By Mikko Jalonen, Le Mans Series reporter
- Rough start for new AMR-One prototype
- AMR will skip Spa LMS race
- Further development before Le Mans
Aston Martin Racing decides not to compete at the Spa 1000km race
We need to complete our testing at our own pace including engine, aero and long distance tests.
Earlier today (April 28), Aston Martin Racing made an announcement to withdraw their AMR-One cars from the second round of the Le Mans Series that will take place at the famous Belgium circuit on the weekend of May 7th. The Spa 1000km event is also the second race of the Intercontinental Le Mans Cup (ILMC). It was not a surprise after the performance of the new LMP1 at the LMS season opener, 6 hours of Le Castellet, and more recently the reliability issues shown at the official 24 Hours of Le Mans test day.
The new AMR-One was off the pace at Paul Richard and after the race, George Howard-Chappell said: "This weekend has provided valuable progress to our development programme. We have taken advantage of testing under race conditions with better understanding of how the car behaves in traffic and on/off the racing line.
"We have solved some inevitable teething problems, and begun to concentrate on the dynamic characteristics of the car. I must stress how early we are in the development process and we go home now to continue in preparation for Le Mans Test later this month."
After the Le Mans testing on the la Sarthe circuit, Aston Martin Racing has elected to cancel the upcoming Spa event as they now put their minds and focus on further testing and development programme. The ground-up developed AMR-One features an all new turbo-charged direct injection 2.0 litre straight six petrol engine and that is where they were facing some difficulties with its engine plasma cylinder-lining during the official Le Mans Test.
Obviously the team is now putting its main focus around the engine and therefore will also look the ways how to improve the reliability of AMR-One prototypes.
In the official press release, Aston Martin Racing Chairman David Richards stated: "We could go to the Spa 1000km race in May, but this race meeting will set an agenda for us that doesn't allow us to achieve what we need to accomplish. We need to complete our testing at our own pace including engine, aero and long distance tests."