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Busy In Banbury

After a business meeting at AMR this afternoon there was just time for a quick lap around the Race Shop, and what a surprise – In the year since I was last there there have been big changes, the GT4 and GT3 build shop is now in the space once occupied by the engine shop and the whole shop was packed with new machinery.

No fewer than 6 cars were in build, all of them with some significance, plus there was a very significant car sitting at one end of the shop, the factory GT3 V12 Vantage that should right now be in the Nurburgring pitlane was sitting looking as pretty as every Vantage always does, with an added dose of Bilstein blue and yellow gorgeousness after the first race of the VLN was cancelled due to a very snowy course.

Alongside was the latest Vantage GT4, nearing completion ahead of delivery for a customer bound for the Aston GT4 Challenge – A second GT4 car is the first AMR  bound for Thailand.

Between the two GT4 Vantages was a second V12 engined car, but this was no ordinary GT3 Vantage, the clue was in the rather different side protection aspect of the rollcage, this is the very first Grand-Am spec GT car with several other detail differences to be confirmed at a later date – We’ll be bringing an in-depth look at the new car in due course.

Across on the other side of the race shop is factory team territory – and there were no fewer than four Vantage GTEs in evidence this afternoon. 

The #96 car closest to the camera here is the ex Gulf Racing Middle East car, now liveried as a current factory show car, displayed last weekend at Paul Dunk’s excellent Stratstone Aston martin Sebring UK event and due to be on parade tomorrow in central London for a pre-Silverstone photocall.

Alongside Roald Goethe’s previous Vantage, and nearing completion, is its replacement, bound for a full season of FIA WEC racing with the car owner joined by Stuart Hall and Jamie Campbell Walter.

The remaining two cars in build are both being constructed to full 2013 GTE Pro spec and will form part of AMR’s huge 5 car attack at Le Mans this year. 

So six cars in build, eight cars in the shop and the remaining two factory GTE cars en route from Sebring, all of that plus a significant car due to be built any time soon – But more of that too in due course!