Aston-Martin AMR-1 raced during the heyday of Group C racing,
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
Team's Championship, this having skipped the first two rounds, behind Team Sauber Mercedes, Joest Racing, Brun
and the Silk Cut Jaguars of TWR.
by any measure Aston's 1989 season was a success. Consistent
finishes is how they ended up 6th in the World Championship. So
the car showed early on reliability, intermingled with expected season-one issues. 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
though that more to do with internal Aston-Ford politics
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.
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.