ASTON UNVEILS NEW VANTAGE GTE RACER
British ace Adam gets full-time WEC seat
British GT champion Jonathan Adam has landed a factory Aston Martin Racing seat for the full FIA World Endurance Championship this year, handling the radically revised Vantage GTE.
AMR took the wraps off its new GTE challenger at its factory in Gaydon last week. The new car continues to be powered by the same 4.5-litre V8 engine, but the chassis has undergone significant revision to meet the new aerodynamic rules set out by the FIA and Le Mans organiser the Automobile Club de l’ouest.
The new Vantage features an allnew bodyshell and much refined aero, aimed at reducing drag and improving top-end speed.
Adam, who lifted the British GT title alongside Andrew Howard last year, will share the number 97 car with New Zealander Richie Stanaway and Brazilian Fernando Rees in the GTE Pro class. AMR stalwart Darren Turner and Danish pair Marco Sorensen and Nicki Thiim will handle the second car.
The team has also switched tyre supplier to Dunlop from Michelin.
Adam said: “This deal is just amazing and it’s what I’ve been working on for the last few years. To be doing the world championship with Aston Martin is a phenomenal opportunity and the new Vantage GTE is a big step forward.
“The GTE cars are more difficult to race on the limit than the GT3S are, so you have to build familiarity with it. The new Dunlop tyres behave differently too, but should favour our development direction with a front-mid-engined car.”
Adam’s deal does bring about issues with his British GT title defence. He is due to share a TF Sport Vantage GT3 with Derek Johnston this year, but the WEC opener at Silverstone clashes with British GT’S Brands Hatch round.
“We’re trying to see if there’s a way of doing both,” said Adam. “If not I have to prioritise whichever AMR decides is for the best interest. I’ve fought for British GT titles having not scored at the first round before, so it’s not impossible.” ● AMR will also field two works Vantage GT3S into the Nurburgring 24 Hours. They will be crewed by Adam/stanaway/ Rees/mathias Lauda and Thiim/ Sorensen/turner/pedro Lamy.
roll the speed into a corner with confidence. I think I’ll work really well with Phil as he’s a great character and is always smiling. It should be a very enjoyable year.”
Motorbase head David Bartrum added: “It’s a concentrated British GT effort but it’s a very exciting one. Ross is a star in the making and Phil is a big backer of Scottish motorsport so it’s about getting Ross into a comfortable environment to show what he can do. We know the Vantage inside out now and it’s a proven car so we’ll be going for wins.”
Motorbase also plans to run in the European Blancpain GT classes this year.