Aston Martin to Stay Out of Le Mans Series in 2010

The 2010 Le Mans Series may begin and end without one of its most important players, namely the Aston Martin works team. The winner of the 2009 Le Mans Series are yet to announce their plans for the upcoming season, but the online edition of British magazine Autosport revealed that David Richards' team plans to sit out the entire 2010 year in order to develop their 2011 challenger.

In late September, Richards announced that his company will focus on developing their first prototype since 1989, aimed at challenging for the win in the famous 24 Hours of Le Mans in 2011. He then admitted that work on that project has already begun, with the team to further revise the Lola coupe used during the course of this year.

It now seems probable that the team will risk their entire 2010 season and therefore take a sabbatical from Le Mans racing in order to develop a race-winning machinery for the 2011 season. Aston Martin's desire to develop a new prototype for that season was a consequence of the changed engine rules for the 2011 Le Mans Series.

However, while AMR is yet to announce its plans for the new season, a customer team has already announced its presence in the Le Mans Series using Aston Martin power plants. It's French team Signature-Plus, who confirmed at least one car in both the 2010 Le Mans Series and the 2010 24 Hours of Le Mans.

This is definitely the highlight of my career so far. To continue with Signature is fantastic, but to have the opportunity to race with Aston Martin is truly wonderful. I am so proud to have been offered this chance and I will do all I can to repay the faith that the team has placed in me,” said Pierre Ragues, who will be joined by Franck Mailleux in the Signature lineup next season.

Both drivers used to drive for Signature in 2009, when the team used a Courage-ORECA Judd in the Le Mans event.
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