Aston Martin's new GTE Vantage a 'big improvement'

The 2012 Aston Martin Vantage GTE launched on Friday incorporates approximately 25 improvements over its predecessor

Aston Martin's new GTE Vantage a 'big improvement'

The focus on the new car, with which Aston Martin Racing will contest the FIA World Endurance Championship, has been on improving reliability and serviceability, according to AMR managing director John Gaw.

"Our first target for this project was to produce a reliable car," he explained. "We have also strived to make the car easier to service. We have new subframes front and rear, which, for example, mean the engine can be changed much more quickly because we no longer have to take the car apart."

Other improvements are revised aerodynamics, including a new rear wing, a new rollcage and heavily reworked version of the Vantage's cross-plane crank V8 engine. AMR opted to put development of the flat-plane crank V8 used by its customers at the opening races of 2011 on hold for durability reasons.

Gaw said: "We have been pretty serious about this. The Vantage has always been a customer car, but now I would describe it as a factory car. We have incorporated lessons learned from the DBR9 GT1 and our LMP1 cars."

A 2011-spec car fitted with the new engine was tested at Guadix in Spain earlier in the year. The first definitive 2012 Vantage GTE was shaken down at the MIRA proving ground this Tuesday before a day's testing at Donington Park on Wednesday.

The car is due to run for three days at Road Atlanta before making its race debut in the hands of Darren Turner, Stefan Mucke and Adrian Fernandez at the opening FIA World Endurance Championship round at Sebring on March 17.

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Series WEC
Drivers Maxime Martin
Teams Aston Martin Racing
Author Gary Watkins
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