The new Aston Martin Vantage GT3 is targeting Le Mans glory
Aston’s new GT3 challenger will compete in the world’s most prestigious endurance races in 2024 – including Le Mans
The new Aston Martin Vantage has arrived, and with it a new GT3 racing version. Where the production car will square up against the Porsche 911 and Mercedes-AMG GT on the road, the Vantage GT3 will line up alongside them at the World Endurance Championship, GT World Challenge and IMSA racing series’ this year.
The outgoing Vantage GT3 was enormously successful, taking 52 class wins since it launched in 2018 – not to mention victories at the 24 Hours of Le Mans, Daytona and Spa. Given that Balance of Performance regulations tend to neutralise speed advantages across the GT3 field, Aston has focused on improving the racer’s drivability and consistency this time around, rather than its peak performance.
To that end, the Vantage GT3 incorporates elements of the road car's design into a more stable aero package than before. The bodywork is new from nose to tail, and features a shorter front splitter to reduce pitch sensitivity while improving rear-end stability.
Louvres above the front arches relieve high pressure air to add downforce, balanced out by stacked rear arch vents, a rear diffuser and a swan-neck-style wing. The Vantage's larger front grille, meanwhile, feeds extra cooling air to the brakes, and the entire front clamshell is made from carbonfibre.
Working with the new aero is revised suspension tuning, which enables a more progressive and stable handling character (particularly under heavy braking, says Aston). The racer uses double wishbones at each corner rather than the road car’s multi-link rear setup, with five-way adjustable dampers and adjustable anti-roll bars.
The Vantage's aluminium structure forms the basis of the GT3 car, with a steel roll cage and pneumatic jack system installed for competition. Braking is by Alcon, with six-piston front and four-piston rear calipers mounted behind 18-inch forged wheels.
The Vantage GT3’s 4-litre twin-turbocharged V8 is derived from Mercedes-AMG, and it generates 536bhp and 516lb ft in its base configuration (an adjustable boost controller can raise these outputs). That’s 120bhp and 74lb ft down on the road car (blame the Balance of Performance regs), but the racer does weigh some 340kg less at 1265kg.
The motor is mounted further back in the chassis to optimise weight distribution, and drives through a six-speed Xtrac sequential gearbox and a mechanical limited-slip differential.
The Vantage GT3’s cabin is stripped back and built for purpose. Gone is the road car’s fancy new dashboard and HMI system, in their place a simple carbonfibre dash with large, clearly labelled switchgear. The steering wheel is an F1-style carbonfibre item, set in front of a digital motorsport dash and a rear-view camera display. Also on the screen is a Bosch-developed radar system, designed to detect surrounding cars and help avoid collisions.
Aston Martin predicts that up to 30 Vantage GT3s will be actively competing by the end of this year. Before its official unveiling, the car was entered in last month’s 24 Hours of Daytona in disguised form to gather data about the new package. Time will tell if it can emulate the success of its predecessor.