- Klien signs with Aston Martin factory driver
- AMR new LMP1 ready for 2011
- Le Mans 24 Hours is main race
Aston Martin Racing today confirms experienced Formula One competitor Christian Klien (A) as the sixth factory driver to join the team’s existing line-up of Adrian Fernandez (MX), Andy Meyrick (GB), Stefan Mücke (D), Harold Primat (CH) and Darren Turner (GB). Klien will join Mücke and Turner in the new 007 AMR-One, Aston Martin’s new ground-up LMP1 race car, at the 24 hours of Le Mans in June, and at selected other races.
Klien has driven 49 grand prix races since his F1 debut in 2004. At 19, he had his rookie season in the Formula 3 Euro Series where, as in all the other junior formula series, he was soon winning race after race. Victory at the prestigious Marlboro Masters in Zandvoort helped secure Christian a place in Formula One when he was barely out of his teens. He has also driven for Peugeot in the Le Mans Series and in 2008 finished 3rd at the 24 hours of Le Mans, he went on to secure the fastest lap in the same race in 2009.
Team Principal, George Howard-Chappell said: “Christian brings a wealth of race expertise to the team with his background in F1 and in particular Le Mans. I think he will be a great team player, and I am confident he will be a fantastic addition to Aston Martin Racing in our first year with the new AMR-One.”
Klien said: “Having competed in three F1 races in 2010, I wanted to continue to race with a team that gave me consistency, at the top level of motorsport. I decided that the best opportunity to give me a focus and to retain my independence was to compete in the 24 hours of Le Mans with Aston Martin Racing and at selected other races in the LMP1 category as a full factory works driver.
“During my very first visit to Aston Martin Racing, I was immediately impressed, feeling the spirit and passion of their long association with Le Mans as former GT1 winners of the 24 Hour Race.
“Due to the timing of my inclusion with the AMR team I will commence my involvement with the development of the new AMR-One after the opening race of the Le Mans Series at Paul Ricard.
During my very first visit to Aston Martin Racing, I was immediately impressed.
“I am looking forward to racing for a team that is established and is internationally renowned with such a racing pedigree.”
The AMR-One is now in its early stages of testing, and has successfully completed a preliminary shake-down at the Fen End proving ground and brief first test at Snetterton. The new race car made its public debut at the Goodwood Festival of Speed press day last week, having been piloted up the hill by Darren Turner.
The AMR-One will make its on track debut at Paul Ricard at the opening round of the Le Mans Series on 3 April with drivers Stefan Mücke, Harold Primat and Darren Turner. Klien’s debut race with Aston Martin will be Spa on 7 May.
-source: aston martin