Lola-Aston Martin LMP1 - click above for high-res image gallery
announced its initial plans for the upcoming 2010 racing season which will continue to include a two car attack on the 24 hours of Le Mans. However, before they get to Le Mans, Aston will run three warm up races with one car going to the Le Mans Series opener at Paul Ricard in April and the other coming to the United States for the ALMS races at Sebring and Long Beach.
The Lola built coupes will again carry the traditional blue and orange Gulf livery on the track as they try to better last year's fourth place finish at Le Mans. The V12 powered Astons were the top finishing gasoline-fueled racers last year behind the Peugeots
. The 2009 lineup of Chris Buncombe (GB), Stefan Mücke (DE), Harold Primat (CH) and Darren Turner (GB) will be joined this year by Adrian Fernandez who recently wound down his own Acura
[Source: Aston Martin]
Aston Martin Announces 2010 Racing Plans
Aston Martin Racing will enter two Works LMP1 cars bearing the iconic blue and orange livery of Gulf Oil in the 2010 Le Mans 24 Hours.
The British team exceeded all expectations at La Sarthe in 2009 by finishing fourth overall, having been quickest of the petrol powered prototypes from start to finish in its maiden LMP1 outing.
In addition, Aston Martin Racing will compete in three races prior to the Le Mans 24 Hours with one LMP1 car. The races will provide the team with valuable on-track experience prior to Le Mans and include the first two rounds of the American Le Mans Series – the 12 hours of Sebring on 20 March and the Long Beach Grand Prix on 17 April and the opening round of the European Le Mans Series at Paul Ricard in France on 11 April.
Aston Martin Racing drivers, Chris Buncombe (GB), Stefan Mücke (DE), Harold Primat (CH) and Darren Turner (GB) return for the 2010 season and will be joined by experienced sports car driver Adrian Fernández (MX).
Fernández is new to Aston Martin but no stranger to sports car racing and the American Le Mans Series having won the LMP2 class outright in 2009.
The team will also compete in selected blue riband races around the world post Le Mans, details of the remaining race programme and sixth driver will be subject to further announcements in the coming weeks.
The LMP1 cars will be powered by the same Aston Martin V12 engine which forms the basis for the Aston Martin DBS, V12 Vantage, DB9 and forthcoming four-door Aston Martin Rapide.
"Having won the Le Mans Series Team and Driver titles in 2009 it will be a hard act to follow," said Aston Martin Racing Team Principal, George Howard-Chappell. "However, we are looking forward to a great season of racing and we hope to have another strong showing at Le Mans. I'd like to welcome Adrian to the team, I'm sure with his experience he will be a great addition to our driver line-up."
The 78th running of the Le Mans 24 Hours will take place 12/13 June 2010.