Aston’s new Vantage GT3 to make race debut at Le Mans
Aston Martin has revealed its new Vantage GT3 and Vantage GT4 customer racing cars to the public at this year’s 24 Hours of Le Mans, while the Vantage GT3 is also set to make its racing debut in the Michelin Aston Martin Racing Le Mans Festival, which is held on Saturday morning before the World Endurance Series’ most prestigious round.
The new Vantage GT3 and GT4 are derived from the new Aston Martin Vantage GTE; two of which are entered into the GTE Pro category of this weekend’s showpiece endurance event. All three modern Vantage race cars are based on the critically-acclaimed Aston Martin Vantage road car and powered by the same 4.0-litre turbocharged V8 engine, optimised by Aston Martin Racing.
Weighing in dry at 1245kg, the Vantage GT3 produces a boost-variable 535bhp and 700 Nm of torque. It is built from a lightweight aluminium chassis, again based on the road car, it features a steel roll-cage, an Xtrac six-speed sequential gearbox, an Alcon motorsport multi-plate clutch, Öhlins four-way adjustable dampers and Alcon brakes and Bosch Motorsport ABS.
The Vantage GT3 remains in development until homologated on 1 March, 2019 and replaces Aston Martin’s most successful customer car, the V12 Vantage GT3, which is still winning races seven years after it was first introduced to the market – most recently in the Blancpain GT Series Endurance Cup and British GT series. One of the key reasons for the popularity of the Vantage GT3’s predecessor was the ease at which it allowed inexperienced racers to drive quickly while maintaining an optimum performance window for professional drivers to be competitive in.
“Driveability and a wide operating window remain key targets for us as we develop the new Vantage GT3 and GT4 racing cars,” said Aston Martin Racing Managing Director John Gaw. “The fact that our customers can still purchase the V12 Vantage GT3 and be competitive seven years after it was introduced is a fantastic legacy to build on, and the new cars will take this concept on in leaps and bounds. The current GT3 is very popular with customers, and there is a desire to spread our marketplace to more championships and at a high level, and from the expressions of interest that we have seen so far I believe we are on track to do that.”