Aston Martin Racing will compete at Le Mans 2011 with an all-new car
13 September 2010

Aston Martin will compete in the 2011 Le Mans race with an all new open-cockpit car and a new purpose-designed engine.

New regulations introduced by the Le Mans organisers, the Automobile Club De L’Ouest (ACO), mean that Aston Martin now believes it can compete with the diesel-powered Peugeot and Audi cars.

See the first sketch of Aston Martin's new Le Mans challenger

Aston Martin competed in the 2009 and 2010 Le Mans races, but with a closed-cockpit car developed from a prototype originally built by Lola, called the Lola-Aston Martin B09/60.

The new LMP1 challenger will be petrol powered and will retain the iconic Gulf Oil livery as seen on Aston Martin Racing’s cars from the previous two years.

David Richards, Aston Martin chairman, said: “Having won the GT category twice at Le Mans in 2007 and 2008 and the Le Mans Series outright in 2009, we still want to achieve our ultimate goal of winning the 24 Hour race overall to bring the title back to Britain.”

Aston Martin’s first and only outright victory at Le Mans came in 1959 when Roy Salvadori and Carroll Shelby won in their DBR1.

Aston Martin Racing was founded in 2004 and has won multiple races and titles with its GT1 class DBR9 and the 2009 Le Mans Series title with the Lola-Aston Martin B09/60.

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13 September 2010

I was at the Silverstone 1000km yesterday and it was an excellent day with spectacular looking and sounding cars.

However, although this seems trivial and possibly irrelevant for sportscar racing, I find the LMP1 cars are too slow and and they are even off the pace of GP2 cars around most circuits, and this clearly looked the case yesterday, relatively speaking. Some previous regulations over the decades have seen the highest classes of sports-protoypes lap as fast as F1 cars, now these new 2011 rules are going to strangle further a class of motorsport than was once regarded as the pinnacle of motorsport technology and performance, comfortably sitting alongside and complimenting F1 cars.

Sure, the diesel protoypes were far quicker than the prototypes and something needed to be done, but these latest rules by the ACO are going to make sportscar racing look even more pedestrian and may look as laughable as Daytona protoypes.

13 September 2010

[quote Lanehogger]I was at the Silverstone 1000km yesterday and it was an excellent day with spectacular looking and sounding cars.[/quote]

Me too. The LMP1 Astons sounded absolutely awesome, kinda like an F1 car but much, much better.

[quote Lanehogger]Sure, the diesel protoypes were far quicker than the prototypes and something needed to be done,[/quote]

Something does need to be done so there is a level playing field but making everything slower is not the answer (if that's what they're planning). It's not just in a straight line though, I stood at Maggots for a while yesterday and the Audis/Peugeots were visibly faster around those corners than the other, petrol cars. Maybe the others need to raise their games a bit too?

13 September 2010

More struggles than in the insipid F1.

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