Le Mans 24 Hours: Toyota leads the way in qualifying, Aston Martin tops GTE

1LMP1M.Conway, K.Kobayashi, J.M.LopezToyota Gazoo RacingToyota3m17.089s2LMP1S.Buemi, K.Nakajima, B.HartleyToyota Gazoo RacingToyota0.247s3LMP1B.Senna, N.Nato, G.MenezesRebellion RacingRebellion/Gibson4.509s4LMP1T.Dillmann, B.Spengler, O.WebbByKOLLES Racing TeamENSO CLM/Gibson7.379s5LMP1R.Dumas, N.Berthon, L.DeletrazRebellion RacingRebellion/Gibson7.543s6LMP2F.van Eerd, G.van der Garde, N.de VriesRacing Team NederlandORECA/Gibson9.559s7LMP2H-Pin Tung, G.Aubry, W.StevensJackie Chan DC RacingORECA/Gibson10.008s8LMP2P.Hanson, F.Albuquerque, P.Di RestaUnited AutosportsORECA/Gibson10.059s9LMP2R.Rusinov, J-E.Vergne, M.JensenG-Drive RacingAurus/Gibson10.277s10LMP2W.Owen, A.Brundle, J.van UitertUnited AutosportsORECA/Gibson10.509s11LMP2K.Yamashita, M.Patterson, A.FjordbachHigh Class RacingORECA/Gibson10.522s12LMP2A.Davidson, A.F.da Costa, R.GonzalezJOTAORECA/Gibson10.639s13LMP2R.Cullen, O.Jarvis, N.TandyG-Drive Racing by AlgarveAurus/Gibson10.678s14LMP2N.Jamin, J.Canal, M.VaxivierePanis RacingORECA/Gibson10.702s15LMP2A.Negrao, P.Ragues, T.LaurentSignatech Alpine ElfAlpine/Gibson10.705s16LMP2H.Hedman, B.Hanley, R.van der ZandeDragonspeed USAORECA/Gibson10.824s17LMP2N.Lapierre, A.Borga, A.CoignyCOOL RacingORECA/Gibson11.420s18LMP2J.Allen, V.Capillaire, C.MilesiGraff-SO24ORECA/Gibson11.485s19LMP2J.Hirschi, K.Tereschenko, T.GommendyDuqueine TeamORECA/Gibson12.002s20LMP2J.Falb, S.Trummer, M.McMurryAlgarve Pro RacingORECA/Gibson12.313s21LMP2J.P.Montoya, T.Buret, M.RojasDragonspeed USAORECA/Gibson12.652s22LMP2R.Lacorte, A.Belicchi, G.SernagiottoCetilar RacingDallara/Gibson12.791s23LMP2N.Yamanaka, N.Foster, R.MerhiEurasia MotorsportLigier/Gibson13.408s24LMP2G.Grist, A.Kapadia, T.WellsNielsen RacingORECA/Gibson13.808s25LMP2T.Calderon, S.Florsch, B.VisserRichard Mille Racing TeamORECA/Gibson13.931s26LMP2J.Smiechowski, R.Binder, M.IsaakyanInter Europol CompetitionLigier/Gibson14.304s27LMP2A.Tambay, E.Maris, C.d’AnsembourgEuroInternationalLigier/Gibson16.658s28GTE ProN.Thiim, M.Sorensen, R.WestbrookAston Martin RacingAston Martin33.783s29GTE ProM.Martin, A.Lynn, H.TincknellAston Martin RacingAston Martin33.836s30GTE ProA.P.Guidi, J.Calado, D.SerraAF CorseFerrari34.155s31GTE ProD.Rigon, M.Molina, S.BirdAF CorseFerrari34.899s32GTE ProG.Bruni, R.Lietz, F.MakowieckiPorsche GT TeamPorsche34.947s33GTE ProM.Christensen, K.Estre, L.VanthoorPorsche GT TeamPorsche35.053s34GTE ProC.MacNeil, T.Vilander, J.SegalWeatherTech RacingFerrari35.419s35GTE AmP.D.Lana, R.Gunn, A.FarfusAston Martin RacingAston Martin35.689s36GTE AmS.Yoluc, C.Eastwood, J.AdamTF SportAston Martin35.872s37GTE AmM.Wainwright, B.Barker, A.WatsonGulf RacingPorsche35.881s38GTE AmF.Piovanetti, O.Negri, C.LedogarLuzich RacingFerrari36.203s39GTE AmC.Ried, R.Pera, M.CampbellDempsey-Proton RacingPorsche36.245s40GTE AmE.Perfetti, L.ten Voorde, M.CairoliTeam Project 1Porsche36.509s41GTE AmF.Perrodo, E.Collard, N.NielsenAF CorseFerrari36.532s42GTE AmI.Vutthikorn, L.Legeret, J.AndlauerDempsey-Proton RacingPorsche36.581s43GTE AmB.Keating, F.Fraga, J.BleekemolenTeam Project 1Porsche36.749s44GTE AmT.Flohr, F.Castellacci, G.FisichellaAF CorseFerrari37.055s45GTE AmT.Preining, D.Bastien, A.De LeenerDempsey-Proton RacingPorsche37.192s46GTE AmT.Kimura, V.Abril, K.CozzolinoMR RacingFerrari37.539s47GTE AmH.C.Chen, T.Blomqvist, M.GomesHub Auto RacingFerrari38.219s48GTE AmD.Cameron, A.Scott, M.GriffinSpirit of RaceFerrari38.683s49GTE AmR.Mastronardi, M.Cressoni, A.PicciniIron LynxFerrari39.052s50GTE AmR.Heistand, M.Root, J.MagnussenJMW MotorsportFerrari39.294s51GTE AmH.Felbermayr Jr., M.Beretta, M.van SplunterenProton CompetitionPorsche39.386s52GTE AmM.Gostner, R.Frey, M.GattingIron LynxFerrari39.744s53GTE AmC.Schiavoni, S.Pianezzola, P.RubertiIron LynxFerrari40.787s54GTE AmB.Grimes, J.Mowlem, C.HollingsRed River SportFerrari42.995s55GTE AmP.Haezebrouck, J.Piguet, A.LaskaratosTeam Project 1Porsche43.602s56LMP2D.Merriman, K.Tilley, J.KennardIdec Sport RacingORECA/Gibson-57LMP2P.Lafargue, P-L.Chatin, R.BradleyIdec Sport RacingORECA/Gibson-58GTE AmC.Ulrich, S.Gorig, A.WestAF CorseFerrari-59GTE ProO.Pla, S.Bourdais, J.GounonRisi CompetizioneFerrari-
Source: AutoSport.com

