Today at its Gaydon headquarters, Aston Martin Racing launched the DBR9, its new race car. The racer will spearhead the return of AM’s return to sports car racing in 2005 and perhaps most significantly a return to Le Mans in 2005.
The works team will enter the Sebring 12 hour endurance race in March next year. It’s a long term project however, with the full complement of 20 cars being built over a 3 year period. Intensive testing begins immediately.
Aston Martin Racing will run two cars at Sebring and then move to Europe to prepare for the Le Mans 24 hours in June 2005.
12 Works cars will be built, which will be run by three Works teams in the major international GT series. The limited run of only 20 racing cars, prepared to the same specification, will also be built and made available to selected customers to race or keep in private collections.
The DBR9 GT racing car is based on the production DB9 - but is significantly modified for competition use. The DB9’s bonded-aluminium body architecture is shared with the DBR9 and provides both with a lightweight rigid chassis.
The race engine uses the same aluminium cylinder block and head as the DB9’s 450bhp 6-litre V12 unit, but with racing modification it is expected to produce in the region of 600bhp. Power is transmitted via an Xtrac gearbox which development partner Prodrive successfully proved in its Ferrari 550 racer.
The DB9’s double wishbone suspension configuration is retained on the DBR9, but features up-rated components and a revised geometry for racing purposes. Formula One style carbon brakes are fitted front and rear and a competition, six-speed sequential gearbox is mounted at the rear axle.
The panels are hand made from carbon-fibre composite, helping the car to meet its 1,100kg minimum weight and giving it a power to weight ratio of 550bhp per tonne - more than double that of the road car.
Price is £475,000 per car.