It's the end of an era.
To coincide with the launch of the new Vantage road car, Aston Martin unveiled the new Vantage GTE race car back in 2017 as a successor to the Le Mans-winning V8 Vantage GTE to compete in the World Endurance Championship. It's the end of an era, however, because Aston Martin has announced it's withdrawing from the FIA World Endurance Championship for the 2021 season after nine years. Sadly, this means Aston Martin won't compete in the 24 Hours of Le Mans next year.
Instead, Aston Martin will support customer racing teams using the Vantage GTE, so you'll still see it in action on the race track. Since the car's track debut in 2018, Aston Martin believes it has "achieved every target it set" for the V8 Vantage GTE. This means Porsche and Ferrari will be the only represented manufacturers for the 2021 GTE Pro championship.
Aston Martin is one of only three car manufacturers to have been a mainstay of WEC since its inception in 2012. Over nine years and seven seasons, Aston Martin achieved 47 class wins and 103 podiums, nine class championships, and four 24 Hours of Le Mans class victories.
As part of a multi-year agreement with Prodrive, the current V8 Vantage GT racer will be manufactured and distributed to customer race teams that will compete in endurance events such as the Intercontinental GT Challenge, the GT World Challenge, the US-based IMSA Weathertech Sportscar Championship, and the Super GT Championship.
President, Aston Martin Racing, David King said: "This year has been one of unprecedented success for Vantage in international motorsport. At all levels, from GTE, through GT3 to the entry-level GT4, we have experienced significant championship success, winning 26 titles across the spectrum of world, international and domestic series. But there is more to achieve, and there is more to come from Vantage, which is why we have concluded that now is the time for us to shift the weight of factory support to our partners as we go in pursuit of success in the most important events in GT racing."
The move will also allow Aston Martin to focus on its return to Formula One next year for the first time since the 1960s as the Racing Point F1 team owned by Aston Martin's Executive Chairman Lawrence Stroll will be rebranded as Aston Martin.