Aston Martin Vantage GTE #98 – Spark

Vantage GTE
2014 Aston Martin Vantage GTE #98 
Pilots: P. Dalla Lana, P. Lamy, C. Nygaard 
Team: Aston Martin Racing  
Race: 26th overall (6th in LMGTE-Am) at Le Mans in 2014 
Spark - S4239 (resin) 

Published 09/15/18

Based on the Vantage road car, in 2008 Aston Martin created the Vantage GT2. This was the racing variant designed to meet FIA and ACO GT2 class regulations. However, the GT2 car only had moderate success. In 2012 FIA created the World Endurance Championship, where a new GTE class substituted the GT2 class. So new regulations and with the disastrous results with their 2011 LMP1 car, consequently Aston needed a new GTE car. So the Vantage GTE, released in 2012, came as the successor to the GT2.

Vantage GTE
Gulf livery – you just can’t go wrong with that!

Hence, the GTE was an evolution to the previous car but with significant improvements to the engine, drive train and suspension. The engine was basically the AJ37 from the road car, but tuned for racing. It was a 4475 cm³ 90º all-aluminum V8 with 32 valves that delivered over 450 hp. Shifting duty was the responsibility of a XTrac 6 speed transaxle sequential gearbox. The chassis was a lightweight bonded aluminum space frame covered by a carbon fiber body. Of very light construction, it was even lighter than what the GT2 had.

Vantage GTE
Decals for the missing livery? That’s why Spark is one of the best model brands.

The Vantage GTE debuted at La Sarthe in 2012, and for the 2014 edition of the 24 Heures du Mans Aston Martin Racing had four Vantages in the race. Two of them were in the GTE-Pro class and two in the GTE-Am class. Interestingly the amateur class cars did better than their professional siblings. This is the #98 car that came in 6th in class and 26th overall with 326 laps. Not great but not bad for amateurs, right?

Vantage GTE
How can somebody say that is NOT a cool car?

I already had a VERY nice modern Aston. But this one is down-right gorgeous. Spark did a spanking job on it, and the livery is just b-e-a-u-t-i-f-u-l. But when I removed it from the box, I found that small decal sheet.  It looks like for some (stupid) legal reason Spark can’t supply the car with the pilots’ names . But to prove that they’re one of the best in 1:43, Spark supplies the decals. And in two minutes I had the car with its livery complete. Definitively a true gem of a model. But what makes this really shine was that it was a gift from He Who Will be My Ruin, the Baron of Northumberland. Thanks Gary!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *