And then there was one AMR for VLN3

And then there was one AMR for VLN3

Just a single Aston Martin Racing car will be competing this weekend as the 2018 VLN series resumes at the Nordschleife with the VLN3 - ADAC H&R Cup.

Avia Racing's #188 V8 Vantage GT4 returns to the circuit having skipped last months ADAC Zurich 24H showcase event and having experienced a very 'hit and miss' start to the VLN series with a podium and a DNF in the SP10 class and will be driven by its usual driver line up of Wolfgang Weber, Thomas Krebs and Erik Johansson.

The customer entries normally lodged from the AMR Performance Centre are presumably having a break after their cars attending last weekends AMR Festival at Le Mans.

Photo credit - Avia Racing
Thursday, June 21, 2018 |
Team Brit edge one step closer to Le Mans 24hr dream

Team Brit edge one step closer to Le Mans 24hr dream

Team BRIT is proudly celebrating after its first race on the Le Mans circuit in the Aston Martin Le Mans Festival at the weekend.

The all-British team, consisting of disabled drivers, many of whom are injured military veterans, competed in the 45-minute support race on Saturday 16th June, held just prior to the annual endurance race. This made motorsport history, making them first all-disabled team to race on the La Sarthe circuit – a record they hope to gain in the Le Mans 24 hour.

Military veterans Warren McKinlay and Jamie Falvey drove as part of the two-man team, racing in the team’s Aston Martin V8 Vantage in only their second GT4 race to date.

The team lined up against 37 other teams on the start grid, with 24 cars in their GT4 class. They finished in a respectable 9th place, beating a number of high profile drivers including former F1 champion Martin Brundle and his team mate Chris Hoy. Warren also posted a faster ‘fastest lap’ than Martin Brundle and GT3 champion Andrew Howard.

During free practise on Thursday, the first time the team’s car and drivers had been on the circuit, Jamie showed a strong pace against a very competitive field and climbed to P3 by the end of the session.

During Qualifying that afternoon, Warren went straight out with no experience of the circuit and gave a fantastic performance, taking the team to the middle of the pack straight away. Jamie then carried on Warren’s momentum to reach P4.

Saturday saw the start of the race at 9:15am, and after some setup changes to the car, the team approached the challenge with optimism, confidence and determination – an attitude that paid off as Jamie took the team to P2 by the end of the first lap.

As the race progressed, with Jamie chasing down P1 at a second a lap, a safety car was deployed to control the pack around an incident on track. As the pit window opened, a marshal mistakenly indicated to Jamie to enter the pits at the wrong point, causing the team to drop 10 places to p12.

With Warren then taking over, he pushed hard, navigating the slow zones and bringing the team home in a respectable p9 out of 24 teams.

CEO and Founder of Team BRIT, Dave Player said, “Racing at Le Mans, waving the British flag amongst an extremely high standard of cars and teams, at such an incredible event, was simply fantastic.

“Despite the bad luck which came our way and lost us a number of positions, we delivered a clean race, even amongst some chaotic times on track. Warren and Jamie did a brilliant job of staying out of trouble and putting their hours of simulator training to good use – delivering an impressive performance.

“Our technical team in the garage worked tirelessly to ensure our car was in top condition, even after a small problem after practice, and once again we demonstrated everything Team BRIT is about. We were clearly the most inexperienced team, racing on a budget that was miniscule compared to all other teams, and we were fighting for P1 in class before events out of our control changed that.

“This is what we do. We prove people wrong by demonstrating our British grit and passion and we take on every challenge full force. We are absolutely determined to reach the Le Mans 24 hour and we will do this. This was a huge step forward for us and I am incredibly proud of the hard work the entire team put in – showing the world just how serious we are.”

Details of the team’s next GT4 race will be released soon. The team’s rookies will compete in the Fun Cup Championship at Silverstone on Saturday 28th July.

