Prodrive chairman David Richards has quipped that Aston Martin Racing's approach to taking on Le Mans behemoths Audi and Peugeot in the 2011 edition of the French round-the-clock classic is 'a bit like guerrilla warfare', reasoning that to get the better of sportscar racing's two modern giants, it is necessary to go at it 'differently'.
Last week, the legendary sportscar marque unveiled its brand new, open-cockpit AMR-One prototype, a car that has been designed from the ground up and will once more race in the iconic Gulf Oil colours. The LMP1 class machine will be powered by a two-litre turbocharged petrol engine that has been developed specifically for its bespoke carbon-fibre chassis.
Up to six cars will be produced in total for participation in the Intercontinental Le Mans Cup (ILMC), with two factory entries in the iconic Le Mans 24 Hours under the Prodrive banner. Whilst it will undeniably be a tall order to turn the tables on Peugeot and Audi in the race that is acknowledged to be the toughest in the world to win – and no other car has triumphed at La Sarthe since 2003 – Richards is quietly confident.
“I've got a great affection for Le Mans and obviously Aston Martin is very close to my heart, so to take Aston Martin to Le Mans to try and win it outright and to have a realistic opportunity of doing that is for me one of the most exciting things we could do,” the former World Rally Championship-winning co-driver and F1 team principal told Crash.net
, waxing lyrical about his new baby.
“Audi and Peugeot are strong, so you don't go and do it the same way they do it; there's always the idea that to beat someone with great strength, it's a bit like guerrilla warfare – you do it differently. They've got their diesel engines and they've got all the resources and the closed-coupé cars; our car is very different, the engine is quite special, the chassis has some very clever innovations in it and we are light, nimble and quick on our feet.
“Yes, it's a David and Goliath effort, I accept that, but we're up for that and we're used to that. Aston Martin has always punched above its weight, and that's why we enjoy such wonderful support from the British public who come and follow us to Le Mans every year.”
Scroll down the page for more images of the new Aston Martin Racing AMR-One.