Aston Martin Racing Vantage GT3 to Debut at the NÜRBURGRING

The four-hour race will start on 6 October.

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Aston Martin Racing Vantage GT3 is all set to make its first appearance in round eight of the VLN Endurance Championship at the Nürburgring Nordschleife. The four-hour race will start on 6 October.

It will be the first time for Vantage to face the GT3 opposition. The previous GT3 drivers including three-times Le Mans class winner Darren Turner (GB) and 2016 Nürburgring 24 Hours winner Maxime Martin (BEL) have been very successful in this regard.

Although the Vantage will run in the full specification but as it is not still homologated, it has to make longer pitstops than the SP9 entrants do. The Vantage GT3 is still under construction and the automaker wants to know about its racing prowess before its March 2019 homologation date.

The Aston Martin Racing Vantage GT3 will run alongside two Nürburgring-based AMR Performance Centre developed Vantages that will run by Works’ drivers. Turner will drive the GT3 and a V12 Vantage and will share with German drivers Jürgen Kroner and Marco Müller. On the other hand, Aston Martin Lagonda high-performance test driver Chris Goodwin and Aston Martin Racing test and reserve driver Ross Gunn will race in the Vantage GT4 as they start the procedure of getting their complete VLN licenses for upcoming races.

2018 World Endurance Championship.
Le Mans, France
11th – 17th June 2018
Photo: Nick Dungan / Drew Gibson photography

“It’s a great honor for me to be first to race the new Aston Martin Racing Vantage GT3 at the Nürburgring,” said Turner. “The Nordschleife is like a spiritual home for GT racing so to be there at the start of a new programme is really special. It’s a circuit that presents a huge challenge for the cars and it’s where we need to be racing to find and extend the limits of the Vantage GT3. It’s always great to be a part of the early stages of a development process, and the fact that we are already taking it racing says a lot about its potential and the confidence we have in it. The early signs are that it is going to be a race winner in the not too distant future.”

Maxime Martin added: “Last time we were there with the old car (the V12 Vantage GT3) we finished P4 so I can’t wait to find out what the new car can do. It’s a great challenge and being part of the development of the new car is awesome. In terms of what to expect, we have some basis of understanding from the FIA World Endurance Championship GTE version, so it will be interesting to see how the new car will react to this kind of track. There is so much going on at the Nordschleife with its mix of high and low-speed corners and all the bumps. It is definitely the toughest track in the world. If the car is quick there, we can be sure it is fast everywhere.”

Aston Martin Racing President David King said: “This is the next necessary step in the development of the new Vantage GT3. The programme is now at an advanced stage and it is time to measure the car’s performance against those it is likely to come against in 2019. With our extensive experience of the Nürburgring Nordschleife, it is the perfect place to test the car in a competitive environment as we sharpen areas of its development ahead of its homologation.”

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