A record number of Vantages will race around the world.
A record number of Aston Martin V12 Vantage GT3s and V8 Vantage GT4s will contest the world’s top GT championships and events this year and - with podiums in Dubai 24 Hours, Bathurst 12 Hours and Sebring 12 Hours already recorded - the season has started strongly for the brand’s customer teams around the world.
At the British GT Championship media day today (25 March), Aston Martin Racing’s Team Principal John Gaw stood in a paddock boasting seven Vantage GT3s and six Vantage GT4s and explained why he believes this year is set to be the most successful yet: “We have grown our customer base over the last few years and we have a record number racing in 2015, but our main aim was to attract a high caliber of teams. We believe that we have done this and this reflects in the results we are achieving already this year.”
In order to support its customer teams, Aston Martin Racing has launched the new-for-2015 Evolution Academy, a training programme for drivers aged 16-25 who all race Aston Martins.
In addition, Aston Martin Racing is once again supporting its customers by offering its works drivers, including the likes of Darren Turner (GB), Stefan Mücke (DE), Pedro Lamy (PT), Richie Stanaway (NZ) and Jonny Adam (GB), to strengthen driver line-ups and offer car set-up advice.
“We believe that by developing our customers’ young drivers we are strengthening their teams,” Customer Programmes Manager Andrew Williamson explained. “Our customer teams have some of the top talent in GT racing and we are pleased to be able to offer our pool of works drivers to enhance their line-ups even further.
“Our Vantage race cars have had great success already this year in some of the toughest endurance challenges, proving the reliability and durability of the product, and we are looking forward to supporting them throughout 2015.”
All the cars being campaigned by Aston Martin Racing’s customer teams are derived from the sports car maker’s road-going Vantage range. Today’s Vantage line-up – comprising four distinct models using one of two advanced engines; V8 Vantage, V8 Vantage S and V12 Vantage S – represents a clear and strong link between road car and race car.
“The Vantage GT3 is well-suited to most tracks and is designed to be easy to drive and the Vantage GT4 is unrivalled as an entry-level GT car,” concluded Williamson. “This is testament to our team of engineers, who understand what is required from each machine.”
On home soil
In Britain, the home of Aston Martin Racing, seven V12 Vantage GT3s and six V8 Vantage GT4s will contest the British GT Championship looking to repeat the 2013 championship and 2014 GT4 class wins recorded by partner team Beechdean AMR.
Also in the UK, at least one Vantage GT3 and one Vantage GT4 will run in the GT Cup and Silverstone 24 Hours.
Competing in Europe
Wider afield, two Vantage GT3s will battle it out in the highly-competitive Blancpain Endurance Series with three already committed to take part in the centre-piece of the European-based championship, Spa 24 Hours.
Also in Europe, new Aston Martin Racing customer team Massive Motorsport has entered a Vantage GT3 into the European Le Mans Series GTC class with ex-works driver Kristian Poulsen (DN) and there will be Vantage GT4s in 24H Series and European GT4 Series.
Vantage GT4s will also continue to feature prominently in the Nürburgring VLN series, where customer team Mathol Racing has dominated the SP10 class for GT4 cars for several years, and as many as seven Aston Martins are regularly seen tackling the mighty Nordschleife.
Racing in the States
Across the Atlantic, Aston Martin Racing’s North American partner team TRG-AMR, along with supporting other teams, are once again contesting the Tudor United Sportscar Championship and Pirelli World Challenge.
Asia and Australia
Aston Martin Racing’s Asian partner team Craft-Bamboo Racing will once again enter GT Asia with its pair of Vantage GT3s. The team has its sights set on the championship win and is feeling confident following a third place in Bathurst 12 Hours in Australia earlier this year.