Aston Martin have launched a new GT car in the form of the V12 Vantage GT3. This is intended to race in the GT category of the 2012 Le Mans 24-hour race of. It will also be eligible to run in all FIA GT3 and national GT3 championships, including the Blancpain Endurance Series, ADAC Masters, Nürburgring VLN, British GT, Belcar and Open GT.
The Vantage GT3 will be the successor to the DBRS9, of which Aston sold 24 examples over the past six years. Beneath the bonnet of the Vantage GT3 lies a modified version of Aston's 6.0-litre V12 engine found in the DB9, Virage, DBS and V12 Vantage road cars.
The technical specifications of this car include a dry-sump version of the road car’s 5.9-litre V12 engine, semi-automatic gearbox and carbonfibre propshaft. There is a specially designed racing clutch, high speed pneumatic jack system, carbon fibre dash and a fire extinguisher system. The stopping power will come from its six-pot brake calipers at the front and four-pots at the rear. The downforce potential comes from its full aerodynamic pack with a very noticeable rear wing, a front splitter and aggressive rear diffuser.
Aston Martin Racing have begun testing the new V12 Vantage GT3 at Brands Hatch in Kent this week by factory driver Darren Turner.
After two days of testing, Turner said: “The car ran like clockwork throughout and we’ve managed really good mileage already. The feeling of the V12 Vantage GT3 is a massive step forward from the DBRS9. Being based on the smaller Vantage it is more responsive and feels more nimble, giving the driver plenty of confidence to extract all the performance from the V12 engine while also being light on its tyres. It isn’t too physical to drive and I didn’t even break into a sweat during the test. I’m certain it’ll become a favourite among motorsport fans in no time at all.”
The research and design program of the V12 GT3 program is led by Aston Martin Racing’s Chief Engineer for GT, Dan Sayers. This car will be put into production with delivery of the first cars due in early 2012, with prices starting form £298,000.