It’s the news Corvette Racing fans been waiting to hear. An Aston Martin DBR9 will be launching an American LeMans Series GT1 effort in 2008. The team will be funded by Jim Bell and will race under the Bell Motorsports banner. Jim is a 30 year veteran of sports car racing and an engineer by trade. He will be joined by new partner Michael Fux. Bell has played an integral part of various teams raging from prototype to most recently the Team Transport Porsche 911 GT3 car in last yearâ€™s ALMS season. His last GT1 experience came back in 2005 with ACEMCO Motorsports Saleen S7R.
Bell Motorsports’ Aston Martin DBR9 turned up the fourth annual Winter Test at Sebring on Monday wearing the trademark British Green exterior with neon green lipstick and red wheels. The car is listed as #08 and features a GT1 class designation on her sides. According to those who watched the Aston during Monday’s testing sessions, the team is displaying some caution as they warm to the feeling of the car and the track. This particular DBR9 was built in 2005 and sold to a private collector but has never officially raced.
The #08 Aston Martin DBR9 will be going up against the two C6.R’s fielded by Corvette Racing in the GT1 class on March 15th at the 56th annual Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring, the first of twelve ALMS races. Corvette Racing finished 1-2 at Sebring last year despite competition from another Aston Martin DBR9 fielded by Team Modena.
“Aston Martin always has made a premium race car and automobile,” said Bell, team principal, “and there is no better place to showcase a premium brand than in the American Le Mans Series. Having been involved with the Series since its inception, I know it will be an extraordinary challenge but itâ€™s one we all relish and look forward to. We enjoyed competing in the American Le Mans Series with the ACEMCO Saleen S7R against Corvette Racing in 2005 and at Le Mans in 2006. I think we have developed a mutual, competitive respect for one another, and having the chance to rekindle that in 2008 makes me proud and eager with anticipation.”
Competition breeds success and this announcement puts Corvette Racing on notice that if they wish to win their eighth consecutive championship, they’ll have to beat a top notch team with a proven winning ride, the Aston Martin DBR9. And something tells me Corvette Racing’s Manager Doug Fehan couldn’t be happier right now.