Giving the old Vantage GTE Pro car the send off it deserves

Monday, November 13, 2017

This weekend's round of the World Endurance Championship is not only the final race of the 2017 season but also marks itself as the final competitive time we shall see an Aston Martin Racing normally aspirated, 2016 specification V8 Vantage GTE compete in the top flight GTE Pro world stage.

Having joined service with the team at its development stage over the latter half of 2011, the V8 Vantage GTE entered the competitive GT scene in 2012 as the factory's direct replacement to the ill- fated AMR One Project and since then has delivered many times over including the GTE Pro titles last year and of course the brilliant LM24 win this year.

With both the #95 and #97 cars unfortunately already out of any championship contention in whats left of the 2017 season, the team will still be looking to give its very reliable and successful racing representative of its road going fleet the send off it deserves as the curtain falls on what has been a somewhat mixed season for team.

Running what has effectively been a Grandfathered car in a field of new, groundbreaking endurance racers has been a difficult affair in its own right but those who AMR race have also 'picked up' their own game to match and even excel in areas of strength that AMR enjoyed for themselves last year.

Encouraged by the allocation of a positive Balance of Performance adjustment for this event by virtue of a slight base weight reduction (1186kg to 1181kg) and large air restrictors (29.0mm to 29.8mm) these should (at least in theory) give both Pro cars the momentum that they have yearned for most of the season whilst the Ford's, Porsche's and Ferrari's are all preoccupied scrapping for this seasons top honours.

The car shall of course now remain within the Championship in the GTE Am class with possibly up to three cars being fielded in 2018.

Hopefully over the course of this weekend we shall also start to hear more answers to the questions being raised from the video captured last week of the new for 2018 Vantage GTE testing at Sebring, with the new car seemingly sporting the rubber of another tyre manufacturer together with speculation (from one main stream media outlet at least) of an expected driver change for 2018! Its somewhat ironic that one of the test circuits for the new platform this year was the same as the opening round for the then new GTE creation back in 2012!

But then, the official release of the car has been confirmed as being on the 21st November, just three days after Bahrain and what we don't learn over this week we will hopefully find out by the of Tuesday next week!

We also wait to see if AMR will in fact be present at the post Bahrain race test on Sunday despite only four cars being listed from AF Corse and Porsche but we suppose that will rather depend upon how many new cars Prodrive have built!!

Track activity begins this Thursday with the first of two Free Practice sessions before the third session and Qualifying on Friday. The start of the race begins at 16.00hrs GMT.

Photo credits - AMR

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