The GT4 racing category was created following the introduction of the FIA GT3 European Championship, in which the FIA intended to introduce a more low-cost and equalized form of racing competition. With the success of the GT3 category, the FIA wanted to follow the similar formula which would allow amateur competitors to compete in the professional circuit.
And so the GT4 class was realized, complimenting the successful GT3 class. GT4 class cars are factory-built race cars based on production models and followed a set of controlled regulations so that all manufacturers have near identical performance levels. The low-cost of racing GT4 appealed to both teams and drivers, and the equalized playing field allowed driving skill to become key. Since then, many national series have adopted the GT4 regulations to help increase the growth of motorsport.
Mike Racing is one of the local teams to have embraced GT4 class cars and seized the opportunity to grow their portfolio by adding an Aston Martin Vantage GT4 to their fleet of race cars. The Vantage GT4 is the successor to the Vantage N24 which was developed to compete in the Nürburgring 24 Hours (N24) endurance race.
One of the main upgrades of the Vantage GT4 is the increase of engine displacement from a 4.3-liter V8 to a 4.7-liter V8, combined with a special engine management system calibrated for race use. Along with the standard V8 dry sump lubrication system, the 4.7-liter V8 also boasts a custom exhaust system for Mike Racing. Although Aston Martin hasn’t revealed any power figures, it is safe to say that the upgraded engine software and airflow gives the engine a few extra ponies than the standard Vantage road car’s 420hp and a more responsive rev range.
Mike Racing uses a Nitron 3-way suspension kit which has been specially developed for the Vantage GT4. This race suspension features 3-way independent damping, a remote reservoir for quick, simple and independent control of compression and rebound damping, and data-logging capabilities. The brakes consist of Brembo monoblock brake calipers with front & rear slotted floating disc, which sits underneath the OZ Racing wheels on Michelin race tyres.
Following FIA’s regulations the Vantage GT4 is equipped with a host of essential racing gear, the most important being the FIA approved full rollcage in 15CDV6 high-strength steel. Among the assortment of ducts, panels and switches you will find a single Recaro competition seat for the driver and the necessary OMP Racing safety harness. Weight reduction has been applied to the facia and trimmed in Alcantara which helps to reduce glare when racing. A quick-release bonnet and tailgate allows easily access for the team crew to work on the car.
Further weight reduction is achieved with lightweight door casings and polycarbonate side and rear windows. This gives the Vantage GT4 a weight of 1,350kg, which is a good 200kg lighter over the standard road-going Vantage. If you would like to see Mike Racing’s Aston Martin Vantage GT4 in full action you can find them participating in race events such as the Malaysia Merdeka Endurance Race (MMER).
Car: Aston Martin Vantage GT4
Engine: Aston Martin Racing 4.7-liter V8, dry sump, custom exhaust system
Transmission: Xtrac six speed sequential transmission
Electronics: Aston Martin Racing
Chassis & Handling: Nitron 3-way suspension, FIA approved full rollcage in 15CDV6 high-strength steel
Brakes: Brembo monoblock brake calipers, Brembo front & rear slotted floating disc
Wheels & Tyres: OZ Racing wheels on Michelin race tyres
Interior: Recaro competition seat embroidered with Aston Martin Racing logo, OMP Racing safety harness, weight-reduced facia trimmed in Alcantara, quick-release steering wheel, lightweight door casings
Exterior: Quick-release bonnet and tailgate, polycarbonate side and rear windows
Garage: Mike Racing
Words: Sean Eu
Photos: Kenny Yeoh