2006 Aston Martin DBR9/105 – ex-Jetalliance Racing
This JetAlliance Racing DBR9 propelled Karl Wendlinger and Ryan Sharp to three victories in the 2008 FIA GT season – she was fully restored after leaving front line competition and is presented in outstanding condition with a fresh engine build by Prodrive.
Built by Prodrive/Aston Martin Racing as the competition variant of the roadgoing DB9, the DBR9 famously achieved GT1 class victories for Aston Martin at the 2007 and 2008 Le Mans 24. DBR9/105 was one of a pair purchased in 2006 for the Austrian privateer team established by Lukas Lichtner-Hoyer, the former CEO of Jetalliance airlines and one of the team’s drivers. With GT racing rekindling the aura of its greatest days, the pair of DBR9s were campaigned for three seasons of the FIA GT championship, both proving to be highly competitive race-winning entries.
First competing under the Race Alliance name with Red Bull sponsorship, on her 2006 debut in the Silverstone Tourist Trophy, an incident with Frank Diefenbacher on the green flag lap also involving the team’s sister car saw 105 retire and the German depart the team. Too late to find another co-driver, DBR9/105 sat out the rest of the season, but the ambitious team gained plenty experience and a win at Mugello for DBR9/103 pointed the way ahead.
A very active 2007 FIA GT season followed for DBR9/105, attending eight of ten rounds and achieving five top ten finishes, at Monza, Adria, Brno, Nogaro and Zolder. The Red Bull contract was not renewed and the DBR9s appeared in Jet Alliance livery, with Lichtner-Hoyer choosing to reactivate the second car and drive himself, paired with Robert Lechner. “I said … for this performance, I can sit in the car myself. The costs I had to carry anyway. So why not drive myself?” Scotsman Ryan Sharp was hired as number two to Austrian Karl Wendlinger, and the pro pairing finished second in that year’s driver’s championship on 103.
Among noteworthy ahievements of 2007, DBR9/105 had light modifications to ACO rules then competed at the Spa 1,000 km in the European Le Mans series achieving a fine 5th in class with Lichtner-Hoyer, Wendlinger and Thomas Gruber. She also led at Nogaro for the first ten laps before a minor encounter with a Vitaphone Maserati put the car back – Lechner had matched the pole position qualifying time, starting second just because he qualified later in the day. “You don’t get much closer to getting pole position … without getting it!”
With Austrian Karl Wendlinger and Scot Ryan Sharp swapping in for 2008, the true potential of DBR9/105 was unleashed. With an outstanding three wins and three pole positions across the first seven races of the season at Silverstone’s Tourist Trophy, Oschersleben (where the team finished 1-2) and Brno, she was a contender for the driver’s title. With a 3rd at Zolder a further podium was secured, and while the title proved elusive – the team’s DBR9/105 and /103 finished a very respectable 6th and 7th in the points.
Team founder Lichtner-Hoyer commented: “We could have won the championship easily with Karl. Karl had almost always P1 in qualifying. Either we won or we didn’t finish. When we didn’t finish it was never because of the team.”
After her time in front-line competition, DBR9/105 was acquired by one of the team drivers in time-honoured tradition and in 2011 fully restored to as-delivered 2006 factory specification. She participated in the 2012 Aston Martin Festival run as a support race for the Le Mans 24, coming second overall after starting at the back of the grid due to a qualifying hiccup.
As restored DBR9/105 has led a cosseted life and is presented in outstanding condition. Benefitting from an engine rebuild by Prodrive in 2022, her routine has involved periodic careful exercise on track. Her fastidious owner is an author of the standard reference work on the DBR9, and she is accompanied by a comprehensive and well-produced book detailing her complete history.
Offered from the collection of a period team member, DBR9/115 is eligible for the Masters Endurance Legends series and other outstanding events. She could be a highly competitive entry for historic GT1 racing, or a welcome addition to any highly selective collection of competition cars.