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  Aston Martin DBR9      

  Article Image gallery (383) Chassis (7) Specifications User Comments (2)  
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Country of origin:Great Britain
Produced from:2005 - 2008
Numbers built:18
Author:Wouter Melissen
Last updated:June 13, 2005
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Click here to download printer friendly versionLate in 2003, Aston Martin announced the company's long awaited and much anticipated return to international motorsport with a GT1 racer based on the DB9 road car. In partnership with Prodrive, the British manufacturer established Aston Martin Racing to design, build and race the new DBR9. The specialist company had just concluded a similar program with the Ferrari 550 Maranello that had yielded the coveted class victory at Le Mans that Aston Martin would be chasing.

To meet the homologation requirements, the bonded aluminium chassis, and the engine block and heads were carried over from the recently launched DB9 road car. Further torsional strength was added to the chassis by the elaborate roll-over structure. The suspension featured optimised geometry and consisted of double wishbones with adjustable Koni shock absorbers. The rolling chassis was clothed in a carbon-fibre composite body that featured wider wheel-arches, a sizeable front splitter and full width rear wing.

Mounted as far back as physically possible in the nose of the DBR9 was a thoroughly reworked DB9 V12 engine. The all-aluminium unit featured twin overhead camshafts, four valves per cylinder and dry-sump lubrication. Fitted with the mandatory 31.2mm restrictors, the howling V12 engine was good for a claimed 625bhp. This power was transferred to the rear wheels through a XTrac six-speed, sequential gearbox. This was mounted as part of the rear axle to improve the weight balance.

A year after the program was announced, in November of 2004, the DBR9 was first shown to the public. It was not only made available to the factory racing team as Aston Martin also offered the car to customers. In good Aston Martin tradition, the factory cars received single-digit chassis numbers whereas customer DBR9s were tagged with triple digit numbers. Following further test and development work, the DBR9 made its competition debut in March of 2005, at the Sebring 12 Hours.

At Sebring, the DBR9 scored a surprise debut class victory, beating the dominant Corvette Racing team. During the subsequent two seasons, the works team was successful in the American Le Mans Series, while the satellite Aston Martin Racing Larbre team won the GT1 championship in the Le Mans Endurance Series. It would eventually take until 2007 before the DBR9 finally won the crucial class win at Le Mans. Now liveried in Gulf colours, that feat was repeated again in 2008.

Aston Martin Racing stepped up to the LMP1 class in 2009, using a Lola-built prototype, powered by the glorious V12 engine used in the DBR9. Customers continued to race the DBR9 through to 2011.

With class victories at Sebring and Le Mans, the DBR9 was successful in its own right. It also formed the foundation on which the prolific and successful Aston Martin Racing program was built.

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  Article Image gallery (383) Chassis (7) Specifications User Comments (2)