Aston Martin R16 LMP1

2009 - Chassis DBR1-2/2 - B09-62

Aston Martin R16 LMP1

The first Aston Martin prototype race car for two decades was based on a Lola B09/60 LMP1 design of 2008.

However, the name of the 2009 car was always a topic of some debate and it was also known as the Aston Martin DBR1-2, which was a direct nod to Aston Martin’s Le Mans history. The DBR1 that won Le Mans in 1959 in the hands of Roy Salvador and Carroll Shelby - Aston’s only win in the classic race to date - was DBR1 chassis number 2.

The LMP1 car used the race-developed 6-litre Aston Martin engine already proven in the DBR9 GT1 car, with larger air restrictions. Notably, the design included a rear facing brake cooling system, with air fed to the brakes through two fans, thus eliminating brake ducts on the bodywork.

Eventually, a compromise was reached on the naming and the car was called a Lola Aston Martin. Its aim was to win the unofficial petrol class at Le Mans. Prodrive, which operated the Aston Martin racing programme did a lot of development work and in the end it was designated a Lola Aston Martin B09/62, the 62 element being specific to the Aston Martin installation.

Running in Gulf livery and as number 009 in a nod the the James Bond / Aston Martin heritage, the car debuted at the Spa 1000kms in 2009 where Darren Turner and paying drivers Harold Primat and Miguel Ramos brought it home fifth, albeit a long way adrift of the rapid diesel Peugeots and Audis. Primat was joined by Stuart Hall and Peter Kox for Le Mans but the car crashed out of the race. The sister B09/62 of Jan Charouz, Tomas Enge and  Stephan Mucke finished fourth behind the factory Peugeots and Audis, and was the first petrol-powered car to finish.

In August, Turner, Primat and Ramos raced it to fifth place at the Algarve, while three weeks later chassis HU01S ran to second place at the Nurburgring 1000km race with Turner and Primat driving. Forth at Silverstone and third at Okayama wrapped up an impressive season.

It raced just twice for the factory team in 2010 and retired from Le Mans despite the efforts of Sam Hancock, Darren Turner and Juan Barazi who brought money for his drive. As a Le Mans warm up, the Lola Aston Martin finished second in the eight hour race at Le Castellet in the hand of Primat, Stefan Mücke and Adrian Fernandez.

The car then headed to America and was bought by the Muscle Milk Aston Martin Racing team of Greg Pickett for the 2011 American Le Mans Series. It won at Long Beach driven by Klaus Graf and Lucas Luhr. They were then second at Lime Rock and won at Mosport, Mid Ohio, and Road America on the way to taking second place in the championship.

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