Charouz Racing Systems will compete with Aston Martin engines at this year's Le Mans 24 Hours and in the Le Mans Series (LMS). Charouz Racing Systems and the Prodrive-run Aston Martin Racing team are taking advantage of new LMP regulations for 2008, which allow the use of a GT1 engine in a prototype chassis.
The team will use a new closed cockpit Lola chassis for 2008, fitted with the latest specification Aston Martin six litre V12 unit, which was used in the 2007 GT1 class winning DBR9. Aston Martin Racing will work with Lola to repackage the engine and drivetrain for the new chassis, while engineers from Aston Martin Racing will support the car on event.
Aston Martin Racing has contracted Tomas Enge, Stefan Mücke and Jan Charouz for the 2008 season. All three have been placed with Charouz Racing Systems and will race the Michelin-shod Lola/Aston Martin at Le Mans and in the LMS.
George Howard-Chappell, team principal for Aston Martin Racing, said: "The V12 unit has already proven that it has the performance and endurance to win at Le Mans. We are now looking forward to the challenge of repackaging it in a new lighter chassis and seeing how competitive it can be in the prototype class. It will be great new experience for me and all the team here at Aston Martin Racing."
Antonin Charouz said: "Our cooperation with Prodrive and Aston Martin Racing has been a long and fruitful one. We are very happy that we have found an even closer relationship for the upcoming season. While GT1 engines are based on those from the road car, Aston Martin Racing has proven how competitive they can be as an endurance race engine. I believe the combination of Prodrive's extensive racing experience, particularly at Le Mans, and the Aston Martin V12 engine's pedigree, should make for a very competitive package in 2008."
Tomas Enge: "I am very excited to be driving for Aston Martin Racing again and also to be part this new project where both Prodrive and Charouz Racing System are involved. Our car is a brand new one, so there is a lot of work ahead but I am already looking forward to it. It is a real challenge for me. I always wanted to drive a powerful LMP1 car and am looking forward to a strong fight with our diesel-powered competition."
Jan Charouz: "It is a great opportunity for me. To drive for a brand like Aston Martin Racing is a big honour for me. Charouz Racing System has already proven it was quick last year during its debut season in the Le Mans Series and even though the car is new, I believe the involvement of Aston Martin Racing and Prodrive will make the team even stronger. I must say that the last Le Mans Series season enchanted me a lot and I am pleased to continue there. I am very happy that I will race in such a good team and with quick team-mates like Tomas Enge and Stefan Mucke I believe we can fight at the front."
Stefan Mücke: "I am very happy that I will be part of this unique project! I think that it is a good package of drivers, car and engine and I am confident that we will be able to be successful. Like Jan Charouz, I made my debut in the Le Mans Series only last year and the championship attracted me as well."