Aston Martin’s $74,000 racing sim has same seating position as Valkyrie hypercar

Aston Martin has teamed up with Curv Racing Simulators to develop the ultimate addition to any well-heeled car collector’s garage or gaming room. It could also prove worthwhile for any budding gamers ready to make a serious impact in the world of esports.
The two companies on Monday unveiled the AMR-C01, a racing simulator limited to 150 units and priced from 57,500 British pounds (approximately $74,128). You could buy an actual Porsche 718 Cayman S for that kind of money.
Curv Racing Simulators is run by Darren Turner, a simulation specialist and professional racing driver who is currently on the list of drivers at Aston Martin. He’s used his experience in the world of actual racing to ensure the AMR-C01 is realistic as possible.
Aston Martin Valkyrie
For example, the AMR-C01 features a carbon-fiber monocoque structure, just like a modern supercar or hypercar, and its seating position is the same as in Aston Martin’s Valkyrie. It also comes standard with the latest version of “Assetto Corsa,” a popular and realistic racing sim used by many professional racers for practice.
Aston Martin and Curv Racing Simulators said the AMR-C01 is just the first product of their new partnership, meaning more—and hopefully more affordable—simulators could be in the pipeline.
Deliveries of the AMR-C01 will start in late 2020. That’s also when the actual Aston Martin Valkyrie is due to start deliveries, assuming the car hasn’t been further delayed.
Source: MotorAuthority.com

Maserati MC20; Porsche Cayenne Coupe S vs. BMW X6 M50i; Aston Martin Victor: The Week In Reverse

The mid-engine Maserati MC20 debuted; we compared the 2020 Porsche Cayenne Coupe S to the 2020 BMW X6 M50i; and the one-off Aston Martin Victor made a splash. It’s the Week in Reverse, right here at Motor Authority.
Maserati will build a mid-engine supercar for the first time since the MC12 in 2005. It’s called the MC20 and it features a twin-turbocharged 3.0-liter V-6 that doles out 621 horsepower and sub-2.9-second 0-60 mph times. Maserati will go racing with its carbon-fiber supercar, though the company hasn’t said in which series. Look for it in 2022.
We drove the 2020 Porsche Cayenne Coupe S and 2020 BMW X6 M50i in a $200,000 battle of performance-oriented crossover coupes. We found the BMW more powerful, more comfortable, and more spacious, but the Porsche was better looking and, surprise, it handled better.
One lucky buyer commissioned the Q by Aston Martin team to build a supercar called the Victor. The car is based on the One-77’s carbon-fiber monocoque, but it features a wide-body look inspired by the Vantages of the 1970s and ’80s. Want one? You can’t have it. It’s a one-off.
Contributor Alex Kalogiannis promised his mom he’d bring home a Rolls-Royce some day. She always appreciated the finer things, but never got to see her auto journalist son in a Roller as she died of cancer in June 2019. A year later, Alex fulfilled his promise to his mother as a touching tribute.
The next BMW X1 was spotted testing on public roads draped in camouflage. We’re not sure about timing, but we’re estimating it as a 2023 model. The new entry-level crossover SUV will still ride on a front-wheel-drive platform, but it has a bolder, brawnier look than the current model.
Source: MotorAuthority.com

