours of Le Mans. The cars will be driven by Darren Turner (GBR), Stefan Mücke (D), and Adrian Fernandez (MX).

The new Vantage GTE is based on the Vantage GT2, but improved upon with significant additions to all areas including the engine, drivetrain, and suspension. The new GTE will be powered by the same 4.7 V8 engine found in the production version, but with significant changes made to the cylinder heads, connecting rods, valves, and camshafts. The engine is coupled to a racing system and a six-speed semi-automatic sequential transmission with competition clutch.

The Aston Martin Vantage GTE’s body is made from lightweight carbon fiber and features an advanced aerodynamic package with a carbon fiber splitter, flat floor and diffuser, and a carbon fiber rear wing designed using the latest computational fluid dynamics (CFD) techniques. Aston Martin has also added a bespoke wishbone suspension and six-piston Brembo racing calipers.

Aston Martin Lagonda Chairman David Richards shared his enthusiasm for the new project: "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."

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