No prototypes in Aston plans

Aston Martin Racing will contest the new-for-2012 FIA World Endurance Championship – but not with its AMR-One prototype.

The Aston factory squad has opted to mount an attack on the World Championship, which includes the Le Mans 24 Hours, with its V8 Vantage GTE contender next year. It has yet to officially announce its decision, but the Prodrive-run team has passed the news to its sponsors and racing customers, while also confirming that there will be no prototype campaign.

It is expected that AMR will run a pair of Vantages and that they will be liveried in the emotive colours of Gulf Oil. The driver line-up is likely to be largely unchanged and to include long-term Aston factory drivers Darren Turner and Stefan Mücke.

The circular confirms a demise for the AMR-One project that was clear once it became known that two tubs for the car had been sold to Delta Wing for its innovative Le Mans challenger.

• AMR technical director George Howard-Chappell, who masterminded Aston Martin’s sports car successes with the DBR9 GT1 car and the Lola-Aston Martin LMP1 coupé, is leaving the company. He said the failures of the AMR-One were not behind his decision, said to be due to reorganisation at AMR.