Aston Martin Racing starts testing its new V12 Vantage GT3 at Brands Hatch

Article by Christian Andrei, on November 23, 2011

Aston Martin Racing has started tests for its latest V12 Vantage GT3 this week at Brands Hatch in Kent. It covered nearly 1,000 kilometers in only two days. A great part of the mileage was carried out by factory driver Darren Turner, who said that the vehicle "ran like clockwork" throughout the two-day test and "really good mileage" has been managed already.

He added that the feeling of the V12 Vantage GT3 is "a massive step forward" over the DBRS9. He explained that being based on the smaller Vantage, it is "more responsive and feels more nimble," raising the driver’s confidence to extract all the performance from the V12 engine while also being light on its tires. He further commented that the vehicle "isn’t too physical to drive" and that he didn't even "break into a sweat during the test!"

Turner added that with the clean styling and the "amazing sounding" V12, the unit is "closer to the core values" of Aston Martin’s road vehicles compared to any of the racing cars that the company have ever built. He is positive that the unit will be "a favourite among motorsport fans in no time at all.”

Aston Martin Racing’s Chief Engineer for GT, Dan Sayers, led the engineering and design of the new V12 GT3 endurance racer. The team is now embarking on a stringent development and sign off program, which includes extended testing of the vehicle at competition speeds to make sure that all critical components last long.

The V12 Vantage GT3 is a direct replacement for the Aston Martin DBRS9, which started competing in 2006 and garnered many race and championship wins such as the 2007 British GT Championship and the 2009 FIA GT3 Teams’ Championship. The new racer shares the company's famous bonded aluminum VH body structure and 6.0-litre V12 engine with the road-going V12 Vantage.

It is the zenith of six years’ experience competing at the head of all major international GT series. In 2005, the company returned to GT racing as a factory team with the DBR9 GT1, This model went on to record back-to-back victories at the 24 Hours of Le Mans in 2007 and 2008. It also won the FIA GT1 World Championship this year.

Press Release

Aston Martin Racing Begins Testing The V12 Vantage GT3

Aston Martin Racing began testing its new V12 Vantage GT3 at Brands Hatch in Kent this week, covering almost 1000 kilometres in just two days. The majority of the mileage was conducted by factory driver Darren Turner.

After two days behind the wheel, Turner said: "The car ran like clockwork throughout and we've managed really good mileage already. The feeling of the V12 Vantage GT3 is a massive step forward from the DBRS9. Being based on the smaller Vantage it is more responsive and feels more nimble, giving the driver plenty of confidence to extract all the performance from the V12 engine while also being light on its tyres. It isn't too physical to drive and I didn't even break into a sweat during the test!

"With the clean styling and the amazing sounding V12, it's closer to the core values of Aston Martin's road cars than any of the racing cars we've ever built. I'm certain it'll become a favourite among motorsport fans in no time at all."

The design and engineering of the new V12 GT3 endurance racer has been led by Aston Martin Racing's Chief Engineer for GT, Dan Sayers. The team is now embarking upon a rigorous development and sign off programme, which involves extended testing of the car at competition speeds to ensure the longevity of all critical components.

The V12 Vantage GT3 is a direct replacement for the Aston Martin DBRS9, which first competed in 2006 and went on to score many race and championship wins including the 2007 British GT Championship and the 2009 FIA GT3 Teams' Championship. Sharing Aston Martin's renowned bonded aluminium VH body structure and 6.0-litre V12 engine with the road-going V12 Vantage, the new racer is the culmination of six years' experience competing at the forefront of all major international GT series.

Aston Martin returned to GT racing as a factory team in 2005 with the DBR9 GT1, which went on to record back-to-back victories at the 24 Hours of Le Mans in 2007 and 2008, as well as winning this year's FIA GT1 World Championship.

John Gaw, Aston Martin Racing Managing Director, said: "The testing of the new V12 Vantage GT3 has gone really well. We haven't had any significant issues with the car, despite having covered close to 1000 kilometres, exceeding all our expectations in the car's first track test.

"The Vantage GT3 is the ultimate expression of all the experience that Aston Martin Racing has gained in the past six years. The DBRS9 still has a year of FIA homologation remaining, which effectively makes 2012 a development year for the V12 Vantage GT3."

It uses a significantly revised version of the DBRS9's 6.0-litre V12 engine. Changes include a lightweight crankshaft, dry sump lubrication and new valve trains for even greater performance and reliability.

"We're very confident that the Vantage GT3 will be a competitive force in all GT3 series, winning races and eventually titles as well. Given our track record in engineering and building fast and reliable GT cars, we're very confident that the new Vantage GT3 will build on the DBRS9's success over years to come," added Gaw.

The V12 Vantage GT3 will be eligible to run in all FIA GT3 and national GT3 championships; the Blancpain Endurance Series; VLN and the Nurburgring 24 Hour endurance race.

The 600bhp engine - positioned behind the front axle line for optimum weight distribution - powers the rear wheels via a carbon fibre propshaft, an Xtrac six-speed sequential transmission and limited slip differential.

Braking is by six pot calipers at the front and four pot items at the rear, with ventilated discs all round and manually adjustable brake bias. The suspension is double wishbone type with uniball bearings and two-way adjustable dampers front and rear.

Aston Martin Racing will continue with the V12 Vantage GT3's comprehensive testing programme into the New Year and beyond.

Technical Specifications - V12 Vantage GT3

Engine

Lightweight V12

Dry sump oil system

Power >600bhp

Torque >700Nm

Transmission

Xtrac 6 speed sequential transmission with semi-auto gear change

Limited slip ramp/plate differential

Carbon fibre propshaft

Chassis

Lightweight aluminium chassis

Steel roll cage to FIA safety standards

High speed pneumatic jack system

Suspension

Double wishbone with uniball bearings

2-way adjustable dampers front and rear

Optimised geometry for lower race ride height

Steering

Hydraulic power assisted steering

Fuel system

110-litre fuel cell to FIA safety standards

Twin quick release couplings

Brakes

6 pot front & 4 pot rear calipers with ventilated steel discs

Manually adjustable front/rear brake bias

Adjustable motorsport ABS and traction control

Wheels & Tyres

Front 12.5" x 18" 30/68-18

Rear 13" x 18" 31/71-18

Cockpit

Six-point safety harness

Adjustable seat & pedal box position

Lightweight battery

Carbon fibre dash

Fire extinguisher system

Driver display and shift lights

Body & Aero

Removable carbon-fibre body panels & aluminium roof

Front splitter

Adjustable full width carbon fibre rear wing

Aerodynamically optimised bumpers, side sills and rear fenders

Weight

Dry weight 1250kg

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