Le Mans will be true test for new car

Darren Turner will be at the wheel of one of the Aston Martins
Darren Turner will be at the wheel of one of the Aston Martins

Aston Martin Racing returns to the scene of its famous 2017 Le Mans 24 Hours triumph this weekend.

The all-new Aston Martin Vantage GTE will make its first competitive appearance on the legendary Circuit de la Sarthe.

I have every confidence in all areas of the team that we will rise to the challenge

Aston Martin Racing team boss Paul Howarth

A year on from Jonny Adam’s dramatic late pass for the lead of the GTE Pro category that led to a glorious win for Aston Martin Racing, the Banbury-based team has entered two new Vantage GTEs in the 2018 event.

Based on the critically-acclaimed Aston Martin Vantage road car and powered by the same 4.0-litre, V8 turbo-charged engine optimised by AMR, the Vantage GTEs are part of a 17-strong GTE Pro line-up that represents the most competitive field ever assembled for the class.

The new Vantage GTE made a solid debut in Spa-Francorchamps with both the #95 car driven by Nicki Thiim, Marco Sørensen and three-times Le Mans winner Darren Turner and the #97 machine of Maxime Martin, Alex Lynn and Adam finishing in the points.

Following an extensive development programme that covered 35,000km over the winter, the team is now ready to give the car its toughest examination yet despite of Sørensen’s accident at the Le Mans test day, which required the team to build up a brand new chassis in a tight time-frame.

Aston Martin Racing ream boss Paul Howarth said: “Le Mans has already thrown up many challenges for the team to deal with this year, including the build of a brand new Vantage GTE chassis and repairing the #98 GTE Am car which was damaged during the test.

“The team has demonstrated how to overcome unforeseen events. We are all now focussed on the race week and looking forward to what is shaping up to be one of the most competitive GT entries of the modern era.

“I have every confidence we will rise to the challenge.”