Aston Martin’s enviable history in motorsport arguably began in 1932, when a 11/2 litre model finished 7th overall and won the Bennial Cup in that year’s Le Mans 24-hour race. However, without question, 1959 still represents the marque’s finest season to date, when the teams DBR1s finished first and second overall at Le Mans and, with such talent as Stirling Moss and Carroll Shelby on board, went on to annex the World Sportscar Championship; despite a devastating pit fire during the final round at Goodwood.
Under the circumstances it was extremely exciting for Aston Martin fans the world over when the marque returned to competition in 2005 after an absence of 46 years. And even more so when the Prodrive-developed DBR9 concerned achieved a spectacular victory in the GT1 class at Sebring first time out. Suitably buoyed by the success, the team further developed its steed until success at Le Mans was achieved once more with the DBR9 of Brabham, Turner and Rydell winning the GT1 class in the 2007 event. And, proving that had been more than a lucky roll of the dice, Brabham and Turner, this time teamed with Garcia, repeated the feat the following year.
It was also in 2008 that Aston Martin introduced a customer GT2 version of its Vantage road car, powered by a 4.5-litre racing version of the standard car’s engine, its bonded aluminium chassis is clad in carbon fibre panels, giving an all-up weight in Le Mans trim of just 1175kg. This is complemented by a comprehensive aero package comprising of a flat floor, front splitter, rear diffuser and CFD-designed rear wing. The engine drives through a competition clutch to a flat shift, six speed, sequential gearbox. Powerful racing cars need powerful brakes and the Vantage GT2’s system includes six pot Brembo callipers at the front and four pot ones on the rear, acting on two-piece discs in each case.
Chassis 009 was laid down by Prodrive in 2010 and employed by Gulf racing in 2011 to contest the Petit Le Mans series, rounds of the seven-race International Le Mans Cup that terminated at Zhuhei, China, and the Le Mans 24-hour event itself. It has been retained for 2012 for use in selected WEC events. A stunning race car that stirs the hearts of Aston Martin Racing enthusiasts wherever it competes.