Aston Martin has revealed its 2018 Vantage GTE, which will compete in the FIA WEC with its factory outfit Aston Martin Racing, replacing the current Vantage after nine years of service.
Built to comply with the FIA’s GTE class regulations, the all-new Vantage GTE is based on the British marque’s new Vantage road car, also unveiled today in London. The project is led by technical director Dan Sayers, who also led the design and development of the current V8 Vantage GTE, out of AMR’s UK headquarters in Banbury.
The car has been out testing extensively, clocking up more than 8,000 miles at various circuits in Europe and at Sebring in Florida. The development work since its initial shakedown also includes a successful 30-hour run at the Navarra circuit in Spain.
Together with Aston Martin Racing’s engineers, the factory drivers have worked hard to refine the drivability of the AMG-derived 4.0-liter turbocharged V8 engine, essentially the same unit as found in the road car.
As part of the announcement, Aston Martin Racing also confirmed a switch to Michelin tires. The team has used Dunlop rubber since the start of the 2016 season, winning the 2016 FIA WEC GTE Drivers and Teams titles, as well as this year’s 24 Hours of Le Mans with the brand.
The car, RACER understands, did complete multiple tests on Dunlop rubber before making the switch earlier this month.
In addition to revealing the car, AMR also confirmed five of the drivers who will be involved in its GTE program going forward, including team stalwarts Darren Turner, Jonny Adam, Nicki Thiim and Marco Sorensen as well as the new addition of DS Virgin Racing Formula E driver Alex Lynn. Further driver announcements will be made before the end of the year.
“Designing and developing this new car has been an extremely satisfying process,” said Aston Martin Racing technical director, Dan Sayers.
“We’ve had a really close collaboration with the Aston Martin factory, effectively developing the road and race cars in parallel. Attention to detail is infinitely better, and we’ve moved forwards a long way in terms of mass versus stiffness and center of gravity. We’ve spent every last second optimizing the design, which is perfect as the more time spent on initial design means less time re-designing things later.”
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