Birthday Celebrations - again!

Friday, April 18, 2014

It was at this point 12 months ago that celebrations were well under way in recognition of the 100 year anniversary of one of Britain's most iconic names in automobile production - Aston Martin. Twelve months later the start of the 2014 season sees Aston Martin's motorsport division Aston Martin Racing celebrate its own 10 year anniversary.

So just how much can be achieved in 10 years……………………….?

Aston martin Racing was officially established in 2004 as a venture between Aston Martin Lagonda and the renowned motorsport engineering company Prodrive.

Its aim was simply - put the Aston Martin brand back to the forefront of international sportscar racing with race version (DBR9) of their then recently launched DB9 road car.

Sebring 2005 was the teams first internationally competitive race for the DBR9 yet despite that the car scored a spectacular class victory and then a further class 1 and 2 at the FIA GT event at Silverstone a few months later. With that catalyst to succeed the team went on to score further class victories and event podiums at many more prestigious events including the 24Hours of Le Mans in 2007.

With the subsequent addition of the cheaper DBRS9 car to their racing sportscar fleet in 2005 the number of teams running Aston Martin race cars increased

2008 also saw the introduction of a closed top LMP1 car featuring a new  Lola B08/60 chassis but a standard racing V12 DBR9 GT1 engine block. Variants of this car lasted (or at least were due to) until 2011 with the introduction of the all new AMR One LMP1 car. However disastrous performances on track saw this project being shelved the same year with both 'works' cars only completing 2 and 4 laps respectively at the showcase event at Le Mans.

In light of this debarcle the team decided to return to those original ideals that were set out in 2004 to race against its peers like Ferrari, Porsche, McLaren, etc in a race car based upon a road going model rather than compete against the larger automotive conglomerates. This decision making process gave us what we all know today as the Aston Martin V8 Vantage GTE and V12 Vantage GT3.

In what has really been an emotional and financial roller coaster ride for both the team and parent companies, the last 10 years have given us (race fans) what any motor race should from the highest highs of outright victory to the lowest lows of what might have been.

So, at the start of Aston Martin Racing's anniversary year much has been achieved not only by the 'works' team but also by their numerous customer and partner teams across the world. National victories and titles galore and in 2013 a World title.

We have seen famous racing names come and go through Gaydon's door's. One however has been a constant - Darren Turner, who himself celebrated a birthday of some significance last week so lets just hope someone at Gaydon has remembered to order a very large birthday cake!!

See you at Silverstone for the WEC.

Photo Credits - Richard Leach/Aston Martin

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