Source material - Team Brit
Photo credits - David Archer

Thursday, June 21, 2018 |
Aston Martin confirm Test Centre at Silverstone

Aston Martin confirm Test Centre at Silverstone

Aston Martin Lagonda today announces two important new additions to its UK site operations. The Aston Martin Test and Development Centre at Silverstone will become a new hub for prototype vehicle testing, focused on chassis dynamics and high-speed handling.  Concurrently announced is the creation of a central London office providing conveniently located space for meetings and events.
Commenting on these announcements, Dr Andy Palmer, Aston Martin President and Chief Executive Officer said: “The company is now investing for growth across the Aston Martin and Lagonda brands. I am particularly pleased that we can now call Silverstone home for dynamic testing and development.”
Stuart Pringle, Managing Director of Silverstone commented “Automotive brand centres have always been a big part of Silverstone’s diversification plans and I am delighted to be in a position to announce that Aston Martin have chosen Silverstone as the location to open their new testing and development centre.    Our two brands have such a rich British motorsport heritage and I look forward to working closely with the team at Aston Martin to build on our relationship and ensure the partnership helps deliver on key business objectives for both parties.”
Chief of Vehicle Attribute Engineering, Matt Becker said: “Every true performance car company needs a reference circuit and I can think of none more suitable than Silverstone. It is the perfect location to develop the next-generation of Aston Martins.”
Since the announcement of the company’s seven-year Second Century Business Plan in early 2015, there has been a progressive retooling of every area of the business. In 2016, the company announced the creation of a second manufacturing facility located at St Athan in Wales, which is on schedule to start production of a new SUV in late 2019. With the addition of Silverstone and London, Aston Martin Lagonda will operate out of 10 locations across the UK and by the end of 2022 is set to employ 5,000 people.
“Aston Martin will soon become one of the leading automotive employers in the UK”, said Dr Palmer. “Specifically, we are currently one of the largest automotive recruiters in the UK, investing approximately 10% of the total automotive investments in the UK, creating exciting new opportunities across engineering, design, manufacturing and commercial operations.”
Source material- Aston Martin

Thursday, June 21, 2018 |
Aston Martin Racing Festival Scrapbook

Aston Martin Racing Festival Scrapbook

Here's just a few of the shots that we took of the third running of the Aston Martin Racing Festival that took place at  the Circuit de La Sarthe at Le Mans last weekend.

Wednesday, June 20, 2018 |
AMR Festival at Le Mans raises a few firsts

AMR Festival at Le Mans raises a few firsts

This years third running of the Aston Martin Racing Festival from Le Mans saw over forty of Aston Martin Racing's creations past to present day join three of Aston Martin's exclusive Vulcans for a race around the ultra exclusive Circuit de La Sarthe at the weekend.

Catching up with many old friends in the Festival Paddock, it was great to see many of the marques older DBR/DBRS9 platforms as well as well as some of the newer machinery including the very latest Vantage GT3 and GT4 revealed by AMR join in the frivolities of the Festival.

With a couple of empty tents and a couple of cars clearly not running that left thirty eight cars to hit the track for the first time on Thursday with a certain Ross Gunn hitting the top position aboard his brand new V8 turbo Vantage GT3 some six seconds ahead of Graham Davidson's Jetstream V12 Vantage GT3.

Joining the 'first' list was the TeamBrit car of Warren McKinley and Jamie Falvey as they took their next step in being in being the first disabled team to compete at the main event at Le Mans in only their second race outing aboard their V8 Vantage GT4.

AML boss Andy Palmer took to the track aboard the Vantage GT8 that he would share with Peter Cate for his first race of 2018 whilst AMR's boss John Gaw also took to the track aboard his Vantage GT3 in what must be his first race since the last AMR Festival in 2015.

This years event saw the first competitive race involving the AML Vulcan supercar having only ran demonstration laps last time out in 2015. Three such cars would end up competing in the event including one being raced by TV presenter Chris Harris with seasoned race Peter Dumbreck.

Teething problems soon hit various teams in the paddock that would see them sitting out both the final Free Practice session and Qualifying leaving them to start from the rear of the grid. The Generation AMR SuperRacing V8 Vantage of Matt George and James Holder was one such car after having sustained gearbox damage from a kerb in the first session forcing to miss the next two sessions to facilitate repairs.

The forty five minute race on Saturday morning proved to have just as high as a rate of attrition with several cars ending their race early with either damage or technical fault. Despite their elongated repairs of earlier, the Generation AMR would force a Safety Car after coming to a grinding halt on the final corner having lost drive.

Despite Ross Gunn first to cross the finishing line having also posted the fastest lap of the race (a time that was actually quicker that those posted by the teams GTE cars in Qualifying for the 24Hr of Le Mans main event) his car wassoon  'withdrawn' after the chequered flag and that allowed Harris and Dumbreck to collect the accolades just ahead of Bennie Simonsen and Lasse Sorensen in their V8 Vantage GTE Dane Train in second and Dominik Roschmann in his DBR9.

All in all it was good fun for all - we do however extend our best wishes to Stephen Phillips for a speedy recovery.

Scrapbook of Festival images to follow.

Wednesday, June 20, 2018 |