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.

Really 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 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.
Click on each image below...

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 6.0 liter, 90░, normally aspirated, V8 engine 
Engine management:Zytec
Horsepower: 650+ hp
Gearbox: Bespoke Aston Martin gearcase, 5-speed manual, with Hewland and bespoke internals laid out longitudinally but ahead of rear wheel centerline
Steering: Electronically controlled power steering (rack and pinion)
Suspension: Front:  Upper and lower A-arms, direct acting spring/damper
Rear: Upper and lower A-arms, direct acting spring/damper
Brakes: Carbon brake discs
Tires: Goodyear
Length: 4790 mm 
Width: 1990 mm
Height: 1016 mm
Wheelbase: 2880 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 acheived later in 1989 season.
Tank capacity: 120 liters
ęCopyright 2010, Michael J. Fuller