Iconic British marque says it will only race with a petrol engine at sportscar classic
20 May 2010

Aston Martin Racing boss David Richards says his team will resist switching to diesels in a bid to beat the dominant oil-burners from Peugeot and Audi at the Le Mans 24 Hours.

Aston’s LMP1 was the top petrol-powered car at the enduro classic last year - but it finished fourth, a full nine laps behind the winning Peugeot 908 HDi.

Le Mans’ rules are being modified over the next 12 months in a bid to create a more level playing field between diesels, petrols and hybrids.

But Richards told Autocar that Aston would remain focused on further developing its car’s DB9-derived V12 petrol powerplant.

“I cannot envisage Aston Martin building a diesel sports car,” he said. “We have been promised a more level playing field next year by the ACO [the race organiser] and we are seeking further assurances on that.

“Will we need to adopt hybrid technology in the future? We’d rather see a scenario where there is greater variety. If Aston Martin chooses to build a lighter car that is powered by petrol, then we’d like that to be accepted and reflected in the rules.”

This year’s Le Mans 24 Hours takes place on 12-13 June.

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Comments
6

20 May 2010

i'm glad aston have that view, it was a scandal that they had to make their cars heavier to give the diesels an advantage.

also adding unneeded ballast is against the reasoning of economy of the sports image and the reason why diesels were invested in anyway, its given motorsport/le mans a bad name, for those that know what happened. but not many do i expect, they just see on the news that the diesels are winning le mans every year so they must be good..

outrageous.

20 May 2010

Caught a few races on Motors TV of the American LeMans series. Very impressive racing, and more importantly the tracks are more interesting that the newer F1 tracks.

Aston - agreed with Beachland2. We need to see petrol cars given a fair deal, and allowed to become more efficient.

I did a comparison a year ago between my petrol car and a diesel hire car I was given (while mine got it's bumper replaced after being rear ended). Identical make and model but mine was a manual petrol while the hire car was a diesle automatic. Hire car was 10% more efficient than my petrol car, yet diesel was 15% more expensive at the pump.

Conclusion: Petrol was cheaper to run. And quicker, more exciting to drive.

20 May 2010

I agree with Aston Martin's sentiments on not building a diesel car - why would a company which doesn't sell diesel cars want to build one to race at Le Mans? Diesel makes sense to Audi and Peugeot as they sell lots of them, so they can show off their technology, but not Aston.

I also agree with encouraging variety, rather than stifling it like F1 is doing. Parity is an ongoing nightmare for every variation that you allow and mistakes are inevitable, but it is a price worth paying.

As for the impromptu comparison by one man between one petrol car and one diesel car over a short period with no further information or analysis, that's so ridiculous it's scarcely believeable, and part of the reason people get so confused about whether a petrol or diesel car is better for them.

20 May 2010

[quote disco.stu]As for the impromptu comparison by one man between one petrol car and one diesel car over a short period with no further information or analysis, that's so ridiculous it's scarcely believeable[/quote]

What more information would you like from the comparison?

It seems to me that many people believe that it's much cheaper to run a diesel, yet that's not always the case. Especially when you're paying more not only for the diesel but the car in the first place. And diesels don't give the same performance, so the comparison is unfair against the petrol car!

And "short period" was a month, long enough I believe. No, it doesn't take a month for a bumper to be fixed but it does when the person has no insurance!

20 May 2010

The sooner the Petrol v Diesel is equalised the better. Having another Audi v Peugeot battle is starting to get boring, the real battle is who will win the ‘Petrol class’. Also, while the Diesels rule, there is no chance of Porsche, Ferrari, etc building a LMP1 car. However, remember Le Mans is the worlds greatest Motor race – but how much mainstream coverage will it get this year? Yet another Motorsport now marginalised, all because of the great god of F1!! Yet both the ALMS/LMS provide great multi-class racing – something F1 can only dream about.

20 May 2010

Of course it makes no sense for Aston Martin to run a diesel it is totally against thier busines model.

...and seeing this thread I made a bet with myself before entering... I won!

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