Multi-car Aston Martin Winter Test
Aston Martin took the opportunity of escaping North European weather by testing all of its current racing cars (including the V8 Vantage N24) in the sunny climes of the South of France at the Paul Ricard High Tech Test Track. Aston Martin Racing was joined by Aston Martin Racing BMS, Barwell Motorsport and Hexis Racing. The test made for spectacular viewing with a total of 10 cars (three DBR9s, six DBRS9s and the V8) circulating the 6km Le Castellet circuit.
Dr Bez, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Aston Martin, attended for the first day and drove all three cars. Bez said, "It was great to be present at the first ever Aston Martin group test and to get together with some of the teams and drivers who represent our company so well on the track. The opportunity to try the DBR9 and the DBRS9 was a great experience and gave me a real insight into the capabilities of those cars.
"It was also a pleasure to get back into the Vantage N24 and to see it on the track with the GT1 and GT3 cars. Since announcing the specification and price in January, the response to the Vantage N24 has been incredible and the first customer cars are in build now for delivery in April."
Aston Martin Racing led the test with two DBR9s and ran an intensive development programme as well as testing several drivers in preparation for the 2007 season. Aston Martin Racing Team Principal, George Howard-Chappell said: "It was great to see so many Aston Martins all out on the track at one time, especially on the first day when there was a lot of on-track activity and the weather was dry."
Italian Works team Aston Martin Racing BMS took the opportunity to test drivers in their DBR9 and DBRS9.
Hexis Racing made the two-hour journey from their base at Ledenon in France to test their two new DBRS9s. The team concentrated on driver comfort and general set up during the two-day test. Clement Mateu, Communications Manager said: "We are looking forward to competing in the French GT Championship and several other European races this year. The wet weather on day two was good for us as it is the first time we have tested the car in the wet."
Barwell Motorsport attended the test with two DBRS9s, one of which was running on bio-ethanol fuel. Barwell Managing Director Mark Lemmer commented: "The test has been fantastic. We would have preferred sunshine on both days but we got a huge amount of work done on the first day and it has been really useful. Now we know how good the facility is, it would be great if Aston Martin made this test an annual event."
In recognition of their successes in 2006, Aston Martin GT3 drivers Jonathan Cocker, Leo Machitski, Massimiliano Mugelli and Marcello Zani got the opportunity to test one of the Aston Martin Racing DBR9 GT1 cars and all acquitted themselves well in damp conditions.
Works driver tests N24 car
Aston Martin Racing driver, Darren Turner took a break from his DBR9 testing duties to try out the V8 Vantage N24. Turner said: "It was a treat to have the opportunity to drive the N24. I was really surprised with the amount of grip and how easy the car was to drive - great fun and really driver friendly."
Text: Classic Driver
Photo: Aston Martin
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