Aston Steals the Show

Aston Martin Racing has plenty to shout about at this week’s Autosport International Racing Car Show, held at Birmingham’s NEC.

Following last week’s announcement that a new, V8 Vantage GT2 will complete the line-up of the marque’s GT racing car range (and make it the only manufacturer to offer cars in every GT racing category from GT1 to GT4), Chairman David Richards took the microphone at the Show’s press day with plenty more to tell us. The highpoint of his short presentation was the unveiling of a Gulf-liveried DBR9...

Yes, Aston Martin Racing will return to Le Mans in 2008 to defend its GT1 title with two DBR9s in the distinctive blue and orange livery – 40 years after Gulf Oil’s first victory at the 24-hour race. “This is arguably the most important year ever for Gulf in motorsport,” said Gulf Oil vice president international, Alain Dujean.

The two Aston Martin DBR9s for 2008 will be entered as numbers 007 and 009.

Aston Martin Racing will also provide engines for the Charouz Racing Systems LMP1 entry at this year’s Le Mans 24 Hours and in the Le Mans Series (LMS).The team will be using the new, closed-cockpit Lola chassis, fitted with the latest Aston Martin six-litre V12 unit.

David Richards also made mention of two confirmed customers for the new Vantage GT2. Barwell Motorsport will be running a bioethanol-fuelled car in the 2008 American Le Mans Series (ALMS), while the new, UK-based team, Gigawave MotorSport, is entering both the GT1 and GT2 classes of the 2008 FIA GT Championship. They’ll be running a DBR9 in GT1 and a Vantage GT2. It’s good news for British motorsport fans that there will be a top-level British team to cheer on in the FIA GT Championship: Gigawave MotorSport is the only UK-based team in the GT1 class.

Text: Charis Whitcombe
Photos: Aston Martin Racing / Lola Cars

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