Once more unto the breech!
In what promises to be yet another golden year in sportscar racing, Aston Martin’s return to the track is as exciting a prospect as Jaguar’s defence of the championship against the Sauber Mercedes team. The decision to come back, however, has not been taken with starry eyes dreaming of instant glory, for although chief executive Victor Gauntlett is friendly and approachable, he is nobody’s fool and fully appreciates the task AML has set itself.
Rather than run the cars from the factory at Newport Pagnell, the minority shareholders in Aston Martin, Gauntlett and the Livanos family, have set up Protein Technology in Milton Keynes specifically charged with racing the Group C cars.
“There was never any thought of doing it in-house, for Aston can’t have the diversions,” says Gauntlett. “We have too many tasks to get on with as it is, so running the team was always going to be undertaken by a separate entity.
“Our short term plans are very much to get the car and the team shaken down. I see 1990 as our real window of opportunity and if we get ourselves well sorted this year, and I think that both the cars and the team (of 30) have promise, then we have a real opportunity to show well next year.”
Gauntlett does not underrate the opposition however.”There is an enormous amount of competition out there, together with an enormous amount of professionalism linked with the good fortune that is required to win, but I believe that we will be seen to be a team that can compete and will be respected as such.”
Sponsorship is coming from Proteus Petroleum, the oil company formed by Gauntlett and the Livanoses and launched in May. “As the team is operated by Proteus Technology the cars will run with the appropriate logos which happen to share the same design as Proteus Petroleum. “The Aston name, which has been enhanced considerably over the last few years, will be further enhanced in readiness for a greater volume of road cars to sell. It could not be happening at a better time”. WPK