ASTON MARTIN EYES LE MANS 2009
On the 50th anniversary of its outright win at Le Mans, Aston Martin will return to La Sarthe circuit on June 13-14 with two Works LMP1 cars bearing the iconic blue and orange livery of Gulf Oil.
In an ambitious attempt to emulate the legendary achievements of the 1959 DBR1 driven by Carroll Shelby and Roy Salvadori, Aston Martin will endeavor to again win the Le Mans title.
"2009 is a hugely significant year for Aston Martin at Le Mans, and the challenge of reclaiming victory in this famous race was simply too great to ignore," said Aston Martin Chairman, David Richards. "However, we do not underestimate the task. While we have won the GT1 class for the last two years, competing against the proven speed and endurance of the diesel-powered cars with their years of winning the prototype class, will be a massive undertaking."
The new car, which is based on the 2008 Charouz Racing System Lola, will be powered by the same production-based Aston Martin V12 engine which helped Aston Martin secure its second successive Le Mans GT1 title with the DBR9 last year. It also powered the Charouz car to a new Le Mans lap record for gasoline cars.
Aston Martin Racing is developing the car in conjunction with Lola, Michelin, Koni and BBS while continuing its relationship with Gulf Oil and clothing partner Hackett.
In 2009, the ACO is introducing new regulations aimed at balancing the performance of gasoline- and diesel-engined prototypes, making the LMP1 category more appealing and relevant to Aston Martin.
In addition to the Le Mans 24 hour race, the team will also compete throughout the year in the Le Mans Series (LMS), which opens with the 1000km de Catalunya on April 5
Aston Martin Racing Works drivers, Jan Charouz (CZ), Tomas Enge (CZ), and Stefan Mcke (DE), who raced the Charouz car last year will renew their relationship with the team along with Darren Turner (GB) who was part of the winning DBR9 GT1 crew in 2007 and 2008. Harold Primat (CH) joins the team for the first time in 2009 with the remaining driver to be announced imminently.
To focus maximum energy on the LMP1 programme, the Works team will not defend its GT1 title at Le Mans. However, Aston Martin Racing will support any of its official partner teams and customers competing at the race.
Aston Martin Racing partner, Drayson Racing, has expressed its desire to compete at Le Mans with the new Vantage GT2. This follows confirmation of the team's LMS entry and American Le Mans Series program with a bio-ethanol powered Vantage GT2.