The history of the first 100 years of Aston Martin has certainly been a roller coaster of a ride, with some fantastic high points and achievements, yet several low points where it may have looked like a centenary of the marque may never even happen.
However, this weekend really showed off what Aston Martin is all about – a century of ‘power, beauty and soul’. Brands Hatch was bathed in glorious sunshine throughout the event and featured a massive array of Aston Martins from across the decades, with at least one of practically every model ever produced by the firm on display, many of which are now incredibly rare and can only be described as priceless.
Owners of Aston Martin’s, both old, new and everything in between, were key in making the event a success by displaying their pride and joy on the track or in the static displays. It seems there are few brands who can achieve such a cohesive feel with their customers, who don’t just buy a car from Aston Martin but also get an extended family as well.
The main event of the weekend was Sunday’s GT Centenary Race, a 100-minute contest for GT Racers around Brands Hatch’s famous 2.4 mile grand prix circuit. A grid of 38 cars qualified for the rolling-start race, with many of the drivers resorting to carrying buckets of ice in their cars to try and keep themselves cool in the heat of the lunchtime sun.
Before the race began, a moving one-minute silence was held to remember Allan Simonsen, who was tragically killed in his Aston Martin at the beginning of this year’s Le Mans 24-hour race just a couple of weeks earlier. The silence was ended by a rousing round of applause from the spectators, pit crews and drivers, plus all the vehicles on the grid displayed a sticker with a silhouette of a race helmet in memory of Allan.
Former Formula One racing driver Bruno Senna was also present on Sunday, happily signing autographs for a huge queue of fans before taking to the track at the wheel of one’s of Aston Martin’s race cars for a few display laps.
It’s been a century where a huge amount of change has taken place both at Aston Martin and in Britain in general, but having survived a couple of world wars and a few threats of bankruptcy the firm is now at the top of its game and stronger than ever before.
As long as Aston Martin can continue to excel both on the road and on the race track then the future looks bright for many more years to come.