Open-top Aston awaits green light

Aston Martin Racing is planning to build six new open-top LMP1 prototypes over the next two years.

AMR is aiming to replace its existing Lola-based coupe with a car designed in-house at the Prodrive-run group. The sale of cars - two factory and four customer - at more than £1 million is key to funding the project.

AMR has not confirmed its plans, but Aston chairman and Prodrive boss David Richards claimed he was waiting only for the ACO to state that petrol-powered cars will not be "hindered in any way" before pressing ahead.

The British Jota Sport team has already said it will race an Aston Vantage GT2 in next years Le Mans Series and "potentially graduate" to the top division in 2012 "subject to AMR's decision on its LMP1 strategy".

A new 3.4-litre petrol V8 will replace the DB9-based V12 used in the coupe.