Aston Martin World Racing Debut To Come in American Le Mans Series Sebring 12 Hours Braselton, GA - The highly-anticipated world racing debut of the new Aston Martin DBR9 will come in the American Le Mans Series when the British auto...
Aston Martin World Racing Debut To Come in American Le Mans Series Sebring 12 Hours
Braselton, GA - The highly-anticipated world racing debut of the new Aston Martin DBR9 will come in the American Le Mans Series when the British auto manufacturer enters two factory cars in the Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring Mar. 16-19.
The 53rd annual running of North America's premier sports car racing event at Sebring (Fla.) International Raceway will kick off the 2005 American Le Mans Series season.
Aston Martin Racing unveiled the DBR9, which will spearhead the company's return to international motorsports in 2005, at a launch at Aston Martin's headquarters in Gaydon, UK. An extensive testing and development program is scheduled prior to the racing debut of the car at Sebring, in which it will compete in the GT1 class (formerly GTS) of the American Le Mans Series. Drivers will be named later.
After racing at Sebring, Aston Martin Racing will return to Europe to prepare for racing in the 24 Hours of Le Mans, which Aston Martin won overall in 1959 with American Carroll Shelby as one of its drivers. In recognition of its past history at Le Mans, the works Aston Martin will race with the same green and yellow livery as was used in the late 1950s.
Aston Martin is racing together with Prodrive, the British racing firm that has had success in both road racing and rallying. Prodrive built, developed and raced the Ferrari 550 Maranello machines that successfully competed in ALMS events from 2001-2003, scoring five class wins in the ALMS as well as a GTS class win at Le Mans in 2003.
"We need to create heightened awareness for Aston Martin around the world and motor sport will allow us to do this," said Dr. Ulrich Benz, Chief Executive Officer of Aston Martin.
"We took four years to find the ideal partner in David Richards and Prodrive, and together we have created Aston Martin Racing," said Dr. Benz. "The DBR9 is the first step in our return to motor sport and I know that our customers and enthusiasts alike are looking forward to seeing Aston Martin racing again at an international level in 2005."
Aston Martin Racing will build 12 works cars to be run by three works teams in the major international racing series that include GT cars. A limited run of 20 racing cars, prepared to the same specifications, will also be built and made available to selected customers to race or for private collections.
The DBR9 racing car is based on the latest Aston Martin production sports car, the DB9, but is significantly modified for racing. The DB9's bonded-aluminum body architecture is shared with the DBR9 and provides both with a lightweight, rigid chassis. The race engine uses the same aluminum cylinder block and head as the DB9's six-litre V12. The racing version also has the DB9's double wishbone suspension configuration, revised and upgraded for racing, and the racer has carbon brakes front and rear as well as a six-speed sequential gearbox.
The DBR9 was styled by Aston Martin's own design team, making extensive use of Computational Fluid Dynamics to optimize the aerodynamics before producing the final body surface. The panels are handmade from carbon-fiber composite, helping the car to meet its 1,100 kg minimum weight and giving it a power to weight ratio of 550bhp per ton, more than double that of the road car.
The 53rd annual Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring will get the green flag at 10:30 a.m. on Saturday, March 19, and will be televised live from flag-to-flag in North America by the SPEED Channel. Race fans in Europe will also be able to watch live coverage of the entire race on MotorsTV. The American Le Mans Series Radio Web will have live coverage online at www.americanlemans.com.
Ticket information is available online at www.sebringraceway.com or by calling (863) 655-1442 (toll-free 800-626-RACE).