Aston Martin Racing and the Hotel de France reunited after more than 50 years yesterday to relive some of the most iconic memories from the luxury sportscar manufacturer’s history at the world-famous 24 Hours of Le Mans.
In the 1950s and 1960s, Aston Martin’s racing team used the Hotel de France as its base for the 24-hour race. This year, it returned with three of its 2015 V8 Vantage GTEs and works drivers Darren Turner (GB), Richie Stanaway (NZ) and Mathias Lauda (AT) to recreate the photos and footage that captured some of the greatest moments in the brand’s 102-year history.
David Richards, Chairman of Aston Martin Racing, said: “The Hotel de France is an important part of Aston Martin’s motorsport heritage, having been the team’s Le Mans base for many years in the late 1950s, including 1959 when the team won the 24-hour race. This year, we wanted to recreate the nostalgia of those days, when the racing cars had their final preparations alongside the hotel before being driven some 40km to the circuit along public roads.”
The Hotel de France’s association with motorsport and the Le Mans 24-hour race started when John Wyer, Aston Martin’s then team manager, discovered it in 1952 and then based his teams there.
Every year, hundreds of local people and motorsport enthusiasts would gather in the small French town to catch a glimpse of the cars and, in 1959, the hotel saw its first victory party, when the Aston Martin DBR1, driven by Carroll Shelby and Roy Salvadori, won the race for Wyer’s Aston Martin team.
Martin Overington, owner of the hotel, which he purchased and refurbished last year, said: “This is one of the biggest events that has ever taken place at the hotel. It is literally history repeating itself and we are delighted to be welcoming the racing cars, their drivers and of course David Richards, the Chairman of Aston Martin Racing.
Aston Martin Racing will return Le Mans’ Circuit de la Sarthe to contest this year’s 24-hour race with its five V8 Vantage GTEs on 13/14 June. Join the team on social media using #teamAMR.
Note: Press release courtesy Aston Martin Cars.