The Aston Martin Vantage GTE, which started life as a privately-entered GT2 car midway through the last decade, was retired this year, the works team developing a new car for 2018 after years of service for the current car at the helm in the WEC’s GTE Pro class.
Through the years, and in three different iterations/ evolutions, the Vantage has scored 12 GTE Pro class wins, which in addition to its wins in Am have made it the winningest (still the DSC Ed’s most loathed ‘word’!) chassis in FIA WEC history. And notably, in addition to its multiple pole positions, fastest laps and podiums, its 12 class wins in GTE Pro were spread across first six years of the championship itself, with at least one victory earned each season.
While the car will continue to the race in the hands of privateers in 2018/19 (and with some of the early cars likely to be seen in the new for 2018 Masters Endurance Legends Series), before the regulations permit it being made a customer car for GTE Am, its time in Pro, driven by AMR’s factory drivers, run by its factory team, are over.
Popular with sportscar fans, from the UK and abroad, due to its V8 rumble and sharp looks, the Vantage GTE will be looked back on as a car which was remarkable in its longevity. While it came close to winning WEC titles and Le Mans so many times, it actually only achieved both feats in its final two seasons of competition; the elusive Le Mans win coming just this year.
While the ultimate send-off would have been winning both the GTE Pro World Championship and Le Mans in 2017, Jonny Adam’s barnstorming run to the flag in the final hour of the Le Mans 24 Hours will be remembered by many for decades to come. Not only was it a landmark win for the Vantage itself, but it was AMR’s first Le Mans class win since 2008; and it came up against stiff competition from other factory teams.
The new Vantage, which will kick off a new era for AMR next year, has a lot to live up to, as the outgoing chassis provided the British marque with a lengthy list of achievements since its debut as a factory car in 2012 at Sebring.
We’re going to miss it at DSC.
2012: FIA World Endurance Championship, 1 x GTE Pro Class Win
2013: FIA World Endurance Championship, 4 x GTE Pro Class Wins
2014: FIA World Endurance Championship, 2 x GTE Pro Class Wins
2015: FIA World Endurance Championship, 1 x GTE Pro Class Win
2016: FIA World Endurance Championship, 2 x GTE Pro Class Wins
2016: FIA World Endurance Championship, FIA Endurance Trophy for LMGTE Pro Teams title and World Endurance Cup for GT Drivers title
2017: FIA World Endurance Championship, 2 x GTE Pro Class Wins
2017: Le Mans 24 Hours, GTE Pro Class Win