1989 Aston Martin AMR-1
Images copyright Alan Lis, Dirk de Jager, and  Michael J. Fuller
Text copyright Michael J. Fuller

Aston Martin AMR-1The Aston-Martin AMR-1 raced during the heyday of Group C racing, introduced during the 1989 World Championship season.  The AMR1's best finish in it's inaugural season was a fourth place at Brands Hatch.  The team placed sixth in the Team's Championship, this having skipped the first two rounds, behind Team Sauber Mercedes, Joest Racing, Brun Motorsport, and the Silk Cut Jaguars of TWR.

By any measure Aston's 1989 season was a success.  The car showed early on reliability, intermingled with the expected season-one issues, and ended up finishing 6th in the World Championship.  And while it lacked somewhat in speed, it was felt to have good downforce and balance and that most of the performance issues resolved to a car with perhaps slightly too much drag.  Engine power was good and fuel economy didn't seem a problem (though that's somewhat at odds with the perceived drag issue).  Regardless, the follow on for 1990 Aston Martin AMR-2 would address that issue.

However, soon after the end of the 1989 season the program was canceled, though that more to do with internal Aston-Ford politics than any perceived performance deficit.  The reality was that with Ford's 1990 acquisition of Jaguar, the Aston racing effort suddenly found itself without 3.5 liter engines (Ford) for 1991.  And we all know where those engines ended up.  So without the promised engines for 1991, and thus facing the sudden budget increases necessary to develop bespoke engines for the upcoming 3.5 liter series (not to mention sibling brands competing against one another), the decision was simply made to cut their losses and thus the AMR-2 development was stopped, and Tony Southgate, newly joined to begin development of the AMR-3 for 1991, headed to Toyota almost as soon as he had signed up to Aston.
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1989 Aston Martin AMR-1 Specifications
Designer: Designer:  Max Boxstrom
Technical Director:  Ray Mallock
Layout: Mid-engine, rear-wheel drive
Monocoque: Carbon fiber and aluminum honeycomb monocoque
Engine: Callaway designed and built Aston Martin normally aspirated 6.0 liter (6.3 liter at Mexico), 90░ V8, DOHC w/4 valves per cylinder
Engine management:Zytek
Horsepower: 650+ hp
Gearbox: Bespoke Max Boxstrom designed magnesium gearcase, 5-speed manual, with Hewland and bespoke internals, laid out longitudinally but w/gearcluster ahead of rear wheel centerline.  Entire drivetrain, engine and gearbox, angled 3░ degrees to provide clearance for the underfloor.
Steering: Rack and pinion
Suspension: Front:  Upper and lower A-arms, upright mounted spring/damper
Rear: Upper and lower A-arms, pushrod operated spring/damper
Brakes: Steel and carbon brake discs (circuit dependant)
Tires: Goodyear
Length: 4775 mm 
Width: 1987 mm
Height: 1016 mm
Wheelbase: 2896 mm 
Track Front:1600 mm
Track Rear:1524 mm
Weights: 956 kgs (Le Mans average 1989), though just over 900 kgs (906 and 912 at Nurburgring for example, 904 kgs at Mexico) was achieved later in 1989 season.
Tank capacity: 120 liters
ęCopyright 2010, Michael J. Fuller