Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Next generation LMP1 car to feature Aston engine and chassis

2009 Aston Martin LMP1 picture

2009 Aston Martin LMP1

2009 Aston Martin LMP1 front view

2009 Aston Martin LMP1

2009 Aston Martin LMP1 side view

2009 Aston Martin LMP1

2009 Aston Martin LMP1 wallpaper

2009 Aston Martin LMP1

Aston Martin boss David Richards has revealed that the company is working on an all-new LMP1 Le Mans challenger for 2011.

Aston's current Le Mans cars use a Lola-derived chassis powered by a 6.0-litre V12 originally developed for the DBR9 GT1 racer. The twelve-cylinder mill won't be eligible under 2011 Le Mans rules, however, so Aston Martin Racing needs a new powerplant.

Rather than using bought-in engine tech, however, Richards has revealed to US car mag Auto Week that Aston Martin Racing is hard at work developing an all-new bespoke racing engine - and that the chassis around it will also be a fully in-house Aston Martin design.

Aston could take the new car and engine racing next year, but the team feels that the 2010 Le Mans rules - set in stone late last month - still favour diesels over petrols, and Aston won't be producing a diesel-powered racer (thank goodness).

"We are far enough down the road with the design that we could have done it for next year if the petrol-diesel equivalence had been sensible" Team principal George Howard-Chappell told Auto Week. "That is clearly not the case."

Richards also said that he was keen for Aston Martin Racing to stop working on a year-to-year basis and concentrate instead on three-year campaigns. That could mean that there will be no works Astons at Le Mans next year, while the team concentrates on its 2011 car, although this year's Lola-Aston coupes could end up racing in private hands.

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