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*Please note that this car was imported into the US under the Racing Vehicle Exclusion. For further details, please inquire with a specialist.
The Bell Motorsports
Homologated in 2005 for LM GT1 competition, Aston Martin sought to re-enter endurance motorsport with the DBR9, a DB9 chassis with a hyper-aggressive appeal. The stunning, frontengine GT was an immediate contender by way of its six-litre, four-cam, V-12 engine producing 600 hp. The DBR9 flaunted spoilers, ground-effects, louvers, and huge flares in a seductive way only Aston Martin would be capable of. Since its debut at the 2005 Twelve Hours of Sebring, the DBR9 has become a particular fan favorite. The attention was not underserved however; and in its first competitive outing, the DBR9 won its class, beating out its rival Corvette.
Although the DBR9 was not always victorious, the presence of Aston Martin brought an even greater competitive atmosphere to the GT1 category. In 2007, the DBR9 won its class at the 24 Hours of Le Mans sporting 007 and 009 race numbers evoking the marque’s James Bond heritage. The result was repeated in 2007 wearing the legendary livery of Gulf sponsorship.
In addition to the factory Prodrive, Larbre Competition, and BMS Scuderia Italia campaigning, private teams were afforded similarly competitive racing with the use of the DBR9. One such private team was the noted Bell Motorsports who purchased DBR9/05 to campaign in the 2008 American Le Mans Series. Upon delivery, the car was prepped and the Bell team familiarized themselves with the new piece of equipment. The car was given a fitting livery of metallic dark green and race number “008.” The DBR9 was set to launch at the Twelve Hours of Sebring and in the hands of Terry Borcheller, Chapman Ducote, and Antonio Garcia DBR9/05 tested well, qualifying just behind the formidable Corvette C6R. The Aston Martin finished 16th overall and 3rd in class with the two team Corvettes in front.
April brought the Grand Prix of St. Petersburg where an unfortunate accident ended the team’s race early. Regardless, Bell got the DBR9 back in order for testing at the Homestead Miami Speedway on July 2nd. The team was set to return to competition at Lime Rock with DBR9/05 in its new Bell livery of silver and blue. At the Northeast Grand Prix the team, through no fault of their own, had yet another incident and failed to complete the race. The minor damage was easily remedied, however, and sights were set to the Generac 500 at Road America – Elkhart Lake.
At the historic venue, DBR9/05 was again matched up against the factory Corvettes although the Porsche RSRs were running well in practice. Borcheller and Ducote battled the field, splitting the Corvettes and finishing 2nd in Class and 17th overall, just 7 laps off the race-winning Audi R10s. The successful result was much needed for the team and they carried the energy into the Grand Prix of Mosport where they achieved 3rd in Class and 14th overall. The Detroit Grand Prix came last on the calendar and yet another 3rd in GT1, finishing 18th overall.
Bell Motorsport and DBR9/05 had a trying yet successful season, which brought the highly professional, champion Corvette factory cars serious competition. At the season’s close, the team achieved 2008 IMSA Cup Champion GT1, 2008 American Le Mans Series LMGT1 Team Championship 2nd Place, 2008 American Le Mans Series GT1 Driver’s Championship 3rd Place, and a culminating Official Entry in GT1 at the 2009 24 Hours of Le Mans. Furthermore, the team accrued no mechanical DNFs and no penalties.
To commemorate the season, DBR9/05 was restored to Aston Martin Racing livery and joined the private collection of the car’s owner. The Aston Martin remains today just as it was upon entering the collection and has not been tracked or run since. This is a successful example of just 16 such DBR9s produced and a true modern collectible. Given the overall success of the DBR9, their legendary associations and the additional collectability of the marque, this is sure to be a highly sought-after competition car well into the future.