Wheels24

Vantage GTE set for race debut

2012-03-13 11:24

Aston Martin will debut its Vantage GTE at the 60th 12 Hours of Sebring on Saturday (March 17), the inaugural round of the FIA World Endurance championship.

The drivers will be Darren Turner, Stefan Mücke and Adrian Fernandez in the GTE Pro class.

The factory team’s 4.5 V8 Vantage GTE, based on the Vantage road car, will arrive in Sebring from a three-day test at the Road Atlanta circuit in neighbouring Georgia.

'CHANCES? WE'RE REALISTIC'

Team boss John Gaw said: “The team is eager to get back into competition. Many were at Sebring when Aston Martin Racing won on its debut with the DBR9 back in 2005. The GTE category is highly competitive and, with more than 20 cars on the grid at Sebring and many top-class manufacturers, is going to be a terrific fight.

"We are realistic about our chances on our debut but we always compete to win. From pre-season testing we know we have a competitive car. A top-five finish this weekend would be a terrific result.”

The team achieved class victories at the 24 Hours of Le Mans in 2007 and 2008 with the DBR9 GT1 racer, the 2009 Le Mans Series with its LMP1-class DBR1-2 prototype.

Practice sessions will start on Thursday (March 15) with two further practice sessions before qualifying the next day. The race will start on Saturday.

Watch the new model in action below: