A sun-baked Brands Hatch provided the perfect setting to celebrate the centenary of one of Britain’s most iconic car manufacturers.
Two special races were put on to commemorate the 100th year of Aston Martin, one of which represented the earlier period of the company’s glittering history. A rare DB4 Zagato took victory in a race dominated by cars from the 50s and 60s and was joined on the podium by new electric land speed record holder, Lord Drayson, who won a race earlier in the weekend.
Aston Martin Racing boss John Gaw almost saw victory in the 100-minute GT Centenary Race for the newer Aston Martins, with the win going to the GT Open car of Alvaro Barber Lopez and Massimiliano Wiser. The podium presentations for both special races were carried out by current Aston Martin Racing driver Bruno Senna, who also met fans and drove demonstration laps in his GTE car.
“It’s a great track,” said Senna. “One of the best tracks in England, that’s for sure. The Grand Prix circuit is amazing, especially the back part of the track. I did my first race in Europe here, so it’s good fun and I’m happy to be here for Aston Martin. It’s very relaxed to come here and I enjoy being with the fans, everybody has time to enjoy the sun, enjoy the racing and we can take some photos together, so it’s all really nice.”
Joining Senna’s GTE car for the demonstration laps were a priceless race-winning DB4 GT Zagato, Le Mans Group C NIMROD and AMR1 cars, a DB7GT works prototype and a pre-war Ulster.
“What doesn’t Aston Martin mean to me?” said celebrity chef, James Martin, who also took part in the weekend’s on-track action. “Everybody says Bond and stuff like that but what is great about this, is that you’ve got a mixture of the modern cars and the historic. You’ve got DB4s, DB5s roaming around here as well as the new stuff. Favourite car to me, really, is the DB5, probably the DB5 Vantage, just because it’s so iconic really. But I’ve just seen a beautiful Zagato DB4, that’s probably the ultimate really isn’t it? Some pretty special cars here.”
“The whole meeting has just been sensational,” concluded Aston Martin chairman, David Richards. “You’ve only just got to look around – there are smiling faces everywhere, great grids, and some very good and competitive but civilised racing as well!”