Aston Martin launches 2018 Vantage GTE contender

Aston Martin has launched the new Vantage with which it will defend its Le Mans 24 Hours GTE Pro class crown in the FIA World Endurance Championship next season. 

Aston Martin launches 2018 Vantage GTE contender
Aston Martin Racing Aston Martin Vantage GTE 2018
Aston Martin Racing Aston Martin Vantage GTE 2018
AMR technical director Dan Sayers with the Aston Martin Racing Aston Martin Vantage GTE 2018
Aston Martin Racing Aston Martin Vantage GTE 2018
Aston Martin Racing Aston Martin Vantage GTE 2018
Aston Martin Racing Aston Martin Vantage GTE 2018
Aston Martin Racing Aston Martin Vantage GTE 2018
Aston Martin Racing Aston Martin Vantage GTE 2018
Aston Martin Racing Aston Martin Vantage GTE 2018
Aston Martin Racing Aston Martin Vantage GTE 2018

The second-generation Vantage GTE was revealed in London on Tuesday evening alongside the road-going car from which it has been developed. 

Road and race car are powered by a AMG-Mercedes four-litre twin-turbo and built around a bonded-aluminium chassis. 

Development of the race car, which replaces the existing Vantage that dates back to 2008, was initiated in February 2016, with the build of the first car beginning in May this year and the testing starting in August. 

AMR technical director Dan Sayers said: "We’ve collaborated closely with Aston Martin’s Gaydon headquarters to develop the road and race cars in parallel. 

"Attention to detail has been a priority at every step of this process and we’ve made big improvements in each area of the car.

"We’ve spent every second optimising the design right until the build of our test car, which has paid dividends during our current testing schedule."

AMR is switching back to Michelin tyres for the 2018/19 WEC superseason after two years racing on Dunlops, during which time it won the drivers' and teams' crowns in the 2016 WEC and Le Mans this year. 

The new Vantage GTE undertook its first test on Michelins at Sebring the week after the Shanghai WEC round earlier this month.

The first car has already completed 13,000km of testing, which includes two 30-hour race simulations and further endurance running at Sebring. 

Stalwart Aston Martin driver Darren Turner explained that the new Vantage had "felt strong from the first run.

"It didn't feel like Day 1 one of a new car when I first got behind the wheel," he said. 

"I thought, wow, we are already at this level, and we are only doing the shakedown. We have had an extremely positive start to the programme."

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