Aston Martin loves a good race – and a good race car. To that end, Aston has unveiled an all-new LMP1 contender for the 2011 season with the same Gulf-liveried exterior as its predecessor and the same burning desire to place at the head of the field for the 2011 24 Hours of Le Mans endurance race.
Dubbed AMR-One, Aston’s latest racer is said to be completely new from the ground up in line with new regulations. The biggest visual distinction from last year’s race car is the AMR-One’s new open cockpit design, but changes continue under the car’s carbon fiber skin. Gone for 2011 is the previous car’s 6.0-liter V-12, replaced by a significantly more eco-friendly direct-injection, turbocharged 2.0-liter inline-six-cylinder gasoline engine rests amidships, producing roughly 540 horsepower. A six-speed, transversely mounted semi-automatic racing gearbox directs power to the rear wheels. The chassis is of carbon fiber monocoque construction is said to be similar in philosophy to that of the One-77 road car, hence the naming relation.
In recent years, LMP1 races have been dominated by diesel-powered cars as a result of governing body regulations and restrictions placed on gasoline-powered entries. With rules revisions for 2011, the emphasis is on maintaining a competitive gasoline program.
“We have chosen to run with a six-cylinder turbocharged engine because we believe this offers the best potential within the petrol engine regulations,” said Aston Martin Team Principal George Howard-Chappell in a recent statement. With the ACO’s commitment to effectively balance the performance of petrol and diesel Le Mans entrants – our hopes are high that we’ll see the closest racing yet in the premiere LMP1 category.”
Six AMR-Ones will be built, one of which will be raced by the factory at the 24 Hours of Le Mans, among other races, and while an official release says the car’s maiden race will come in early April at the Paul Ricard circuit, a run through the tentative entrants’ list for the 12 Hours of Sebring shows a single AMR-One on the roster. Testing is set to commence very shortly and a 12-hour run through an actual race could prove to be a very effective means of working out the car’s final kinks as Le Mans approaches in June.
Source: Aston Martin Racing