Jamie Hibbard10 March 2009

Gulf pro

Aston Martin and Audi head out on track to test their LMP1 cars

Aston Martin LMP1

As if Aston Martin wasn't busy enough launching the DBS Volante, V12 Vantage and One-77 in Geneva last week - and the Lagonda concept - plus developing the Rapide, it's also started gearing up for an attack on this year's Le Mans 24 hour race in a test at the awesome Paul Ricard circuit near Marseille in France.

The Le Mans prototypes (LMP1) had a mixed outing, with driver Tomas Enge taking a high-speed spin into the barriers, writing one off. But we've been very intrigued to see what the car actually looks like, having only seen CG images up until now.

So, take a look at it in the gallery. We like it a lot.

We're also pleased to hear from an Aston mole that the AML guys suggested to the race team that the exhausts be moved, which has changed the engine note emitted from the mighty V12 to sound like an F1 car. Which is great news when faced with the almost silent diesels at Le Mans.

Talking of them, Audi have also been doing some running with the R15 diesel LMP1 in full livery recently, which you can also see in the gallery.

The Aston will compete for the first time in the Le Mans Series at Catalunya from 3rd April, and the Audi will make its debut race at the 12 Hours of Sebring on March 21.

Now share it...

What do you think?

This service is provided by Disqus and is subject to their privacy policy and terms of use. Please read Top Gear's code of conduct (link below) before posting.