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Revealed: Aston Martin's lovely new V8 Vantage GTE
Three cars will race in 2016, with two V12 GT3s heading to the Nürburgring 24 Hours
Aston Martin Racing have pulled the covers off their new V8 Vantage GTE, which will contest the World Endurance Championship and the 24 Hours of Le Mans later this year.
Dressed in ‘Stirling Green’, the new car will hope to challenge the likes of Porsche, Ferrari and Ford for class victory following their third place finish in the GT manufacturers’ standings in 2015.
The team plans to race two cars in the GTE Pro division, with 26-year-old Dane Nicki Thiim signed as a permanent works driver following sporadic appearances for Aston Martin in the WEC last season.
He joins fellow countryman Marco Sørensen and British veteran Darren Turner in the #95 car, while another Brit Jonny Adam, New Zealander Richie Stanaway and Brazilian Fernando Rees will pilot the #97 racer.
A third entry will feature in the lower GTE Am category where the line-up of Paul Dalla Lana, Pedro Lamy and Mathias Lauda has been retained.
Managing Director of AMR John Gaw believes that the team can “expect plenty of success throughout the season”, adding that the drivers represent “our strongest driver line-up to date.”
It was a point echoed by David King, Aston Martin’s Head of Global Motorsports, who said the expertise assembled behind the wheel would be “vital”.
AMR also intend to return to the ‘Green Hell’ at the Nürburgring 24 hours for the fourth year in a row, fielding two V12 Vantage GT3s in the SP9 class.
Stanaway, Adam, Rees and Lauda will team up for the event at the ‘Ring in May, while Thiim, Sørensen, Lamy and Turner make up the second quartet.
“This will undoubtedly be a different year to the past three WEC seasons that I’ve been involved in,” said 41-year-old Turner. “Testing has gone very well during the winter months and I think we’ll be in with a strong chance by the time Le Mans comes around in June”.
Aston Martin Racing’s 2016 Calendar:
WEC Six Hours of Silverstone: 17 April
WEC Six Hours of Spa-Francorchamps: 7 May
Nürburgring 24 Hours: 28-29 May
24 Hours of Le Mans: 18-19 June
WEC Six Hours of Nürburgring: 24 July
WEC Six Hours of Mexico City: 4 September
WEC Six Hours of Circuit of the Americas: 17 September
WEC Six Hours of Fuji: 16 October
WEC Six Hours of Shanghai: 6 November
WEC Six Hours of Bahrain: 19 November