Aston Martin Racing will commence its 2013 motorsport season this weekend by participating in the 12 Hours of Sebring in Florida. Its new V8-powered 2013 Vantage GTE, a modified variant of the race-winning 2012 Vantage GTE, has undergone extensive test sessions at Portimao and Road Atlanta. Aston Martin Racing will field two Vantage GTEs in the GT class of the 12 Hours of Sebring, considered as the season opener of the American Le Mans Series.
The team’s #97 car -- which is built to 2013 specifications -- will be piloted by factory drivers Darren Turner (GB) and Stefan Mücke (D) alongside newcomer Bruno Senna (BR). The team #007 car – built to 2012 specifications – will be piloted by Aston Martin Racing newbies Billy Johnson (US), Pedro Lamy (PT), and Paul Dalla Lana (CA). John Gaw, team principal at Aston Martin Racing, remarked that they have continued to focus on improving the Vantage GTE’s durability and drivability while optimizing performance.
He added that the team managed to complete some significant mileage in the two sessions at Portimao and Road Atlanta. He disclosed that the plan was to get two full lifecycles on the 2013 car before the start of the WEC season and that the team is on pace to do so.
Gaw said both cars performed very well and they are pleased with the data gathered from the tests. He quipped that despite having new drivers in the #007 car, everyone “is gelling well” and working hard together, proven by their impressive pace at the Road Atlanta test. Gaw announced that Richie Stanaway, who joined the team at the test session will be at the Sebring promoter test Monday.
The team principal said that Sebring is part of their 2013 pre-season test program, noting that if Aston Martin Racing can collect the required data and achieve a podium with either car, they would have met their objectives. Aston Martin Racing is preparing for a four-car campaign in the FIA World Endurance Championship (WEC) this year.