Aston Martin preps up Motorsport programs

  At the onset of the season-opener of the Formula 1 World Championships in Melbourne this weekend, Aston Martin has announced its most ambitious global motorsport program in more than half a century.

For the first time since 1959, the Aston Martin name will appear in both the F1 and Le Mans 24 Hours entry lists.

Along with an innovative technical partnership that sees the rebranded Aston Martin Red Bull Racing team compete for the 2018 F1 titles, Aston Martin Racing will enter an exciting new challenger, the Vantage GTE, in the GTE Pro category of the 2018/19 (WEC) World Endurance Championship Super Season. Moreover, Aston Martin Racing factory drivers will race customer Aston Martin V12 Vantage GT3s in the Blancpain GT Series and British GT championships, while the marque will return to the Nürburgring 24 Hours in May. In total Aston Martin will be significantly invested in 44 races around the world in 2018.

Seeking a name in Formula 1 with Red Bull Racing before entering the series

While the new Aston Martin Red Bull Racing RB14 that Daniel Ricciardo and Max Verstappen will race in Melbourne this weekend is powered by a 1.6-liter, turbo-charged hybrid engine branded by TAG-Heuer, Aston Martin continues to evaluate whether future F1 regulations might create the right conditions for it to enter as an engine manufacturer in 2021.

As winners of the 2017 Le Mans 24 Hours GTE Pro category, and the reigning champions in the GTE Am class, Team AMR has a strong legacy to build on when the 4.0-liter turbocharged Aston Martin Vantage GTE makes its competition debut in the opening round of the FIA WEC Super Season at Spa-Francorchamps in May. Aston Martin will field two of the new cars in the GTE Pro category, while it will defend its GTE Am title with the iconic normally-aspirated V8 Vantage GTE in its last season of competition in the category.

“The team has done an outstanding job in designing and developing the new car,” said Aston Martin’s Vice President and Chief Special Operations Officer, David King. “The driver feedback is excellent and we expect to be competitive, but with an all-new car and the Balance of Performance process, we won’t know for sure until the racing starts.

“It is great to see more manufacturers coming into the GTE class – it is a sure sign of health in the GT and sports car sector of our industry. The competition is certain to be intense, which is good for the sport and especially for the fans, many of who I hope will be cheering us on throughout the season.”

Practice for the 2018 Rolex Australian Grand Prix begins Friday, 23 March. The scheduled race start is 25 March. The 2018 WEC Prologue takes place at Paul Ricard on 6-7 April, ahead the opening round of the WEC Super Season at Spa-Francorchamps on 5 May.