This is what a rally-prepped Aston Martin V8 Vantage looks like – and this is what said Aston Martin V8 Vantage rally car looks like once it’s struck a concrete barrier. Ouch.
Hopes of victory were put on hold for an Australian team racing an Aston Martin V8 Vantage rally car, after the Vantage hit a concrete barrier on the third day of the East Coast Bullbars Rally Calder. The unique rally car cost at least $400,000 Australian dollars (about $427,000 U.S.) to build and prepare.
The accident occurred Saturday when the Vantage slid on wet grass and smashed into a concrete barrier, causing heavy damage to the left door. Driver Ivan Thompson escaped unharmed, while co-driver Karl Francis suffered a dislocated pelvis. The car's owner, David Thompson, is currently trying to determine whether Aston Martin rally car can be repaired to compete in the remainder of this year's Bosch Australian Rally Championship season.
Based on a production Aston Martin V8 Vantage, the team's rally car had a 4.7-liter V-8 engine producing 420 hp. It was upgraded with new suspension components, new wheels with off-road tires, safety equipment, and a quartet of driving lights mounted above the chrome front grille. The builders called their rally machine "the ultimate Q car", in reference to the modified Aston Martins provided to James Bond.
"The car is perfectly balanced with a 50/50 split and from the testing we have done it is exceptionally quick," David Thompson said in a statement last week. "This car has been purpose built for the Bosch ARC from the concept to where it is now. The spectators should love it." Here's hoping co-driver Frank makes a full recovery, and that the team can salvage at least some of their costly rally car. We’d hate to see it vanquished from competition so soon…