Aston Martin announces expansion into LMP1 class

Never a moment's rest for the team at Aston Martin Racing. Not since Prodrive chief David Richards took over with his consortium of investors, at least. With the announcement of the V8 Vantage GT2, the team has expanded into every class of GT racing in the Le Mans Series, campaigning racing DB9s in GT1 and GT3 and competition-spec V8 Vantages in GT2 and GT4. But now that the regulations for the Le Mans Prototype class have been modified to allow for GT1 engines to power LMP cars, Aston Martin is turning its attention to that class, too.

Hot on the heels of the team's unveiling of the retro-tastic Gulf livery for its DBR9 GT1 cars, Aston Martin Racing has announced a collaboration with Charouz Racing Systems, which will campaign a Lola chassis with the DBR9's 6-liter V12 in this year's 24 Hours of Le Mans and in the broader European Le Mans Series. Tomas Enge, Stefan Mucke and Jan Charouz will drive the car, and in addition to working in partnership with Lola's engineering team to repackage the V12 for the LMP chassis, Aston Martin Racing's engineers will support Charouz Racing System's cars at the races.

We're looking forward to seeing the car in full race trim and to witnessing Aston Martin taking on the entire field at this year's Le Mans 24. Press release after the jump.

[Source: Aston Martin Racing via Motive]

Press Release

Aston Martin Power LMP1 in 2008

Aston Martin Racing will provide engines for the Charouz Racing Systems LMP1 entry at this year's Le Mans 24 Hours and in the Le Mans Series (LMS).

Aston Martin Racing and Charouz Racing Systems are taking advantage of new LMP regulations for 2008, which allow the use of a GT1 engine in a prototype chassis.

The team will use a new closed cockpit Lola chassis for 2008, fitted with the latest specification Aston Martin six litre V12 unit, which was used in the 2007 GT1 class winning DBR9. Aston Martin Racing will work with Lola to repackage the engine and drivetrain for the new chassis, while engineers from Aston Martin Racing will support the car on event.

Aston Martin Racing has contracted Tomas Enge, Stefan Mucke and Jan Charouz for the 2008 season. All three have been placed with Charouz Racing Systems and will race the Michelin-shod Lola/Aston Martin at Le Mans and in the LMS.

George Howard-Chappell, team principal for Aston Martin Racing, said: "The V12 unit has already proven that it has the performance and endurance to win at Le Mans. We are now looking forward to the challenge of repackaging it in a new lighter chassis and seeing how competitive it can be in the prototype class. It will be great new experience for me and all the team here at Aston Martin Racing."

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