Prodrive's David Richards visited Prague and the Czech Republic Le Mans Series drivers by making them very happy. Tomas Enge, a long-time Aston Martin racer campaigns the LMS events with Team Modena while Jan Charouz and Stefan Mucke co-share the...
Prodrive's David Richards visited Prague and the Czech Republic Le Mans Series drivers by making them very happy. Tomas Enge, a long-time Aston Martin racer campaigns the LMS events with Team Modena while Jan Charouz and Stefan Mucke co-share the ride for the new Charouz Racing Systems LMP1.
After Richards led a consortium to take over Aston Martin from automotive giant Ford in March 2007, his determination as Chairman of the company to take the brand to new heights has seen a large investment in motorsport activities.
"Our company, Prodrive is active in a number of top-rank motoring fields and I am very confident in the LMS project in cooperation with Tony Charouz' team." he said.
Richards has a enviable reputation in the world of motorsports having been involved in Formula One teams BAR and Benetton as well as his current interest with the Subaru World Rally Championship team. He was awarded with the Order of the British Empire (CBE) in the 2005 New Year Honours List for his services to motorsport. The British-Czech collaboration in the Le Mans Series is a new venture but the early indications are good.
"We are just starting out but you can see now how competitive our car is. I believe that we will gradually grow much stronger, in LMS and in Le Mans 24 Hours, where we will celebrate fifty years from Aston Martin's victory next year," Richards said.
The Prodrive chairman and chief executive flew over from the Jordanian Rally to the visit the three racers and to present them with the scale model of the new Aston Martin Vantage, but there was more to come, when the drivers went outside there were three real-size Aston Martins waiting for them!
The three Aston Martin Vantage cars were presented to the elated drivers on the bank of the River Vltava in the historic capital city of the Czech Republic.
"Now this is a shock. But a nice one of course," said Charouz who co-pilots the Aston Martin LMP1 Lola chassis prototype.
Prague is widely considered to be one of the most beautiful cities in Europe which is among the most visited cities on the continent a stunning backdrop for the generous gift.
While Charouz and Mucke race the 350 km/h car in the LMS series, Enge will join the pair for the legendary Le Mans 24 Hours Race. "I fell in love with the car during the very first test drive. Driving it is an incredible pleasure. I am looking forward to my favourite race so much more now that I will be allowed to drive this car," Enge said of the new prototype.
Enge himself received congratulations for his victory in Monza in the LMGT1 category. He along with teammate Antonio Garcia took the class victory in an another Aston Martin, the DBR9.
David Richards commented: "Tomas has always been one of the biggest stars under our colours. I believe he will follow up on his success with the Aston Martin DBR9 GT now that he will be driving our new prototype. We have a strong crew, a strong car and strong background as well."
The new car is looking good already, earning a place on the podium in the 1000 km race at Barcelona. Charouz and Mucke finished third overall after a faultless drive for the cars debut race. In a dramatic second round at the 1000 km at Monza, Charouz and Mucke only managed eighth but led the race for a total of one hour and 15 minutes, loosing out due to a fuel system issue.
The next outing for the car will be round three of the Le Mans Series which will take place on 11 May in Spa-Francorchamps, Belgium.
Then the trio of drivers will head to the famous La Sarthe circuit for the 24 Hours of Le Mans.