While every other automaker in the world seems to be pulling out of motorsports Aston Martin is getting more involved (and in a big way) announcing that it will take on none other than Audi in the LMP1 Class at the 2009 24 Hours of Le Mans.
The cars will be based on the 2008 Charouz Racing System Lola and will be powered by the same production-based Aston Martin V12 engine that has rewarded the company with two consecutive GT1 titles in the GT1 Class with the DBR9.
Aston Martin will run two cars throughout the entire European Le Mans Series and have so far chosen all but one of the drivers. The pilots will be Jan Charouz (CZ), Tomas Enge (CZ), Stefan Mücke (DE), Darren Turner (GB) and Harold Primat (CH).
“Racing has been, and still is at the heart of Aston Martin,” says Aston’s CEO Dr. Ulrich Bez . “Our cars today are subtle, elegant and handcrafted but they still have the genes for competition. I am happy that we have found partners who, with their support, will enable us to compete at the highest level of endurance racing. We will put all our heart and skill behind this project to demonstrate the essence of Aston Martin: Power Beauty and Soul.”
Aston Chairman David Richards is optimistic but also realistic, commenting that, “we do not underestimate the task. While we have won the GT1 class for the last two years, competing against the proven speed and endurance of the diesel-powered cars with all their years of winning the prototype class, will be a massive undertaking. Nonetheless, I see this as a great opportunity to showcase the ingenuity of British engineering talent.”
Be sure to watch Aston Martin take on Audi at the 24 Hours of Le Mans on June 13/14.
Official release after the jump: