Aston Martin Racing was delighted to start a new relationship with Horsepower Racing last week, when the team found itself without a car just days before the opening round of the 2013 Britcar MSA British Endurance Championship at Donington Park, UK.
The day after team-owner and driver Paul Bailey called the Banbury-based team, the V12 Vantage GT3 was delivered, and the following day it competed in the three-hour race finishing 2nd overall and recording the fastest lap of the day by more than half a second.
The Vantage GT3 was quick from the off-set; when Bailey and teammate Andy Schulz drove the car in Saturday’s warm-up session, it was fastest on track, as the pair quickly adapted to the new car. In qualifying, Schulz stunned on-lookers as he put the car 3rd on the grid in his first competitive outing in the V12 charger.
In the highly-competitive race, the Pro-Am team used the Vantage GT3’s pace and reliability to push hard to the end, taking the second place position and finishing two laps ahead of the third place car.
Paul Bailey comments: “At Donington Park on Thursday, the engine blew up on my Ferrari 430 GT2 and I couldn’t source a new engine. At half-past four, I called Aston Martin Racing and asked if I could have a car, spare parts and technician and the answer was yes! The car was delivered with the correct livery and transponder set up on Friday evening.
“We shocked the whole of the grid; 22 hours after our engine blowing up and we were back with a brand new, stunning looking car. And then it really delivered. This is only my third year in endurance racing but I took to the Vantage GT3 immediately; even in the treacherous rain.
“Thanks to Aston Martin Racing, Scuderia Vittoria and my financial management company, Vestra Wealth, who made the process as easy as possible. I’m sure no other team of people would have achieved this.”
Andy Schulz adds: “The GT3 performed faultlessly straight from the factory.
We were really pleased with the performance, especially with Paul’s pace; his lap in qualifying was faster than he’s achieved before in any car.
“The car felt very good, even in the difficult and slippery conditions, and inspired confidence to get on the pace straight away, enough for us to lead the race for a good period and try to push for the win rather than just getting us to the end of the race.
“Many thanks to AMR for their support over the weekend and for getting the car ready at such short notice, they did a great job on the set up and all the guys at Scuderia Vittoria were very professional in adapting to the new car and helping us fight right to the end.
“I feel very positive we can improve our performance with this car through the season and I’m sure we will win races…. we can’t wait for the next one!”
John Gaw, team principal at Aston Martin Racing, concludes: “We’ve been looking to establish a relationship with both Horsepower Racing and Scuderia Vittoria as we know they have the potential to win the Britcar MSA British Endurance Championship. Amid the first round of the World Endurance Championship, in which we have four cars, the team at Aston Martin Racing all worked hard to get the Vantage GT3 ready and delivered to Paul. The result speaks for itself. The car is easy and comfortable to drive from the second you step into it and the team proved it can prepare a car that needs minimal set up time.
“Paul and Andy did a fantastic job and we look forward to racing with them in the future and supporting them with the am of race and championship wins.”
The next round of the Britcar MSA British Endurance Championship takes place on 10/11 May at Silverstone International Circuit.
Britcar MSA British Endurance Championship Calendar
10/11 May – Silverstone
31 May/1 June – Rockingham
28 July – Brands Hatch GP
17 August – Snetterton
20/22 September – Silverstone 1000k
30 October/2 November – Donington (night race)
Source – Aston Martin