Aston Martin has officially unveiled its 2024 Vantage GT3 alongside the global debut of its brand-new Vantage road car.
The latest Vantage GT3 is the first racing vehicle from the brand to be developed through a collaboration between Aston Martin Performance Technologies and Aston Martin Racing (Prodrive). It is an evolution of the previous-generation car that was introduced in 2018 and has undergone development since autumn 2022, with track testing commencing in Q3 of the following year.
Importantly, as it is an evolution rather than an entirely new car, customers have the choice to upgrade their existing vehicles or purchase new ones.
The British automaker aims to deliver 30 of its new Vantage GT3s to customers by the end of this year, as stated by Adam Carter, the brand’s head of endurance motorsport.
In a discussion with select media, Carter mentioned, “I believe we will quickly witness 10 cars racing, but by year-end, we expect to have 30 cars (including spare cars for specific teams). That is our projection.
“Our focus is on prioritizing deliveries to align with the start of championships. In order to gain maximum coverage across all championships with the new car, we have received significant interest from other markets.
“We are aiming to expand the entire GT3 market gradually and build upon it,” he added. “Currently, we have a strong sales backlog. However, we were unable to fulfill all orders prior to the start of the championships.
“We could have sold more cars. Nevertheless, our priority is to ensure that customers receive their cars, conduct tests, and compete in accordance with the staggered schedules of the championships.
“Some teams have purchased a new car and an upgrade kit for their previous car as a spare. There will be 30 cars in circulation with the new specifications, with high 20s actively competing.”
This figure encompasses the top cars competing in IMSA’s GTD classes with Heart of Racing and Magnus Racing, as well as the Heart of Racing FIA WEC LMGT3 program.
Having the vehicle on various race grids across the globe, including IMSA and the FIA WEC, along with regional championships and World Challenge, Carter believes is crucial for its inaugural year.
“We are extremely thankful for the entries we have received into the FIA WEC,” he stated. “Aston Martin has a rich history in that championship, having been a part of it for a long time. So it was gratifying to see that loyalty reciprocated.
“Being a part of the FIA World Endurance Championship holds great significance. It provides an excellent platform to showcase our vehicles.
“IMSA is not only a premier race series in the US, but also the most technologically advanced. Being a part of it is truly remarkable.”
According to Carter, feedback from drivers and customers has been positive after completing over 12,500 kilometers of testing, including 30-hour tests, primarily in Europe at Silverstone, Alcaraz, and Portimao.
“We’ve had a mix of AMR factory drivers and amateurs provide their input,” he disclosed. “We’ve been fortunate enough to conduct private test days where individuals have had the opportunity to switch between different cars, including ours.”
In terms of appearance, the 2024 Vantage draws inspiration from the brand-new road car, which was unveiled late on Sunday night. As a result, Aston Martin made efforts to camouflage some of the front-end styling after the race car was initially spotted testing late last year.
The price for teams to acquire this car is £575,000 (approximately $725,000), with a cost-per-kilometer figure in line with its predecessor.
“There are cars that are incredibly expensive and others that are more affordable,” stated Carter. The latest vehicle aims to address the weaknesses of its predecessor, particularly in terms of drivability and serviceability. Changes have been made to the front and rear suspension geometry, aero, throttle pedal setup, driver controls, brakes, and brake cooling.
Furthermore, in order to align with the current trends in GT3 racing, the car features a quick change clamshell front and an improved mechanism for adjusting the wing angle. Aston Martin has reworked a total of “85 sub-components and sub-assemblies” throughout the vehicle. Notably, the engine remains the same as the previous Vantage (although a revised version will be used for the road car), as does the transmission and gearbox.
“If we consider our range of cars, it’s important to acknowledge that the GT4 car has been incredibly successful, highly regarded, and easy to drive. Similarly, the GTE car has also achieved great success and is very drivable,” admitted Carter. “However, the GT3 car found itself in a position where it inherited certain characteristics from the GTE car, which made it more challenging for amateur drivers.”
“In GT3, amateurs struggled with the car. It had a narrow setup window, so even if an amateur driver had it dialed in for one event, they might find themselves out of the window for the next event,” Carter explained. “Therefore, the new GT3 Vantage has been specifically designed to have a wider setup window. GT3 is a market that caters to both professional and amateur drivers, and it’s crucial for us to ensure that our race cars reflect the drivability and confidence-inspiring nature of our road cars. We don’t want people to be intimidated by Aston Martins. Our road cars are easy to drive, and we want to maintain that reputation across our product range.”
“So, with the introduction of a new road car, the shortcomings of the previous model, and the LMGT3 regulations, it was the perfect opportunity to make these improvements,” Carter concluded.
According to the Source racer.com