Hamilton: Vettel’s F1 Aston Martin move “ideal direction”

Lewis Hamilton believes Sebastian Vettel joining Aston Martin for the 2021 Formula 1 season is the “ideal direction” for his rival, who he feels can push the team’s performance forwards. Vettel’s deal to join the soon-to-be rebranded Racing Point squad for next season was announced ahead of the Tuscan Grand Prix weekend getting underway on Thursday. The development means Sergio Perez will leave the team where he has raced since 2014 – when it operated in its former iteration as Force India – with his continued participation in F1 now uncertain beyond the end of current campaign. When asked about the news during the Mercedes pre-event press conference at Mugello, Hamilton said: “Honestly, I thought that’s the ideal direction that he was going to go. So I thought it would happen. “I was really pleased to hear it because that team has new ownership, has already taken a huge step forwards in its performance, and it can continue to grow. “But I personally, and maybe I’m biased, but I believe that experience counts for a huge amount. “He’s obviously had a difficult time at Ferrari, but he is a four-time world champion and could help steer that team even further in a good-er direction, in terms of car development.”I think you should never take that for granted. It’s a great move from the team.” Hamilton also offered his thoughts on Perez losing his drive with the Racing Point team, which was expected to continue for two further years after 2020.He said: “Of course, sorry for Sergio – he’s a great driver and I’m sure, hopefully, he will have other options.”The Mugello track is set to host its first F1 race this weekend after gaining a place on the 2020 calendar as the championship searched for a way to hold a season despite the disruption caused by the coronavirus pandemic. Hamilton joked that while he had never been to Tuscany before, he had “always wanted to come on a wine tasting experience but I never got to do it” before explaining what his first impressions were of the track. “It was really cool arriving today,” he said. “I’ve only done some running on the simulator so I’ve never been at the track but when I arrived today it felt like I was back in the karting days when I used to come to Italy and arrive at a new circuit and learn a new circuit. “The way things are built here, I think it is a beautiful place.”
Source: AutoSport.com

Vettel came “close” to retiring from F1 before signing for Aston Martin

Sebastian Vettel says he came ‘close’ to retiring from Formula 1, before being won over by the potential he sees to race for Aston Martin.Speaking ahead of the Tuscan Grand Prix on the day that he announced he would be switching to Aston Martin 2021, Vettel admitted it had not been been an ‘easy’ call to decide what was best for his future.He confessed that he had weighed up the pros and cons of walking away from F1 rather than staying on.Asked how close he came to retiring from F1, Vettel said: “Close – but is there a measure of how close you can get?”It was close in terms of having a lot of thoughts and I have to put myself first in that regard. What’s best for me?”What I’ve decided now, I believe it’s the best for me and I’m looking forward to prove that.”Vettel explained that it had not been a straightforward decision to commit to Aston Martin, but one of the key factors that won him over was the change of regulations coming in – including a budget cap – that is aimed at levelling the playing field.”It wasn’t an easy call because the last weeks and months have been quite intense for me,” he explained.”It’s different and new situation for me to be in and, as I have put out from day one, I felt like I wanted to remain in Formula 1 if there is something that really attracts.”It was getting more and more clear the team’s performances this year have been very encouraging and I think even more than that, is where the regulations are going, into hopefully a more and more level playing field.”I think it will be a lot of firsts and the first time for the team to be in a position to have probably the same money as other teams and show what they are capable of.”So anything I can do to help, I am very excited about and I am looking forward to it.”Things are coming in the right time and in terms of the announcement, it has not been a long time since it was final.”Obviously Checo [Sergio Perez] made the announcement last night and then I think it was only right to respond straightaway.”
Source: AutoSport.com

