Badges were designed by Q by Aston Martin to commemorate all nine stages of the season

Aston Martin has been a stalwart of endurance racing since the automaker’s racing team, Aston Martin Racing, made a return to competition in 2005. The team has been actively involve in various racing series around the world, including the World Endurance Championship, which made its debut in 2012. Now that the WEC is nearing the start of its fifth season, Aston Martin Racing is commemorating the occasion by unveiling a series of bespoke wing badges that will be worn by all Aston Martin V8 Vantage GTE race cars for the entire season.

All these badges are unique in that each come with a personalized design from the British automaker’s resident personalization service, ‘Q by Aston Martin.’ Each design commemorates the flag of the country that will host each of the nine rounds of the series. Since the season opening race will be the 6 Hours of Silverstone on April 17, 2016, the three V8 Vantage GTE racers that will be competing in the race will wear badges inspired by the Union Jack, the flag of Great Britain. That will be followed by the Belgian flag-inspired badges that will be used in the 6 Hours of Spa-Francorchamps on May 7, 2016 and continuing until the season-ending 6 Hours of Bahrain on November 19, 2016.

The process by which these wing badges were created combines old-school jewellery making machinery with modern CAD technology. According to Aston Martin, the process starts with pressing and annealing to ensure that the badges are strong and durable. Once the badges are created, designing and coloring them takes center stage. This particular process involves applying the colors by hand and finished using fine grindstone to make them as smooth as possible. Once the colors are in place, the badges are then fired to glaze, polished to make them shiny, and plated on the cars.

Continue after the jump to read the full story.

Why it matters

Aston Martin Vantage GTE Racers Get Bespoke Badging
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Aston Martin has high hopes for the 2016 World Endurance Championship so it’s only right that the team is pulling out all the stops to ensure its intention to become a major player in the series. It has a new car in the form of the 2016 V8 Vantage GTE and it’s entering two of them in the GTE Pro Class and another one in the GTE AM class. Suffice to say, it’s made it known to anybody willing to listen that it plans on winning the 24 Hours of Le Mans on its way to capturing the World Endurance Championship for the first time in team history.

Ambitious as that may sound considering the stiff competition it’s facing, I still have to give credit to the team for making its objectives known. That puts the pressure on them to live up to these bold proclamations. I don’t doubt that it’s going to make a run for it, but I don’t think I can raise my expectations to anything more than what history has shown when it comes to the WEC.

That said, these badges are awesome and I commend Aston Martin for creating them. They’re not going to make the cars go faster obviously but they do attract attention to the team and the series as a whole. That’s publicity that the WEC needs if it hopes to become a more mainstream series akin to Formula One and NASCAR. Personally, I don’t need to be sold on the WEC because I’ve been a fan of the series since its inception in 2012, but if these badges help in attracting more viewers to the series, then I’m all for it. Who knows, someone out there might see these badges and get inspired to root for the Aston Martin Racing team. We all get our start at sports fandom somewhere, right?

Aston Martin Vantage GTE

2016 Aston Martin V8 Vantage GTE
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Read our full review on the Aston Martin Vantage GTE here.

Press Release

On the eve of the 2016 World Endurance Championship opener at Silverstone, Aston Martin Racing has unveiled a bespoke selection of wings in celebration of the premiere endurance series.

Aston Martin Vantage GTE Racers Get Bespoke Badging
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Every Vantage produced for the road or race track is crafted by hand and the wings that adorn each model make no exception.

Commissioned by the British marque’s personalisation service ‘Q by Aston Martin’, the collection has been created by a highly accomplished and talented workforce based in Birmingham’s famous Jewellery Quarter. Each of these unique pieces celebrate each of the rounds of this year’s championship.

With the series to commence with the 6 Hours of Silverstone, all three V8 Vantage GTE entries will be treated to a union flag inspired piece. Alternative designs of the iconic wings logo will be proudly displayed for the following eight rounds of the championship, including the 24 Hours of Le Mans; the FIA WEC’s centrepiece event.

Each enamelled wing is created using a combination of state-of-the-art CAD equipment and age-old jewellery making machinery – some of which dates back over 120 years – at renowned manufacturer Vaughtons.

Starting with an initial pressing and annealing process to ensure the badge’s strength and durability, all wings are subjected to chipping; a sequence of removing any ridges in the metal. The colours which give this collection its unique finish are applied by hand and linished using a fine grindstone to ensure a perfectly smooth surface. The wings are then fired to glaze, polished to instil a lustrous shine and carefully plated for the finishing touch.

General Manager for Q by Aston Martin Dr. Matthew Bennett said: “Our service endeavours to provide customers with a range of unique and personalised options for their road cars and I’m proud to be able to bring a bespoke touch of luxury to our Aston Martin Racing entries for the 2016 season. We look forward to seeing these iconic Aston Martin wings badges take to some of the world’s leading race circuits.”

Aston Martin Vantage GTE Racers Get Bespoke Badging
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Paul Howarth, Aston Martin Racing Team Principal said, “This season really is a fresh start for us. With a re-balanced driver line-up and our new V8 Vantage GTE making its competitive debut this weekend, I’m confident that we can put in strong performances throughout the season and carry these wings to strong race results.”

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