Timed to coincide with the international debut of the new Vantage road car, the spectacular new Vantage GT3 mirrors the latest showroom model’s intensified performance, sharpened dynamics and eye-catching style, translating those qualities into a formidable new GT racer and starting the next chapter in Aston Martin’s illustrious motorsport history.
Speaking of the exciting new GT racer, Marco Mattiacci, Global Chief Brand and Commercial Officer of Aston Martin said: “Simultaneously revealing the new Vantage and Vantage GT3 race car underlines Aston Martin’s commitment to building the world’s finest sports car, and then proving its capabilities on-track.
“It also signals a closer relationship between our road and race programmes, with Aston Martin Racing benefitting from the exceptional pool of talent, experience and knowledge forged in Formula 1® and found throughout Aston Martin Performance Technologies.
“The result is a truly state-of-the-art GT racer; one that clearly shares its DNA with the latest Vantage road car, yet is perfectly evolved to suit the latest GT3 regulations.
“Descended from a succession of multiple world championship-winning predecessors, the new Vantage GT3 is proving irresistible to an impressive international roster of leading GT racing teams. Hungry for victory and poised to build upon Aston Martin’s extraordinary track record, the world’s greatest endurance races are firmly in the Vantage GT3’s sights.”
The Vantage GT3 is a comprehensive evolution of the ultra-successful and recently retired Vantage GTE and GT3 cars, which made their debuts in 2018. Sharing their mechanical architecture – and that of the new Vantage road car – the Vantage GT3 is built around Aston Martin’s proven bonded aluminium chassis structure and powered by its fearsome twin-turbo 4.0-litre V8 engine. Boasting a dramatic, all-new nose-to-tail aerodynamic package, comprehensively revised suspension and state-of-the-art electronics, together they endow this latest-generation Aston Martin GT racer with world-beating potential.
Built to comply with all FIA GT3 class regulations, including the new-for-2024 LMGT3 category, the new Vantage GT3 is a truly global competitor. One that will battle for honours in the world’s most competitive GT series, including the FIA World Endurance Championship (WEC), IMSA WeatherTech Sportscar Championship (IMSA), Fanatec GT World Challenge, European Le Mans Series (ELMS) and the Nürburgring Langstrecken Serie (NLS).
The Vantage GT3 is the first product of the pioneering collaboration between Aston Martin Racing (AMR) and Aston Martin Performance Technologies (AMPT), as Adam Carter, Aston Martin’s Head of Endurance Motorsport, explains: “The new GT3 is our first opportunity to use AMPT to play a role in leveraging the capabilities, attitude and methodologies of all of Aston Martin’s various nerve centres, which we’ve then combined with the unrivalled GT programme management expertise of AMR. The GT racing programme will serve as a development lab that will lead to an increasing transfer of knowledge and approach into future Aston Martin road cars”.
Developed to a strict set of objectives set by AMPT and implemented by AMR, the new Vantage GT3 upgrades centred upon addressing some of the old car’s more challenging handling characteristics with the aim of making the new GT3 as driveable as possible for both professional and amateur drivers alike.
An extensive development programme – including a gruelling 30-hour test – was completed late last year with a combination of Aston Martin’s contracted professional drivers, plus selected amateur racers. All reported the new Vantage GT3 to be a super-fast-yet-forgiving machine with no vices and a usefully wide set-up window that’s perfectly suited to the unique demands and ultra-competitive nature of top-level GT racing.
As lead engineer on the GT3 programme, Aston Martin Racing’s Head of Performance Gustavo Betelli was charged with ensuring the Vantage GT3 delivered the desired combination of ultimate pace and approachability. Finding that sweet spot while staying within the FIA’s tightly prescribed and strictly policed Balance of Performance (BoP) regulations was key to hitting AMPT’s transformative objectives: “The focus on the new Vantage GT3 was to increase their performance window and make something that would work at any circuit, on any tyre and with any driver. We also had to work to the new regulations, so this required additional changes.
“These new generation GT3 cars are more dependent than ever on aerodynamic downforce, so we wanted to make the car more stable under braking. The old car would dive a lot under braking, so we had to try and control the pitch with the rear suspension set-up. But this meant it was stiff, which made it quite snappy and, also over-worked the tyres. Working heavily on damper tuning, we have found a much better balance with the new car so we can generate the downforce without compromising the suspension set-up. The result is much-improved progression and greater stability in all conditions. It also works its tyres much more evenly, so teams have more options on strategy. The feedback from drivers who’ve tested it has been overwhelmingly positive. Especially the amateur racers, who have been able to achieve lap times that are much closer to the Pros. Now we need to go racing!”.
Visually the Vantage GT3 combines the striking design of the new Vantage road car with the extreme downforce-generating aerodynamics that make GT3 racing so popular with racers and fans alike. Extensive use of Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) achieved the desired targets for aerodynamic performance and efficiency – while remaining within the FIA’s downforce limits – and input from Aston Martin’s Design department ensured this pure function was matched by perfect form.
The result is a truly breath-taking machine. One that combines the muscular and unmistakable design language of the Vantage road car with the awesome aggression and poise of a purebred racer. Amongst the most striking aspects of the Vantage GT3 is the new nose. Not only does the road car’s new wider grille aperture look fabulous, but it afforded AMR the opportunity to increase the volume of ducted cooling air to the brakes, which now give drivers more consistent performance.
The nose itself is a large one-piece clamshell made from carbon fibre. A quick-release design to facilitate rapid removal and replacement in the event of mid-race accident damage, it houses a full-width laser light, and a shorter splitter; the effect of which moves the centre of pressure rearwards to reduce pitch sensitivity and aid stability. Large louvres in the top of the front wheel arches evacuate high-pressure air to reduce lift, with an even larger stack of louvres in the rear arches allowing high pressure to escape from the rear to reduce drag.
Thanks to its widespread eligibility, the new Vantage GT3 is the weapon of choice for an impressive and ever-growing worldwide roster of Aston Martin Racing partner teams. This sees long-standing AMR partners Heart of Racing and D’station Racing joined by newcomers such as Germany’s Walkenhorst Motorsport and Belgian team ComToYou Racing. Flying Lizard Motorsports, already a Vantage GT4 partner team, will now step up to the Vantage GT3 in the US. It is projected that as many as 30 Vantage GT3s will be actively racing by the end of the 2024 season.
This immediate popularity is the best possible endorsement for the AMR-built machine, which has already been seen in action at the Rolex 24 Hours of Daytona, and will be fighting for victory at the Nürburgring 24 Hours, Spa-Francorchamps 24 Hours and – most iconic of all – the 24 Hours of Le Mans later this year. The Vantage GT3 will also see action in a host of national GT championships around the globe – including the Japanese Super GT Championship and British GT Championship – underlining Aston Martin’s leading role in world motorsport.
Through its various generations since arriving on the world stage in 2012, the Aston Martin Vantage has consistently been a force to be reckoned with at the very highest levels of GT racing. With an incredible 52 class wins – the first of those scored on its WEC debut – and 11 world championship titles, plus a plethora of victories in a host of other national and international series, the Vantage name is synonymous with GT racing success. A tradition the new Vantage GT3 is set to continue.