Sebastian Vettel to join Racing Point in 2021 as team rebrands as Aston Martin

Racing Point announced Thursday that four-time Formula One world champion Sebastian Vettel will join the team next season, when it rebrands as Aston Martin.
Vettel currently drives for Ferrari, but announced in May he would leave the team at the end of 2020.
He will replace Sergio Perez who signed a three-year contract with Racing Point only last year. Perez has been with the Silverstone-based team for seven years and is uncertain what his next step will be.
Perez’s current teammate at Racing Point, Lance Stroll, whose father Lawrence Stroll heads the consortium of investors backing the team, will drive alongside Vettel in the new season.
Stroll Snr. also heads the consortium of investors backing Aston Martin, and serves as the automaker’s chairman. He sees F1 as an opportunity to build the Aston Martin brand, as well as help introduce cutting-edge technology to the automaker. Aston Martin’s previous stint in F1 was a brief one during the 1950s.
“I have been impressed with the results the team has achieved this year and I believe the future looks even brighter,” Vettel said in a statement. “The energy and commitment of Lawrence to the sport is inspiring and I believe we can build something very special together.”
Racing Point has been portrayed as a sister team to Mercedes-AMG F1, as it uses Mercedes power units and some components of its 2020 car are common to Mercedes’ 2019 car. Racing Point was even fined 400,000 euros (approximately $473,000) and given a 15-point penalty in August after it was deemed the brake ducts on the team’s car were too similar to those on Mercedes’ 2019 car.
Racing Point’s ties with Mercedes have certainly helped. After years of being a backmarker, the team has improved significantly in the past couple of seasons. Currently, it is ranked fourth in the Constructors’ Championship, ahead of the likes of Ferrari and Renault.
In related news, Vettel last week announced he had acquired the Williams FW14B that Nigel Mansell drove in 1992, the season in which he secured his first and only championship.
Source: MotorAuthority.com

Aston Martin Victor is an 825-hp one-off supercar with a manual transmission

Aston Martin has gone wild in the best possible way.
More specifically, the company’s Q customization department has created a new one-off supercar called the Victor.
Q by Aston Martin started with a refurbished Aston Martin One-77’s carbon-fiber monocoque and rear housing, though Aston Martin said these elements weigh less in the Victor. The carbon-fiber body panels were sculpted using computer fluid dynamic testing to beat GT4 levels of downforce. The result is about 60% more downforce at 100 mph than a race-prepped Vantage GT4, according to Aston Martin.
Aston Martin Victor
Underneath the bodywork, which is inspired by the Vantage V8 of the ’70s and ’80s, are elements combined from the Vulcan hypercar and One-77 supercar. The 6-way adjustable in-board springs and dampers from the track-only Vulcan were ported over into the One-77’s chassis. Intricate center-lock wheels hide 15-inch front and 14-inch rear carbon-ceramic Brembo brake rotors with 6-piston calipers.
The Victor is powered by the One-77’s naturally aspirated 7.3-liter V-12, which was rebuilt and massaged by Cosworth to produce 825 horsepower and 605 pound-feet of torque that drives the rear wheels via a Graziano 6-speed manual transmission. To handle the heat generated by the engine, the transmission features two coolers and a one-off racing clutch.
Aston Martin VictorAston Martin VictorAston Martin VictorAston Martin Victor
Inside, the Victor is covered in Forest Green and Conker Bridge of Weir leather. Anodized aluminum and polished machined titanium bits of bright work around the cabin act as jewelry. A bit of warmth is added by the cashmere headliner and solid walnut wood on the dashboard and round gear knob. The finishing touch is the Vulcan’s squared-off, topless steering wheel.
The Victor’s name is derived from Victor Gauntlett, who was Aston Martin’s executive chairman during the era of the DBS V8 that was developed to race in the 24 Hours of Le Mans as the RHAM/1 and V8 Vantage.
Both the owner and the price of the Victor have not been disclosed, but no other builds are planned. The Victor is on display on Friday at the Hampton Court Palace Concurs in Molesey, England.
Source: MotorAuthority.com

