New Vantage Aston Martin GT4 makes history with maiden victory at Sebring

New Vantage Aston Martin GT4 makes history with maiden victory at Sebring

Aston Martin Vantage GT4 records maiden win on only third start
Rebel Rock Racing charges through from 23rd on the grid to win the IMSA Michelin Pilot Challenge two-hour race at Sebring
New Vantage a winner before it has even made its European racing debut
The Heart of Racing’s new Vantage GT3 qualifies second in the GTD Pro class for the 12 Hours of Sebring

 

The brand-new Aston Martin Vantage GT4 has made history by claiming victory in only its second outing in the IMSA Michelin Pilot Challenge, a support of event for this weekend’s world-famous Mobil 1 12 Hours of Sebring in Florida.

 

In only its third competitive start, the Rebel Rock Racing-run Vantage GT4 – which has yet to race anywhere else other than North America in 2024 – charged through from 23rd on the grid to record a spectacular win in the Alan Jay Automotive 120 two-hour race on the challenging airfield circuit, run on Friday afternoon.

 

Driver and team owner Frank DePew (USA) took the start and steadily moved forward while staying clear of trouble. Then with clever strategy, the team racing in its home state, pitted as early as possible for its final fuel stop, emerging second on the road under caution and behind the Safety Car with 40 minutes to go.

 

Once the race went green, DePew’s co-driver Robin Liddell (GBR) made an audacious three-wide pass for the lead and then fended off a sustained attack from Aston Martin Racing works driver Valentin Hasse-Clot to the chequered flag. The Frenchman eventually finished second with team-mate Rory van der Steur (USA) in a previous generation Aston Martin Vantage GT4. American duo Matt Plumb and Paul Holton finished fourth in Team TGM’s Vantage GT4 in a successful day for the British ultra-luxury sportscar brand.

 

Adam Carter, Aston Martin Head of Endurance Motorsport said: “To win on only its third competitive outing is an outstanding achievement for the new Aston Martin Vantage GT4. There is still much for us and our partner teams to learn about the car, which has barely even begun its racing story. But this is a great foundation for us to start from and is a very clear indicator of how user friendly and raceable the car is ahead of its European debut next month. We would like to congratulate Rebel Rock Racing, a new partner for us in 2024, on a race perfectly executed as well as great drives by Frank and Robin.”

 

Built around Aston Martin’s proven bonded aluminium chassis and powered by a ferocious twin-turbo 4.0-litre V8 engine, the new Vantage GT4 utilises developments applied to the new Vantage road car to achieve further performance gains in the latest generation race car. The Aston Martin Vantage GT4 programme has enjoyed huge success over the past decade and the previous generation GT4 racer is a multiple champion around the world.

 

Aston Martin’s Vantage GT3 also enjoyed a strong qualifying debut at Sebring. Mario Farnbacher (DEU) ensured the #23 Heart of Racing (HoR) Vantage GT3 he shares with works driver Ross Gunn (GBR) and Alex Riberas (ESP) will start second in the GTD Pro class for the Mobil 1 12 Hours of Sebring. Their team-mates, team principal Ian James (GBR), Roman De Angelis (CDN) and compatriot Zacharie Robichon will start from 17th in the GTD class with the #27 HoR car, one place behind the #44 Magnus Racing Vantage GT3 driven by the American trio of John Potter, Andy Lally and Spencer Pumpelly.

 

The Mobil 1 12 Hours of Sebring begins 0940 EDT on Saturday. Follow details of the event via the official IMSA website and App.


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