22/11/2011 V12 Vantage GT3: Aston Martin Racing tests begin
“The feeling of the V12 Vantage GT3 is a massive step forward from the DBRS9,” said factory driver Darren Turner, after two days testing the new endurance racer at Brands Hatch this week. “Based on the smaller Vantage, it is more responsive and feels more nimble, giving the driver plenty of confidence to extract all the performance from the V12 engine while also being light on its tyres. It isn’t too physical to drive and I didn’t even break into a sweat during the test.”
In the two days at Brands, Aston Martin Racing’s new V12 Vantage GT3 covered almost 1000km, most of them with Turner behind the wheel. “With the clean styling and the amazing-sounding V12,” he continued, “it’s closer to the core values of Aston Martin’s road cars than any of the racing cars we’ve ever built. I’m certain it’ll become a favourite among motorsport fans in no time at all.”
The new racer, which shares the bonded aluminium body structure and 6.0-litre V12 engine with the road-going V12 Vantage, is a direct replacement for the highly successful Aston Martin DBRS9. This week’s testing is an early stage in a rigorous development and sign-off programme, which will see the car run at competition speeds for long periods of time, to ensure the reliability of critical components.
Says John Gaw, Aston Martin Racing Managing Director, “We haven’t had any significant issues with the car, despite having covered close to 1000km, exceeding all our expectations in the car’s first track test. The Vantage GT3 is the ultimate expression of all the experience that Aston Martin Racing has gained in the past six years. The DBRS9 still has a year of FIA homologation remaining, which effectively makes 2012 a development year for the V12 Vantage GT3.”
The V12 Vantage GT3 will be eligible to run in all FIA GT3 and national GT3 championships, the Blancpain Endurance Series, VLN and the Nürburgring 24 Hours.