An accident during testing meant the car had to be rebuilt in just six days.
Alongside the new road-going V8 Vantage, Aston Martin also unveiled its race car sibling last year: the Vantage GTE. Fast forward seven months, and Aston Martin is preparing the Vantage GTE for its toughest challenge yet following a development program that covered over 21,000 miles in the winter: the grueling 24 Hours of Le Mans race. It certainly has a lot to live up to, as its predecessor secured a class victory at the 2017 Le Mans.
The Vantage GTE is powered by the same AMG-sourced twin-turbocharged 4.0-liter V8 as the road car, with a few tweaks from Aston Martin Racing. Two Vantage GTEs will be entered as part of a 17-strong GTE Pro field. Unfortunately, race preparations haven't gone smoothly as 27-year old Danish driver Marco Sørensen crashed the #95 car at the Le Mans test day. His accident meant the AMR team's engineers and technicians had to rebuild the car's chassis. They had to work in split shifts to ensure the new car was rebuilt in time, which was completed just six days after the accident.
"We didn't have the best start for a Le Mans campaign with my accident but now obviously the mechanics are preparing a fresh car and I just cannot wait to go there and do a great job to do them justice for the amazing job they have done in such a short space of time," said Sørensen. If you're a fan of the old naturally-aspirated V8 Vantage GTE that's being replaced, two will also compete in this year's event alongside the new model. Aston Martin Racing Team Principal Paul Howarth added: "Le Mans has already thrown up many challenges for the team to deal with this year, including the build of a brand new Vantage GTE chassis and repairing the #98 GTE Am car which was damaged during the test."
"I truly believe the team has demonstrated an exemplary example of teamwork and how to overcome unforeseen events. We are all now focused on the race week and looking forward to what is shaping up to be one of the most competitive GT entries of the modern era. I have every confidence in all areas of the team that we will rise to the challenge."