As if its road cars weren’t gorgeous enough, Aston Martin’s racecars are enough to make you weak at the news. And we got news that the company’s Racing division has begun testing its new V12 Vantage GT3 at Brands Hatch in England.
The car was said to have covered almost 600 miles in just two days with factory driver Darren Turner behind the wheel.
“The car ran like clockwork and we’ve completed really good mileage already,” said Turner. “The feeling of the V12 Vantage GT3 is a massive step forward from the DBRS9. Based on the smaller Vantage means it’s more responsive and feels more nimble, giving the driver plenty of confidence to extract all the performance from the engine while also being light on its tires. It isn’t too physical to drive and I didn’t even break into a sweat during the test!”
The team is now embarking upon a rigorous development and sign off program, which involves extended testing at competition speeds to ensure the longevity of critical components.
The V12 Vantage GT3 is a 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 bonded aluminum VH body structure and 6.0-liter V12 engine with the road-going V12 Vantage, the new racer is the culmination of six years’ experience 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, which is exceeding all our expectations in its first track test.”
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 revised version of the DBRS9’s V12 engine, with a lightweight crank, dry sump and new valvetrain for greater performance and reliability.
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 600hp engine – positioned behind the front axle line for optimum weight distribution – powers the rear wheels via a carbon fiber driveshaft, an Xtrac six-speed sequential transmission and limited-slip differential.
Braking is by six-piston calipers at the front and four-piston 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.
Technical Specifications – V12 Vantage GT3
Dry sump oil system
Torque >500 lb-ft
Xtrac 6-speed sequential transmission with semi-auto gear change Limited-slip ramp/plate differential
Carbon fibre driveshaft
Steel rollcage to FIA standards
High-speed pneumatic jack system
Double wishbone with uniball bearings
2-way adjustable dampers front and rear
Optimised geometry for lower race ride height
29-gallon fuel cell to FIA standards
Twin quick-release couplings
six-piston front, four-piston rear calipers with ventilated steel discs
Manually adjustable front/rear brake bias
Adjustable motorsport ABS and traction control
Wheels & Tires
Front 12.5x18” 30/68-18
Rear 13x18” 31/71-18
Six-point safety harness
Adjustable seat & pedal box position
Carbon fiber dash
Fire extinguisher system
Driver display and shift lights
Body & Aero
Removable carbon-fiber body panels & aluminum roof
Adjustable carbon fiber rear wing
Aerodynamic bumpers, side sills and rear fenders
Dry weight 2755 lb