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Aston Martin GT4 Challenge – Race 1 – Silverstone - Saturday April 30th 2011
The first race of the season and only 3 seconds covered the entire field in qualifying.
The Aston Martin GT4 Challenge is surely the definitive ‘Gentleman’s’ race series. Many of the participants are extremely successful businessmen working towards a competitive drive at Le Mans.
Competitive being the important word, as an AM insider said, ‘The only problem we have is, All these guys want to win!’.
One well-heeled driver, over 50 and only entering his third season, revealed his team already has a DBR9 - he finished on the podium. These competitor’s racing heroes are Paul Newman and Mario Andretti and they are not here to wear the overalls.
On the same afternoon all the Aston GT4s were posting similar times to the fastest Ferrari 458 Challenge cars – and the Aston’s are running basic road car engines that last up to two seasons of endurance racing. With super support from Aston Martin Racing and Prodrive, a level field and the most professional preparation, this formula provides an experience that cannot be matched by the simple purchase of a ‘supercar’ (though we understand that a number of the drivers are also One-77 owners).
Christian Horner (Team Boss of current F1 Champions Red Bull) hadn’t raced since leaving F3000 in 1998 but took his ‘wings’ to share a car with David Richards (AMR & Prodrive Boss). He led the race for some time after qualifying third. Apparently Rowan Atkinson was due to drive also, but his invitation to the previous day’s Event meant he was not available to qualify. The girl in the straw hat driving through the paddock in an Aston Martin DB6 Volante was a nice touch.
QuickSilver are one of the series sponsors and were delighted to attend, enjoy the warm sunshine at Silverstone and the very pleasant hospitality of Aston Martin Racing.
Ninety Minutes of close racing with a compulsory driver change meant that it was always exciting. After the chequered flag the winners and their teams enjoyed the right celebration thanks to sponsor Taittinger’s Champagne.
With the additional presence of a large number of AMOC members and their families and picnics, the atmosphere and company were more Ascot than the usual racing circuit.
We look forward to the next race on May 28th.