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Aston Martin’s new Vantage GT3 will make its official race debut in the VLN Endurance Series at the Nurburgring Nordschleife next weekend.
The V8-powered car, which is derived from the manufacturer’s World Endurance Championship GTE model, replaces the V12 Vantage that has been in commission since 2011 and won a fourth British GT title last weekend.
The new Vantage GT3 made its first public outing at the Aston Martin Le Mans Festival in June, but the four-hour enduro at the Nurburgring will be its first outing against other GT3 machinery.
Works drivers Darren Turner and Maxime Martin will campaign the car in the SPX class, as it will not be officially homologated until March 2019. It will therefore have longer mandatory pitstops that are required for GT3 runners in the SP9 class.
The car has been extensively tested and will be available for customer use next year, with British GT teams champions TF Sport and Optimum Motorsport already confirmed for 2019.
Aston Martin Racing President David King said: “This is the next necessary step in the development of the new Vantage GT3.
“The programme is now at an advanced stage and it is time to measure the car’s performance against those it is likely to come against in 2019.
“With our extensive experience of the Nurburgring Nordschleife, it is the perfect place to test the car in a competitive environment as we sharpen areas of its development ahead of its homologation.”
Wins in the seven VLN rounds so far this season have been split between Porsche (4), Mercedes (2) and BMW (1).