What It's Like to Drive an Aston Martin Vantage GTE Le Mans Race Car

The trickiest thing about a modern race car isn't the power or the grip—it's the brakes.

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The Aston Martin Vantage GTE might look like the road car it's based on, but it's quite a lot different. For starters, the Vantage race car's V8 is pushed back towards the center of its the chassis, it uses a sequential gearbox, and it offers a whole lot more mechanical and aero grip than the street car. The GTE also doesn't have ABS, but it does have a super trick traction control system that more makes up for it.

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The GTE's traction control and high grip make the car fairly simple to drive, but getting used to its incredible braking performance is a challenge. Motor Sport's Dickie Meaden got an opportunity behind the wheel of a 2016 Vantage GTE, and found himself slowing down far too soon before corners.

If you're used to road car brakes, it's hard to retrain yourself to get on the pedal hard just before you need to turn in. The Vantage GTE requires a mix of brute force and precision to get your braking right.

Meaden does say that the Vantage GTE is communicative though, and he clearly gets more comfortable with it with practice. We're just jealous he got to drive it at all.

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