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To celebrate its centenary, Aston Martin has announced the inaugural GT3 Cup, with entries open to both the Aston Martin DBRS9 and the Vantage GT3.
The Nürburgring is world famous thanks to its length, tricky design and the 24 hour race which takes place on the German track.
Jaeger-LeCoultre and Aston Martin have teamed up to create a special edition timepiece that will have fans of the iconic auto brand racing to pick one up.
Taking its inspirations from Aston Martin’s legendary racing program, the AMVOX5 LMP1 boasts all the precision and endurance standards racing drivers count on, while its mechanical and aesthetic features will appeal to racing enthusiasts. It features a 41-jewel Caliber 752 movement with chronograph and GMT functions, and comes with a date window and 65-hour power reserve. This timepiece is also self-winding and has a pink gold oscillating weight.
Its precision movement is encased in 44-milimeter ceramic-titanium, and it’s strapped to your wrist with a calfskin and Cordura strap that sports the Aston Martin team’s blue and orange livery. There will only be 250 AMVOX5 LMP1 being issued, and although there’s no word on a price, we’re sure that this watch will be sold out quickly.
Aston Martin will retire its DB9-based DBRS9 GT3-class race car, replacing it with the new Vantage GT3 in competition next year. Based on the V12 Vantage road car (above), it will be powered by a 6.0-liter V12 engine, and use a paddle-shift Xtrac gearbox. Aston Martin claims engine output will exceed 600-hp with over 516 lb-ft of torque, and the car will weight around 2,755 lbs.
“The DBRS9 has been a very successful GT3 racing car and, despite being more than six years old, is still competitive today,” said John Gaw, Aston Martin Racing Managing Director. “However, the competition has moved on and we needed to create a new car that combines our six years’ experience in this category with the latest race technology to continue Aston Martin’s success in GT3 for many years to come.”
Aston Martin Racing will complete the first Vantage GT3 car this July and then begin testing it, with ten customer cars being prepared for the 2012 racing season.
The Vantage GT3 joins the Vantage GT2, GT4, DBR9 GT1 and the AMR-One LMP1 in Aston Martin’s impressive motorsports lineup.
Get more Aston Martin news and info at AstonMartinforum.com
Meet the 2011 Aston Martin AMR-One race car: the new prototype race car designed for the Le Mans LMP1-spec class, with snazzy Gulf livery, a (very British) 007 racing number, and a 2.0-liter inline-six engine.
Wait, the mighty race car has an engine half the size of a DB9? Well, yes, somehow. Le Mans regulations for 2011 have downsized their engines and increased efficiency; the all-dominating Audi cars have switched from V10 diesels to V6 diesels. Aston Martin’s last LMP race car had a naturally-aspirated 6.0-liter V12; this new engine is far smaller, being a direct-injection, turbocharged 2.0-liter inline-six. And instead of producing 600 horsepower like the V12, this engine produces 10% less, at 540 horsepower, connected to an Xtrac six-speed sequential gearbox.
“We have chosen to run with a six cylinder turbocharged engine because we believe this offers the best potential within the petrol engine regulations,” says George Howard-Chappell, Aston Martin Racing’s team principal.
Aston Martin has also switched from a closed-cockpit car to an open cockpit, a move done in reverse from Audi. The AMR-One features a double-wishbone suspension on all four corners braced by pushrod Koni dampers, Brembo six-pot carbon brakes, and 18-inch Michelin tires surrounding forged magnesium wheels. And in accordance with regulations, the AMR-One matches the mandated minimum of under 2000 pounds.
“With the ACO’s commitment to effectively balance the performance of petrol and diesel Le Mans entrants,” says Howard-Chappell, “our hopes are high that we’ll see the closest racing yet in the premiere LMP1 category.” Which means: with the smaller engines across the board, Aston Martin will have a far greater chance at taking out Audi’s and Peugeot’s continued dominance.
As Aston Martin prepares to hit the track at this year’s 24 Hours of Le Mans, the company has bigger plans to continue on racing prototypes well into the future. According to AutoSport, Aston Martin Racing will begin building six all-new ground-up prototype racers. Currently Aston Martin Racing runs two cars in the LMP1 field, which use Aston engines but Lola chassis.
The plan is to race two cars with a Prodrive-run factory backed team, as well as two privateer teams. An additional two cars would then be built for other teams for 2012.
The current LMP1 Astons simply aren’t competitive, lagging behind the more fuel efficient diesels of Audi and Peugeot. It’s not yet clear if Aston intends to use conventional gasoline technology, switch to diesels or perhaps even use a hybrid setup, but Aston chairman David Richards recently commented that the AMR LMP1 project wouldn’t go ahead until gasoline and diesel powered cars could compete on a level playing field. Word that Aston’s program has now begun seem to suggest the company may know something about a significant rule change for the 2011 season.