Aston Martin Racing has unveiled its most ambitious motorsport programme to date as it aims to win both the 24 Hours of Le Mans and the FIA World Endurance Championship (WEC), as the marque celebrates its centenary year.
Underlining the success of its return to GT racing in 2012 and its commitment to the WEC, the team has confirmed a four-car entry into the series; two Vantage GTEs in both the Pro and Am classes.
Entry into the series means that each of the four V8-powered Vantage GTEs will compete at the 24 Hours of Le Mans, the third round of the WEC on 22nd-23rd June, making this the largest factory team entry into the event by Aston Martin in the history of the marque. Two potential further entries for Le Mans and selected WEC rounds are on the reserve list.
The GTE Pro entries, #97 and #99, will be the heavily-revised 2013 Vantage GTE. Dan Sayers, chief engineer at Aston Martin Racing explains: “When redeveloping the race-winning 2012 Vantage GTE for the 2013 season, the design team focussed on increasing the drivability of the car and optimising the performance.”
The new Gulf-liveried #97 machine will once again be piloted by Darren Turner (GB), who celebrates his 11th season driving for the team. Stefan Mücke (D), who joined the team in 2008, will partner Turner once again. Together, Turner and Mücke will contest every round of the WEC with the aim of winning the GTE Pro championship. For the 24 Hours of Le Mans and for the second round of the WEC, the Six Hours of Spa-Francorchamps, Peter Dumbreck (GB), who returns to GT racing after competing in the 2012 WEC in the LMP1 category, will join the team.
The second GTE Pro car, the #99 Vantage GTE, will bring some new faces to Aston Martin Racing; Formula One driver Bruno Senna (BR) and Frenchman Frédéric Makowiecki will drive at each round of the WEC and will be joined by Robert Bell (GB) for the 24 Hours of Le Mans and Six Hours of Spa-Francorchamps.