Chadwick, Cate and Brundle secure victory on legendary Nordschleife
TF Sport delivers first win for the Vantage GT3 in the British GT Championship
The new Aston Martin Vantage GT4 made a victorious debut in the 2019 ADAC TOTAL 24 Hours (N24), dominating the SP8T class for close-to-production vehicles in the legendary Nürburgring Nordschleife-based endurance race. Meanwhile back in the UK, partner team TF Sport delivered the most significant win yet for the Vantage GT3, in the British GT Championship.
Aston Martin’s Nürburgring success was particularly emphatic with one of the two works-entered cars leading their class for more than 20 hours of the race. It marked a triumphant first outing in the event for former European Le Mans Series champion and current LMP2 driver Alex Brundle (GB) and was the second 24-hour race victory in an Aston Martin for W-Series championship points leader Jamie Chadwick (GB). It was also the second class win for their co-driver in the #37 works entry, Aston Martin regular and Nordschleife veteran Peter Cate (GB).
This was the ninth class victory in 14 attempts for Aston Martin at the notorious N24, and run out of the locally-based AMR Performance Centre, the two Sterling Green Vantage GT4s ran almost faultlessly with only minor issues experienced. That an accident during the night involving the sister #36 Vantage prevented a likely double-podium for the car, is testament to the Vantage’s competitiveness. A true reflection of the quality of the Vantage road car the GT4 racer is heavily based on, both race cars finished the ultimate endurance test with #37 finishing 28th overall.
Jamie Chadwick said: “It’s rare that I’m lost for words, but this is one of those moments when it’s hard for me to put my emotions into sentences. It was a bit stressful at the end as we managed the car and the nerves but I am just so happy! I have done three 24-hour race and I’ve won two of them in Aston Martins.”
Alex Brundle said: “A debut class win the in the N24! It’s hard to put in to words what this means to me. I’m really thankful for the opportunity to come and race here firstly. The team we had behind us was magnificent. So many of them had so much experience, and I’ve learned an enormous amount this week. It’s just such a hard event. It’s so macro, so tough. You lose massive amounts of time when things go wrong and because the circuit is so hard on cars it’s always hovering over you. The chance to make an error that is going to cost you 20 minutes to an hour in the pits. That kind of pressure that puts on you gives you a massive release when you cross the line”
The #36 Vantage GT4 piloted by three-time Le Mans class winner Darren Turner (GB), Aston Martin’s high-performance test driver Chris Goodwin (GB) and Auto Motor und Sport’s Christian Gebhardt (D) recovered gallantly to finish fourth in the SP8T class.
Aston Martin chose to concentrate its efforts on a two-car works attack in the closely-contested GT4-based SP8T class to showcase the newly developed Vantage GT4 race car’s true potential. Launched in 2018 the British marque has seen significant interest in the car designed specifically as an entry level customer GT race car, with more than 40 Vantage GT4’s already racing competitively globally.
It’s bigger sibling, the Vantage GT3, also enjoyed a hugely successful weekend as partner team TF Sport delivered the perfect score with a pole position, race win and fastest lap with its pair of cars in Round 6 of the British GT Championship at Donington Park. Reigning champion Jonny Adam and Graham Davidson led from start-to-finish with an accomplished performance that went some way to erasing the pain of missing out on victory at the previous race in Silverstone. Just to sweeten the result, works Aston Martin Racing driver Nicki Thiim set a new lap record in the sister TF Sport car.
Jonny Adam said: “I’m really proud to have delivered the first win for the Vantage GT3 in the British GT Championship along with my team-mate Graham. A lot of hard work went into creating this package, and this will continue as we seek to develop the car further for the our partners.”
David King, President, Aston Martin Racing, added: “Winning at the Nürburgring means so much to Aston Martin. This is the heart of the European car industry and it is the toughest circuit in the world. To come here with a brand new car and for both of them to run almost trouble-free, in hot and challenging conditions is an achievement that we should be truly proud of. To then complement this with a win at Donington Park in the British GT series with the Vantage GT3 emphasises the fierce competitiveness of the customer package.”