2011 Aston Martin LMP1 preparing for the legendary Le Mans 24 Hour race

Article by Christian Andrei, on September 11, 2010

Aston Martin fans are all excited to see the carmaker take part once more in the much-awaited 2011 Le Mans 24 Hour race, this time with a new LMP1 race car wrapped in Gulf Oil livery. Featuring an Aston Martin open cockpit monocoque chassis as well as a new race engine, the new LMP1 is all set to take on the competition comprised of tough race cars made for speed and durability.

These cars, as well as the Aston Marton LMP1, are all compliant with the new Automobile Club De L’Ouest (ACO) technical regulations for 2011. Aston Marton's LMP1 petrol race car has been designed to optimize ACO’s stringent regulations.

Currently, Aston Martin's team of engineers has been putting all efforts to the new engine and chassis of the new LMP1 race car, working diligently at Aston Martin Racing’s headquarters in Banbury, United Kingdom. Aston Martin will only produce six examples of the LMP1, the first of which will debut in early 2011.

Aston Martin tasted its first and only win at Le Mans in 1959, fielding a DBR1 piloted by Roy Salvadori and Carroll Shelby. Established in 2004, Aston Martin Racing has been a regular figure and one of the top brands in the world of endurance racing, with the factory and customer teams logging wins.

These wins include two GT1 class victories at Le Mans in 2007 and 2008, as well as an overall Le Mans series victory in 2009. Ulrich Bez, chief executive of Aston Martin, remarked that racing is a fundamental part of the carmaker's heritage, adding that a victory at Le Mans is the dream of any sports car maker.

He noted that while the new LMP1 car is designed and built for racing, Aston Martin is still committed to developing race-winning GT cars derived from its road-going cars. He also noted that Aston Martin is the only carmaker offering a race car for every category from GT1 to GT4.

On the other hand, Aston Martin Chairman David Richards, said that despite the GT wins in Le Mans in 2007 and 2008 and the Le Mans Series victory in 2009, Aston Martin remains focused on its intent to grab the 24 Hour race overall title.

He remarked that in the past years, petrol cars cannot compete on equal terms against their diesel rivals. He noted that that with regards to the adoption of stringent 2011 ACO regulations, the performance of new petrol and diesel cars will have to be properly balanced. It is due to these circumstances that Aston Martin decided to have a purpose-built racing chassis and engine.

Press Release

ASTON MARTIN TARGETS LE MANS WITH NEW RACE CAR

Aston Martin will return to the legendary Le Mans 24 Hour race in 2011 with a new LMP1 race car designed to compete for top honours.

The new Gulf Oil liveried car is being designed from the ground up with an Aston Martin open cockpit monocoque chassis and a new purpose-designed race engine.

Under the new Automobile Club De L’Ouest (ACO) technical regulations for 2011, Aston Martin now believes it has the opportunity to compete for top honours at the 24 Hour race against tough competition including the diesel-engined competitors. As with all Aston Martins, the new LMP1 will be petrol-powered and designed to make the best use of the ACO’s stringent regulations.

Aston Martin Chairman, David Richards said: “Having won the GT category twice at Le Mans in 2007 and 2008 and the Le Mans Series outright in 2009, we still want to achieve our ultimate goal of winning the 24 Hour race overall to bring the title back to Britain.

“In recent years, it has been impossible for petrol cars to compete on equal terms with the diesels. However, we now have assurances from the ACO that, with the adoption of the 2011 regulations, they will properly balance the performance of these new cars. Under these circumstances we have been prepared to develop Aston Martin’s first purpose-built racing chassis and engine for more than 50 years.

“Even with this new car, it will still be a ‘David and Goliath’ fight against the massive resources of our competitors, but we have become accustomed to this and relish the challenge.”

Work on the new chassis and engine has been progressing for several months at Aston Martin Racing’s headquarters in Banbury, UK and the first of a limited number of six cars will run in early 2011.

Dr. Ulrich Bez, CEO of Aston Martin said: “Racing is a fundamental part of Aston Martin’s heritage and Le Mans is the race that every true sports car maker aspires to win. While every aspect of this new LMP1 car has been built purely for racing, we also remain committed to developing race-winning GT cars based on our road cars. We are the only manufacturer to offer a race car for every category from GT1 to GT4.”

Aston Martin’s first and only outright victory at Le Mans was in 1959 with the DBR1 of Roy Salvadori and Carroll Shelby. Aston Martin Racing has been at the pinnacle of endurance racing since it was founded in 2004 with multiple factory and customer wins across the globe including two GT1 class victories at Le Mans in 2007 and 2008, and an overall Le Mans series win in 2009.

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