Aston's latest racer has entered testing as it readies for FIA endurance racing.
Revealed back in August, Aston Martin's V12 Vantage GT3 has entered its testing phase as it prepares to do battle at the 2012 Le Mans 24 Hours. The GT3 version of the V12 Vantage production car gets lots of race-worthy upgrades, most notably a giant rear wing and a glut of hood vents that gives it an aggressive air of determination. As you would expect the drivetrain has been seriously upgraded, and total output now stands at 600hp and 516 lb-ft of torque.
The modified engine, mated to a semi-automatic Xtrac six-speed sequential paddleshift gearbox, is mounted lower and farther back in the chassis, resulting in better handling and performance. Other modifications include race-spec ABS and traction control, a carbon-fiber driveshaft, and a full aerodynamics package.
Check out the video of the GT3 being tested at Prodrive's test track in Warwickshire, UK, a few days ago to give you a feel of the racer. More recently it visited Brands Hatch for the first time where it covered 620 miles in a couple of days of tests. Driver Darren Turner said of the GT3: "The car ran like clockwork. 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 tires.
"It isn't too physical to drive and I didn't even break into a sweat during the test! With the clean styling and the amazing sounding V12, it's closer to the core values of Aston Martin's road cars than any of the racing cars we've ever built." The DBRS9 had a successful racing career since entering competition in 2006, with notable victories coming in the 2009 FIA GT3 Teams' Championship and 2007 British GT Championship, and after the glowing recommendation of its successor, it is hoped the V12 Vantage GT3 will have the pace and endurance to tackle the 24 Hours of Le Mans.