Aston Martin races new car at French track
Paris, March 29, 2009
Aston Martin Racing has run its new Le Mans prototype (LMP1) cars for the first time at the Le Mans Series test held at the Paul Ricard Circuit in France.
Car numbers 007 and 009, adorned in the Gulf Oil International orange and blue livery, took to the French circuit on March 8 with six test drivers -- Jan Charouz (CZ), Tomas Enge (CZ), Stefan Mücke (DE), Harold Primat (CH), Miguel Ramos (PT) and Darren Turner (GB).
Members of the public were granted access to the Paul Ricard test track for the first time in 10 years and 3,500 spectators viewed the on-track action from the newly installed grandstands.
In total, 28 of the 50 cars that will compete in the Le Mans Series took part in the official test with the Aston Martins taking centre stage.
The team was encouraged by the performance and reliability over the course of the test and encountered no significant issues despite the cars having barely turned a wheel prior to the start of the test.
The team suffered a setback on the afternoon of day one when the 007 car suffered an accident with Tomas Enge at the wheel. Although the car sustained heavy damage, Enge was uninjured.
Also taking part in the test was official partner team of Aston Martin Racing - Drayson Racing with their No 87 Aston Martin Vantage GT2.
Drivers Paul Drayson and Jonny Cocker used the test to benchmark the off-season improvements the team has made to the V8-powered machine. The results were encouraging as the Vantage GT2 performed well on its new Michelin tyres.
The Le Mans Series consists of five 1,000 km races, the first of which is the 1,000 km of Catalunya which will take place on April 5 at the Circuit de Catalunya near Barcelona, Spain.
The other races take place at Spa in Belgium, at the new Algarve circuit in Portugal and at the Nürburgring in Germany where Aston Martin has its test centre facility.
The series finale takes place on the team’s home turf of Silverstone in the UK. In addition to the Le Mans Series, Aston Martin Racing will compete in the Le Mans 24-hour race which takes place on June 13 and 14. – TradeArabia News Service
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