Aston Martin cars will be taking part in a 24-hour race this weekend at Belgium’s beautiful Spa Francorchamps circuit, the Spa 24 Hours. The British automaker is supplying five of its V12 Vantage GT3 race cars to teams competing in the event, and will also offer the talent of some of its own Aston Martin Racing drivers in addition to some young up-coming drivers under the works team’s watch.
The Spa 24 Hours is the highlight of the Blancpain Endurance Series, in which Aston Martin serves only as a supplier. Teams fielding the British automaker’s cars include Beechdean AMR, Leonard Motorsport, MP Motorsport, Oman Racing Team and PGF-Kinfaun.
The 2014-spec V12 Vantage GT3 race cars the teams will use feature a modified version of Aston Martin’s familiar 6.0-liter V-12. The dry-sumped engine produces more than 600 horsepower and its position has been optimized further to improve weight balance. The engine spins the rear wheels via an Xtrac six-speed sequential gearbox, and thanks to a full carbon fiber body the weight of the race car is just 1,250 kilograms (2,755 pounds).
The Spa Francorchamps circuit is one of the most grueling on the Blancpain Endurance Series calendar, so the V12 Vantage GT3s will have their work cut out for them. Part of the reason is that over 70 percent of the circuit is taken at maximum throttle, making it a stiff challenge for drivers, but particularly for engines that need to deliver good top end power, drivability and responsiveness to negotiate the fast, flowing corners such as the famed Eau Rouge and Blanchimont as well as the tight Bus Stop chicane and La Source hairpin.
The race gets underway on Saturday, July 26.