British racer will help develop Aston’s Valkyrie hypercar

Chris Goodwin, McLaren’s legendary chief test driver, is jumping ship to Aston Martin. The 50-year old British race car driver is expected to play a key role in the development of Aston Martin’s Valkyrie hypercar after spending the last 20 years helping turn McLaren into the thriving supercar company that it is today.

2011 - 2013 McLaren MP4-12C High Resolution Exterior
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2013 McLaren MP4-12C
He played a big role in developing McLaren’s slew of performance cars, beginning with the MP4-12C

This is a major coup for Aston Martin as anybody who knows Goodwin can attest that he played a big role in developing McLaren’s slew of performance cars, beginning with the MP4-12C. Goodwin’s career in McLaren also included stints as an active racer, most famously competing in the FIA GT Championships and the Le Mans 24 Hours endurance race.

Now that he’s taking the helm as Aston Martin’s most seasoned and influential test driver, Goodwin will play a prominent role in fine-tuning the Valkyrie hypercar. Not that Aston needs more help developing a hypercar that already packs 1,100 horsepower, but Goodwin’s input will be invaluable in helping the hypercar achieve its full potential.

In addition to nabbing the legendary test driver, Aston Martin also reeled in Simone Rizzuto, former vehicle performance testing and integration lead at Maserati and Alfa Romeo, to be its new chief engineer for vehicle dynamics. Company CEO Andy Palmer commented on the high-profile hirings of the two men, saying, “the decision [to hire Goodwin and Rizzuto] is a great endorsement of our future plans.”

Only time will tell if Palmer’s comments bear fruit, but from the standpoint of what Goodwin and Rizzuto can bring to the table, there are few people in the industry who have the know-how and expertise that these two men have. At the very least, those who are still skeptical of Aston Martin’s vision of becoming a major player in the supercar segment have less ammunition today than they did in the past.

References

McLaren MP4-12C

2011 - 2013 McLaren MP4-12C High Resolution Exterior
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Read our full review on the 2013 McLaren MP4-12C.

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