It used to be that Aston Martin race cars were staggered: the GT1 and GT3 cars were based on the DB9, while the GT2 and GT4 machines were based on the Vantage. But that was before the V12 Vantage came into the production lineup, and before the company veered into top-tier LMP1 racing. And while the DBRS9 is still competitive in the GT3 class, Aston has opted to replace it with a new car based on the V12 Vantage.
The new Vantage GT3 packs a competition version of the dry-sump 6.0-liter V12 from the road car, mated to an Xtrac paddle-shift gearbox and race-honed ABS and traction control. Although exact specifications have yet to be finalized, Aston hopes to get the engine up to 600 horsepower and weight down to 1250 kg (2,755 pounds) by the time the car makes its debut in July, with ten customer cars set to be completed by the start of next season to gradually replace the 26 examples of the DBRS9 built to date. Press release after the jump.
[Source: Aston Martin]
ASTON MARTIN RACING ANNOUNCES NEW VANTAGE GT3
Gaydon 13 April 2011. Aston Martin Racing announces today, the new Vantage GT3 race car based on the V12 Vantage road car, which will be ready for competition in 2012.
The Vantage GT3 will replace the DBRS9, launched in 2006 at Le Mans, and which has since seen 26 chassis built and raced to multiple victories in national and international series across the world most recently winning in the Australian GT at Mount Panorama in October last year and achieving a podium finish at Zolder last week. The new Vantage GT3 joins the Vantage GT2, GT4, DBR9 GT1 and the AMR-One LMP1 to create the largest and most comprehensive range of Aston Martin race cars to date.
Designed to FIA regulations, the Vantage GT3 will be built around the Vantage aluminium VH architecture with a lightweight dry-sumped 6.0 litre V12 engine, based on the V12 Vantage road car. The new car will have a race semi-automatic paddle shift Xtrac gearbox and the latest race-developed ABS and traction control systems, optimised for the Vantage GT3.
John Gaw, Aston Martin Racing Managing Director added: "The DBRS9 has been a very successful GT3 racing car and, despite being more than six years old, is still competitive today.
"However, the competition has moved on and we needed to create a new car that combines our six years' experience in this category with the latest race technology to continue Aston Martin's success in GT3 for many years to come."
Aston Martin Racing has set a target weight of 1250kg and target engine performance figures of more than 600bhp and 700Nm. The first car will be completed in July 2011 and will undertake an extensive test and development programme during the rest of the year. Ten customer cars will then be built ready for delivery for the start of the 2012 season.