New Vantage GT3 to make debut
New Aston Martin Vantage GT3 will make its Nürburgring Nordschleife race debut in the eight round of the VLN Endurance Championship which takes place on 6 October. The car will be driven by three-times Le Mans class winner Darren Turner and Maxime Martin.
The Vantage will race in full GT3 specification, although it is not yet homologated. For this reason it will run in the SPX class and hence will be subject to mandatory pitstops that are longer than those for the SP9 – standard GT3 – entrants. The car is now at an advanced stage of development prior to its March 2019 homologation date. The brandnew Aston Martin Racing Vantage GT3 will be joined by two Nürburgring-based AMR Performance Centre prepared Vantages that will both feature works drivers. Turner will switch between the GT3 and a V12 Vantage he will share with German drivers Jürgen Kroner and Marco Müller. While Aston Martin Lagonda high performance test driver Chris Goodwin and Aston Martin Racing test and reserve driver Ross Gunn will share a Vantage GT4.
“It’s a great honour for me to be first to race the new Vantage GT3 at the Nürburgring,” said Turner. “The Nordschleife is like a spiritual home for GT racing so to be there at the start of a new programme is really special. It’s a circuit that presents a huge challenge for the cars and it’s where we need to be racing to find and extend the limits of the Vantage GT3. It’s always great to be a part of the early stages of a development process, and the fact that we are already taking it racing says a lot about its potential and the confidence we have in it. The early signs are that it is going to be race winner in the not too distant future.”
“Last time we were there with the old car, the V12 Vantage GT3, we finished P4 so I can’t wait to find out what the new car can do. It’s a great challenge and being part of the development of the new car is awesome – Martin added – In terms of what to expect, we have some basis of understanding from the FIA World Endurance Championship GTE version, so it will be interesting to see how the new car will react to this kind of track. There is so much going on at the Nordschleife with its mix of high and low speed corners and all the bumps. It is definitely the toughest track in the world. If the car is quick there, we can be sure it is fast everywhere.”