The race is part of the history of Aston Martin Vantage GT4. The victory of the DBR1 in the 24 hours of Le Mans from 1959 to the more recent successes of the DBR9 in the GT1 category, the rich list of the English brand is there to attest. Real reason of the English builder to debut, this commitment is today still a development tool to improve its models and of course a communication instrument for awareness.
In recent times, this involvement has helped to forge a privileged link between Aston Martin and the most passionate clients, which, with a few training courses of piloting and preparation of their Vantage, may in turn engage in race to make shine the colors of the brand. Thus, on the seven Aston at the start of the 24 hours of Nürburgring run 2013 edition this weekend, three are the Aston Martin Vantage GT4 engaged in the SP10 class, i.e. very close to the model of series containing the name.
I could take the wheel of one of these copies for a few rounds of the F1 of Nürburgring circuit. Also the inevitable paintings of war to the glory of its sponsors, car racing available to us is externally distinguished from a road SP10 by its lighter polycarbonate side Windows, its reduced ground clearance and its racing tyres. It is inside that it reveals its true nature.
After being completely bare to be lightened, the Interior receives a specific 115-litre fuel tank and a pervasive safety RollBar to climb over to slip into a very enveloping Recaro race bucket. Atmosphere… Although tight by the mandatory 6 points harness, just pressing the starter button to wake up his V8 4.7 liter. To 436 horses, it is strictly series, as the Sportshift II box which equips our copy of race. Best, Wolfgang Schuhbauer, responsible for the Aston Martin Test Center of the Nürburgring and pilot in his time, tells us that the ESP of the road model is also renewed! And whereas it is very useful for the gentlemen less experienced drivers in “Sport mode” in the dry, ‘Normal’ in the wet, to the wise…
This is good, it pours! It is a careful right foot that I embed race SP10 accelerator. Well takes us, because the boost resulting turns of a force above suspicion, much more impressive in any case than just before tested series model. Should say that, stripped of any acoustic – interior trim or air conditioning system, our frame is reduced by 300 kg, this means – and that its final report of transmission is shortened by development reduced its racing tyres.
Suffice to say that turns jump us in the face. Fortunately, wet-weather tyres that Wolfgang obligingly brought up on our auto show an impressive grip brake. What inspire us to go get their limit turning where suspension circuit of the race, consisting of springs, shock absorbers and anti-roll bars specific SP10, shows a remarkable balance. The task of the pilot is then facilitated by the direction as communicative as that of the road model but significantly lighter thanks to the 300 kg less. What delay the onset of fatigue in an endurance race like the 24 hours of Nürburgring.
In fact, it is the brutality of the box relative robotic 7 reports simple clutch which is the more difficult to master. Of course, selection palettes to keep both hands on the steering wheel, which represents an undeniable advantage to the braking at the time to downgrade. But the kicks that systematically cause the reports carried out foot climbs to the floor do you not encourage really to perform them in the middle of a fast curve. Fortunately, those that it bothers can opt, as on the model of series, for the manual transmission.
In the end, the results are there: with 24 victories of class and 48 podiums out of 39 races since 2009, the Aston Martin Vantage GT4 has already amply demonstrated that it is fast and reliable.
Under the hood of the Aston Martin Vantage GT4:
Cylinder: 4.735 cm3
Type: V8 90° injection central before, indirect.
Power: 436 HP at 3,300 RPM
Torque: 490 Nm at 5 000 rpm
Box: Manual 6 reports / robotic 7 reports
Size: 4385 x 1 865 x 1,210 mm
Weight: 1,330 kg (3.0 kg/HP)
0 to 100 km/h in less than 4.0 seconds