To mark its first 100 years, Aston Martin has already introduced new Centenary Edition models, flown a Vanquish coupe via helicopter to the top of the Burj Al Arab hotel in Dubai, and just this week announced a vintage car race at England’s historic Brands Hatch circuit.
Now the automaker’s official motorsport division, Aston Martin Racing (AMR), has announced an ambitious entry for the 24 Hours of Le Mans in June, an event it hopes to win this year in both the GTE Pro and GTE Am classes.
That will certainly be a tough task given the strength of last year’s class winners, AF Corse driving the Ferrari 458 Italia GT2 in the GTE Pro class and Larbre Compétition driving the Chevrolet Corvette C6.R in the GTE Am class, and with Porsche also entering the competition this year.
However, AMR does have a lot going for it.
In its return to GT racing last year, the team managed to post a third place in the GTE Pro class at Le Mans using its Aston Martin Vantage GTE race car. This year, it will be fielding no less than four cars, two Vantage GTEs in both the Pro and Am classes, and one of the Pro cars will be driven by former Formula One driver Bruno Senna.
Additionally, the cars have been heavily updated for the 2013 motorsport season. Dan Sayers, chief engineer at AMR explains: “When redeveloping the race-winning 2012 Vantage GTE for the 2013 season, the design team focused on increasing the drivability of the car and optimizing the performance.”
Once again, the V-8-powered Vantage GTE is based upon Aston Martin’s regular Vantage. It shares that car’s bonded aluminum structure and fundamental engine and suspension designs, emphasizing the base car’s inherent sporting nature.
AMR will also contend the full 2013 World Endurance Championship, which it also hopes to win in its respective classes. In addition, AMR will also contend some races in the American Le Mans Series, starting with the 12 Hours of Sebring in Florida on March 16.