New Vantage GT3 takes first international win with Aston Martin’s maiden SUPER GT success

DstationRacing1
DstationRacing1

The new Aston Martin Vantage GT3 recorded its first international triumph just four months after being unveiled to the world at Silverstone, with an outstanding GT300 Class victory in Japan’s most prestigious endurance racing championship – the AUTOBACS SUPER GT Series. The success also marks the British ultra-luxury brand’s first ever win in the series.

Japanese team D’station Racing – which also represents Aston Martin as a partner team in the FIA World Endurance Championship [WEC] – along with its drivers Tomonobu Fujii (JPN) and Charlie Fagg (GBR), delivered a clean sweep in the 3-Hour race at Suzuka taking the class pole position (also a first) and victory. Fujii, who in addition to his driving duties is also the team’s managing director, set the fastest race lap en route to his first SUPER GT win since 2016.

The #777 D’station Racing Aston Martin Vantage GT3 ultimately finished 38 seconds clear of its nearest rival following a truly accomplished performance by all concerned.

In a weekend of highs for the new Vantage GT3, Aston Martin’s other WEC partner team, the US-based Heart of Racing, also recorded its best result of the season in America’s premier endurance series; the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship, finishing third in the GTD Pro class in Detroit.

Aston Martin works driver Ross Gunn (GBR) and GTD Pro class race-winner Alex Riberas (ESP), raced through from sixth on the grid to deliver the new Vantage GT3’s first podium finish in the 100-minute sprint format event on the short street circuit set in ‘Motor City’.

Adam Carter, Aston Martin Head of Endurance Motorsport, said: “We’ve known from the outset that the new Aston Martin Vantage GT3 can deliver success at any level of GT-based endurance racing. That its first victory came in Japan is particularly satisfying, given the prestige of SUPER GT, the fact that we have never won in that series before, and perhaps most importantly because of the excellent work D’station Racing has put in to achieve this success since forming our partnership in 2019. I’m also delighted to note Heart of Racing’s podium finish in Detroit, delivered with the team’s usual blend of race savvy and tenacity. That both teams have recorded strong results the week before the 24 Hours of Le Mans preparations begin in earnest is a very welcome boost to everyone’s confidence heading into the most important phase of the season.”

D’station Racing has been an Aston Martin Racing partner team since 2019, and the introduction of the previous generation Vantage GT3, when the team gave Aston Martin its SUPER GT debut. In 2021, D’station Racing became the first team to win a Japanese domestic title with an Aston Martin, claiming the Super Taikyu crown with Fujii, team owner Satoshi Hoshino (JPN) and Tsubasa Kondō (JPN). The team’s best finish so far in WEC was second place in the GTE-Am class of the 2023 Bahrain 8 Hours, but it begun this season with a strong third place in LMGT3 class of the inaugural Qatar 1812km race.

There are now 25 examples of Aston Martin’s spectacular new Vantage GT3 challenger contesting more than 10 significant GT series, including the FIA World Endurance Championship, IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship, the Fanatec GT World Challenge series in Europe, Asia and US, as well as the Japanese Super GT Championship. That figure is expected to grow to at least 35 by the end of its first season of competition.

The new Aston Martin Vantage GT3, which descends from a succession of multiple world championship-winning predecessors and share the mechanical architecture of the new ultra-luxury Vantage road car, were unveiled in February this year. Built around Aston Martin’s proven bonded aluminium chassis and powered by its fearsome twin-turbo 4.0-litre V8 engine, the Vantage GT3 features all-new nose-to-tail aerodynamics, comprehensively revised suspension and state-of-the-art electronics, endowing this latest-generation Aston Martin GT racer with world-beating potential.

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