Race Weekend Central

Aston Martin Racing Unveils 2018 WEC Challenger

On Tuesday, Aston Martin launched their new Vantage model, the first revamp for the car since 2005.  Later in the day, Aston Martin Racing unveiled the new Aston Martin Vantage GTE racer. This new car will compete full-time in the FIA World Endurance Championship’s GTE-Pro class starting at Spa in May.

In addition, AMR announced that they are retaining their GTE-Pro driver lineups from 2017.  That means that Nicki Thiim and Marco Sørensen will remain in the No. 95 (pictured above), while Jonny Adam and Darren Turner will drive the No. 97.  Alex Lynn, who drove for G-Drive Racing in LMP2 and was part of Wayne Taylor Racing for their victories at Daytona and Sebring, has also been hired.  It is unclear what Lynn’s role will be with the team.

Team officials are very pleased about the new Vantage.

“It’s terrific to be involved in this exciting new chapter for Aston Martin Racing,” said Tony Gaw, Managing Director for Aston Martin Racing.  “It’s terrific to be involved in this exciting new chapter for Aston Martin Racing. The increasingly tough competition in the GTE class and the prospect of two visits to Le Mans and a return to Sebring within the 2018/19 super-season is thoroughly tantalizing. To conduct the development process of this car so closely with Aston Martin’s design and engineering teams was essential for both road and race car to retain the same underlying DNA. We believe the Vantage GTE will bring further success worldwide to Aston Martin Racing in the coming years.”

“Designing and developing this new car has been an extremely satisfying process,” said Dan Sayers, Aston Martin Racing’s Technical Director.  “We’ve collaborated closely with the 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 optimizing the design right until the build of our test car, which has paid dividends during our current testing schedule. This project has been one of the most intensive but also rewarding of my career so far.”

Sayers’ statement sounds a little familiar.  Aston Martin has used a similar process in working on the street and racing versions of their Vantage that Toyota used when designing the 2018 Camry.  Both the road car and the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series entry were launched together last year.

The Vantage GTE replaces the current V8 Vantage that has raced since 2012.  The car has 36 major victories, including two class wins at Le Mans.  In the United States, the car has had limited time outside of the WEC rounds at Circuit of the Americas.  The team did enter the Rolex 24 at Daytona in 2015, but finished 26th overall, 93 laps behind the class-winning Chevrolet Corvette C7.R.

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2021 Phil Allaway Headshot Phil Allaway

Phil Allaway has three primary roles at Frontstretch. He's the manager of the site's FREE e-mail newsletter that publishes Monday-Friday and occasionally on weekends. He keeps TV broadcasters honest with weekly editions of Couch Potato Tuesday and serves as the site's Sports Car racing editor.

Outside of Frontstretch, Phil is the press officer for Lebanon Valley Speedway in West Lebanon, N.Y. He covers all the action on the high-banked dirt track from regular DIRTcar Modified racing to occasional visits from touring series such as the Super DIRTcar Series.

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Absolutely gorgeous car. Lets hope that its performance matches its looks. It will be hard to surpass the record of its predecessor and to even match it will be an accomplishment.
The WEC looks set to continue to provide exciting racing across the board.

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