Aston Martin has begun testing its AMR-One LMP1 open-top prototype, which is set to make its competition debut at Paul Ricard next month.
The car was given a shakedown run at Prodrive's own Warwick facility last weekend before completing around 25 laps at Snetterton during the week. Darren Turner, who shared driving duties with his teammate and co-driver Stefan Mucke, told AUTOSPORT that he had been encouraged by the car's early performance.
"I'm very happy with the chassis, all the fundamentals you would be looking for were very good," he said. "It's far too early to say how good the car is, of course, and the change in regulations in terms of leveling the performance in the class, and the fact that our car is so new, means that is impossible to predict."
Turner added that the car's new two-liter turbocharged straight-six engine ran well but that obviously it needed further development before he could really judge its potential.
"It's a brand-new engine straight off the dyno," he said. "Well, actually straight off the drawing board, then into the dyno and then on track. But the best way to test an engine is to put it on track. So even with the small amount of running we have done, that has given the engineers a huge amount of information that can be applied to the motor before it is tested again in the next couple of weeks.
"The signs so far, though are really good. As I say, it's always going to be really hard to know where we are compared to the competition. But it feels and behaves like a proper racing car should and that is always a good first impression."
One of the AMR-Ones is expected to compete in the opening round of the Le Mans Series at Ricard on April 3, with Turner, Mucke and Harold Primat driving.