Aston Martin Racing Announces Long Awaited Driver Line-up
Sebring, FL - Aston Martin Racing has confirmed an international driver line-up for the 2005 season, which begins with the American Le Mans Series Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring in March and includes the 24 Hours of Le Mans.
The six drivers introduced today were: David Brabham (Australia), Tomas Enge (Czech Republic), Peter Kox (Netherlands), Pedro Lamy (Portugal), Stephane Ortelli (France) and Darren Turner (UK). This line-up of experienced sports car drivers will share driving duties in the team's two DBR9s at each of the races during 2005. Precise teams will be announced prior to the Sebring race. All the drivers came together for the first time on January 31 at the team's latest test at Sebring, Florida.
"It's great to have such a talented pool of drivers to choose from," said Aston Martin Racing team principal, George Howard-Chappell. "Having worked with most of them before, we know they will bond as a team and work together to help develop the DBR9."
Coming off an interesting season last year in the ALMS with Zytec, competing in both the LMP1 and GTS classes, David Brabham is no less than thrilled to be a part of such an exciting addition to the ALMS.
"When I was speaking with my friends and they asked who I was going to be driving for, I sort of let it slip that I would be driving for Aston Martin," said Brabham. "There is something inside them that goes 'ahhhh, Aston Martin!' I am pleased to have the name back in racing. For me to be a part of it with this group of drivers and the Prodrive team is incredible because people will look back in history and see this as one of those special moments."
"For me its as almost the same as it is for David because driving for Aston Martin is an honor for any driver", said Lamy. "I am really happy to be here with these professionals. This is a strong team and I am excited to be here."
"I think it's important to have reasonable expectations for this year," said Jonathan Ward, Commercial Director for Aston Martin Racing. "People like David Brown (owner of Aston Martin from the 1940's to early 1960's and where the "DB" in DBR9 originates) throughout the history of Aston Martin have always said that it takes three years to develop a car that can win Le Mans. We are hoping that we can do it more quickly than that but it would be unrealistic for us to say that we will win the GT1 class here at Sebring. Clearly we are a committed team of designers, engineers and drivers and in our heart of hearts, we want to win it."