Aston Martin DB5 Junior is a kid’s car that costs as much as a BMW 3-Series

The Aston Martin DB5 is going back into production, and no, we don’t mean the limited run of “Goldfinger” continuation cars. Alongside the movie cars, Aston is launching a limited run of 2/3-scale DB5 Junior and DB5 Vantage Junior cars for kids. Production is scheduled to start in 2021.
Both versions have an aluminum honeycomb chassis with composite bodywork, and they ride on double-wishbone suspension, just like the full-size DB5. The standard color is 007-spec Silver Birch, with a black leather interior. The dashboard features miniature versions of the Smiths clock and gauges in the full-size DB5.
Power is provided by an electric motor with a maximum output of 6.7 horsepower. However, that’s only accessible in “Expert” mode; a “Novice” mode limits output to 1.3 hp. Top speed is 12 mph in Novice mode and 30 mph in Expert mode. The Vantage model gets a power-boost mode good for 13.4 hp, plus a limited-slip differential.
Aston Martin DB5 Junior
Aston partnered with The Little Car Company on the DB5 Junior. The same company also developed the Bugatti Baby II. While that car is a modern replica of another miniature car, the DB5 Junior is a straightforward kid’s version of a full-size car.
Production is limited to 1,059 units—the same as the original DB5 production run. Owners of original DB5s will be given first refusal, and will be able to match the Junior chassis number to the chassis number of the full-size car. In the United Kingdom, pricing starts at £35,000 (about $47,000 at current exchange rates) for the DB5 Junior and £40,000 ($53,000) for the DB5 Vantage Junior. Deliveries are scheduled to take place over two years following the start of production. Aston has not discussed availability in the U.S.
Meanwhile, Aston recently started delivery of its DB5 “Goldfinger” continuation cars, equipped with the same gadgets as the original 1964 movie cars, including revolving license plates, oil slick makers, and (fake) machine guns. Unlike the original movie cars, the continuation cars can’t be registered and driven on public roads, as Aston can’t certify a new car based on a 50-year-old design.
Source: MotorAuthority.com

Pristine 1963 Aston Martin DB5 shows up on Bring a Trailer

The Aston Martin DB5 has been made famous all over the world thanks to its starring role in multiple James Bond films.
Launched in 1963, just over 1,000 were built (both coupes and convertibles) over a roughly two-year run, and now you have the chance to own one that appears to be in a very fine condition. In fact, the car has traveled just 13,000 miles in its lifetime, according to a listing on Bring a Trailer where it’s current up for sale.
1963 Aston Martin DB5 bearing chassis no. 1348/R – Photo credit: Bring a Trailer
The car listed for sale, bearing chassis no. 1348/R, is a right-hand-drive example originally sold by Plough Motors to a E.P. Fearnley of Stroud, United Kingdom. A 1963 example, the car was one of the first 50 DB5s built, but the Silver Mink color you see here isn’t original. According to an original build sheet included with the sale, the car was first dressed in Dubonnet, a maroon finish used by Aston Martin.
Power comes from a numbers-matching 4.0-liter inline-6 that’s mated to a 5-speed manual transmission. The transmission, one of the first of the ZF 5-speeds to be fitted to a DB5, was last rebuilt in 2007, with the work handled by BPA Engineering in the U.K.
1963 Aston Martin DB5 bearing chassis no. 1348/R – Photo credit: Bring a Trailer
The DB5’s engine generates about 290 horsepower, which is enough to propel the car to a top speed of 145 mph.
The first owner kept it for four years after which it traded hands several more times in the U.K., before being bought by a customer in Canada in 2008. The car is currently with a dealer in McKinney, Texas, and has a clean Washington State title.
1963 Aston Martin DB5 bearing chassis no. 1348/R – Photo credit: Bring a Trailer
The current bid at the time of writing is $469,000 and there’s still 10 days to go in the sale.
Interestingly, Aston Martin is in the process of building 28 new DB5s, though each of these will be built to the same spec as the DB5 that appeared in 1964’s Goldfinger, right down to the assortment of spy gadgets.
Source: MotorAuthority.com

World’s first track-side AMG experience center opens in China

Mercedes-AMG is joining the likes of Aston Martin and Porsche by opening an experience center adjacent to a racetrack, meaning customers will be able to conveniently sample AMG products on the track, with experienced instructors there to guide them.
AMG opened the new experience center on Saturday. It is located at the Zhejiang International Circuit in Shaoxing, China, and is the first AMG experience center anywhere in the world. We can imagine more opening up, with locations in the United States and the Germany likely at the top of the list.
The center features a showroom on the ground floor, complete with a VR-based simulator. There’s also a cafe, lounge and accessories shop. Upstairs is the area dedicated to motorsports. Here, you’ll find more simulators, a slot car race track controlled via brainwaves, and AMG customer team-related services.
The real highlight of visiting the experience center is heading out on the racetrack with instructors from the AMG Driving Academy. On hand is a fleet of vehicles including the latest road cars and GT3- and GT4-spec race cars. Even if you aren’t an AMG customer, you can rent AMG vehicles from the center to use during track day events held at the Zhejiang International Circuit.
In addition to the new experience center, AMG has dedicated showrooms located around the globe, which the company refers to as performance centers. The first of these was also opened in China, back in 2012.
Source: MotorAuthority.com