Aston Martin coming to 2009 Le Mans with two LMP1 cars

Article by Christian Andrei, on August 29, 2010

A bold move is being taken by Aston Martin for a victory in the 24-hour Le Mans in June with two Gulf-liveried works LMP1s. This is in conjunction with Aston Martin's victory at the Le Mans race in 1959, exactly 50 years ago, with two DBR1s.

The opportunity is too good to pass up, so Aston Martin is celebrating its 50 year Le Mans victory with this entry. An informant have said that Aston Martin's budget for the Le Mans is only about "15 percent" compared to the entry of Audi.

The LMP1s are based on the 2008 Charouz Racing System Lola, which came with the Aston V12 engine and which ran the Le Mans last year as supported by Aston Martin and Prodrive. The car has been modified by the design team of Aston Martin led by Mark Reichmann.

The exterior was done by Aston's stylists and the aerodynamic work has been going on for only five weeks, requiring 24-hour work at some phases of the project. Aston Martin boss Ulrich Bez claims that the car will be the "most beautiful at Le Mans."

George Howard-Chappell, the team principal, pointed out that the latest regulations have limited the potency of the entrants that come with diesel engines, which should make the gasoline-powered cars like the Aston to be more competitive.

The reason for the recent supremacy of diesel cars at Le Mans is their capacity to run more distance between refueling. Last year, Howell-Chappell said that the diesel Audi R10 managed to complete 12 laps on a 90-liter tank of fuel while the gasoline-powered cars only managed 11.

With the current regulations the Aston Martin is able to complete 12 laps, but there is no telling if Audi's entry can now make the jump to 13 laps on a single tank.

The driver lineup for team Aston consist of Czechs Jan Charouz and Tomas Enge, together with English Darren Tuner, the Swiss Harold Primat and a sixth driver will be appointed briefly. On March 8-9 the Aston entry will appear at Paul Richard circuit for test drives.

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