Aston Martin’s 1959 Le Mans-winning DBR1 to return to Circuit de la Sarthe

Aston Martin’s 1959 Le Mans-winning DBR1 will return to the Circuit de la Sarthe, France, this weekend as part of a tribute to its drivers Carroll Shelby and Roy Salvadori, and its chief engineer Ted Cutting, who all sadly passed away in recent weeks. This, along with a unique video, is part of a host of tributes that Aston Martin will pay during Le Mans week.

Aston Martin’s Head of Motorsport, David King, comments: “We were deeply saddened by the loss of Carroll, Roy and Ted. They all played a hugely important role in Aston Martin’s racing history and will forever remain part of the company’s heritage. To mark their passing, we felt it fitting to return their car to the scene of its greatest victory.

“Many people have worked very hard to make this happen and we thank the Automobile Club de L’Ouest for its assistance.”

The iconic DBR1 will travel to Le Mans this week where it will be on display outside Aston Martin’s hospitality suite at the Parc du Raccordement, near to the start of the pit straight.

Aside from the display of the DBR1, the factory-entered #97 and #99 Vantage GTEs racing at the weekend will both carry a commemorative plaque, while the drivers will also carry the initials of Shelby and Salvadori, and the number 59, on their helmets.

In addition, Aston Martin’s official entry into the Aston Martin Racing Festival of Le Mans, the V12 Zagato driven by CEO Dr Ulrich Bez, will switch from its usual #005 designation to #59.

The Festival of Le Mans is an exclusive single-marque support event that will see a total of 30 GT1, GT2, GT3 and GT4 racers competing for 45 minutes in the largest display of Aston Martin-built racing cars ever seen. The race starts at 11.15 CET on Saturday (16 June).

Aston Martin has also produced a video tribute to the Shelby, Salvadori and Cutting using original footage from the 1959 Le Mans race. The silent film, two minutes in duration, depicts the drivers arriving at the track, racing the DRB1 around the Circuit de la Sarthe and, finally, taking the chequered flag to win the 24 Hours of Le Mans outright.

The video can be viewed on YouTube here:

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