2006 Aston Martin DBR9 GT1

RMD

Born of the burgeoning production-based GT category in Europe and America, and marking Aston Martin’s first return to international racing since 1989 with the Group C AMR1, the DBR9 took a remarkable victory on its 2005 race debut in the arduous Sebring 12 Hours.

Upsetting the favored and tried-and-tested Chevrolet applecart by beating the new Corvette C6.Rs, the striking British machine finished fourth overall and first in the GT1 class, and topped it all by setting fastest lap. The Chevrolets took 2nd and 3rd. It was a remarkable result given that Aston Martin Racing was merely hoping for its DBR9s just to finish the grueling event in what was a test and development year; one in which a privateer DBR9 would  also go on to win GT1 in the Nürburgring 1000KM and take overall victory in the FIA GT Championship round at Bahrain.

Initial  development of the DBR9 had only begun late in mid-2004. Based on the DB9 road car, and publicly unveiled in November the same year, it was the result of what has remained an enduring partnership between Aston Martin and Banbury, England-based Prodrive, the renowned race/rally preparation specialist founded and owned by ex-World  Rally Championship-winning navigator David Richards, with AMR wholly owned by Prodrive and solely responsible for design, development, and management of the racing program. The DB9’s extruded aluminum/composite chassis was modified to incorporate a Prodrive-designed rear sub-frame and a high-strength multi-tubular frame/roll cage, over which the body panels, all formed in carbon fiber composite, bar an aluminum roof, were fitted, with the rear and side windows formed in polycarbonate; aerodynamic modifications included an additional air intake and front spoiler/splitter at the front, a flat floor and a high wing and diffuser at the rear. The suspension, comprising double wishbones/coil springs all round, was suitably stiffened and lowered with braking courtesy of all-round 13-inch ventilated, carbon/ceramic Brembo discs/six-pot calipers behind  18-inch OZ forged magnesium wheels, 12.5 inches wide at the front and 13 inches at the rear. Complete with a 625-bhp/550 lb.ft version of the DB9’s 5,935-cc quad-camshaft V-12 all-alloy engine which was mated to a six-speed, sequential Xtrac transaxle, the overall weight of the car was 1,100 kg/2,425 Ibs. (the minimum allowed  in GT1) and a whopping 610 kg/1,344 lb. reduction against the street DB9’s 1,710 kg/3,769 Ibs.

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