Aston Martin Racing Targets Class Win At Le Mans In Honor Of The 60th Anniversary Of Its Iconic Victory At The Circuit
Sixty years ago, Roy Salvadori and Carroll Shelby secured Aston Martin’s only outright win at Le Mans at the wheel of a DBR1, breaking all 3.0-liter class records in the process. Two other DBR1s also took part, the one piloted by Stirling Moss and Jack Fairman swapping leads with the Dan Gurney/Jean Behra Ferrari for much of the first half of the race. Unfortunately for them, technical issues forced both lead cars out of the race, helping pave the way for the Salvadori/Shelby victory. The DBR1s were retired from active service soon after that momentous win but 60 years on the Aston Martin Racing team is in a good position to repeat that achievement in the GTE Pro class.
The top ten competitors in the 17-car field were separated by a mere 0.7-seconds at the official test on the Le Mans circuit so despite having secured wins at two of the last three rounds of the FIA World Endurance Championship (WEC), the Aston Martin team are not underestimating the opposition.
Aston Martin Racing Team Principal Paul Howarth added: “Le Mans is as much about preparation and focus as it is about pace. In order to be successful in the 24-hour race a team must manage every detail and be precise and disciplined in all of its procedures. We have given 100 per cent focus in every aspect of the team’s build-up to Le Mans, from garage build to track time, so that we are in a maximum state of readiness to take advantage of all the opportunities that arise for this event and are ready to fight at the front of the field.”
Like the DBR1 racers of Shelby and Salvadori, the works V8 Vantage GTE will also be facing retirement after this race and the GTE-Am class teams will field brand new Vantage GTEs for the 2019-2020 WEC season. Aston Martin vice president chief special operations officer and president Aston Martin Racing David King said, “The 2019 24 Hours of Le Hours probably has the greatest field of GT cars ever assembled for the event—34 across GTE Pro and Am—and it is with great pride that we can say that four of them will be Aston Martins that are capable of contending for victory.”
With victories in Shanghai last November and Spa-Francorchamps last month, the Vantage GTE enters Le Mans with a new aero package and a list of proven race winning drivers like three-time Le Mans class-winner Darren Turner, 2017 Le Mans victor and reigning British GT champion Jonny Adam and WEC Veteran Pedro Lamy, the scene is set for an epic battle at the front of the field.
Images courtesy of Aston Martin