Fresh from his double British Touring Car Championship podium at Thruxton last weekend, Tom Onslow-Cole joined Aston Martin Racing at its test session at Snetterton yesterday where he drove the V12 Vantage GT3 for the first time.
The Aston Martin Racing works team was at Norfolk circuit preparing its five Vantage GTEs for the third round of the FIA World Endurance Championship, the 24 Hours of Le Mans. Alongside them, customer teams such as Beechdean AMR were there taking advantage of the full factory support and works drivers including British GT ace, Darren Turner.
Tom was invited to the test session by Aston Martin Racing Team Principal John Gaw following a meeting earlier this year and the 27-year old didn’t fail to meet the team’s high expectations, despite it being his first outing in a GT car.
John Gaw said: “I was impressed when I first met Tom with his attitude and approach and his clear understanding of how the commercial side of motorsport works. He has also impressed recently on the track and did so again at the test yesterday. We look forward to seeing him in a GT car soon.”
Onslow-Cole said: “Considering I only did a handful of laps, the Vantage GT3 was incredibly easy to drive. There is so much grip and you get plenty of information back as a driver. It’s incredibly satisfying. Thanks to Aston Martin Racing for the fantastic opportunity.”
The V12 Vantage GT3 was launched at the end of 2011 following an extensive design and development programme. The success of this was proven when the car scored its first race win within weeks of the 2012 season starting. It has since gone on to win numerous international championships and races around the world.
The Vantage GT3 has a modified version of Aston Martin’s production 6.0-litre V12 engine. The dry-sumped engine is capable of producing in excess of 600 bhp with 700 Nm of torque, but is restricted by race regulations to approximately 550 bhp.
Whether Tom will drive for Aston Martin Racing or one of its customer teams in the future is yet to be determined.
All images (c) Richard Leach / AMR