Aston Martin Racing ready to take on Silverstone

Aston Martin Racing ready to take on Silverstone

Aston Martin Racing’s new FIA World Endurance Championship challenger – the Vantage GTE – will make its first competitive appearance on home ground in the 6 Hours of Silverstone this weekend.

Indeed it will be a weekend of firsts for the team, as Alex Lynn (GB) makes his British debut as an Aston Martin Racing driver, while he and team-mate Maxime Martin (BEL) will begin their stint as a standalone pairing in the #97 Aston Martin Vantage for the next three races.

“I’m extremely excited to be racing at Silverstone this weekend,” said Lynn. “Being a British driver, and being part of the factory Aston Martin team gives me a lot of pride. Obviously I’m seriously motivated to get a good result so I’ll be giving it absolutely everything I can to give the home fans something to cheer about alongside Maxime.”

In the weeks following the Le Mans 24 Hours, where the Vantage GTE recorded a solid double points finish on its debut, the team has been working tirelessly along with technical partners Michelin and Total to unlock more of its undoubted potential through an intensive development programme. Aston Martin Racing now looks forward to finding out where the Vantage GTE sits in the competitive order as we move into next phase of the Super Season.

“We have worked hard to improve the whole package after Le Mans, and I am really hoping that we will be more competitive at the weekend,” said Nicki Thiim, who shares the #95 ‘DaneTrain’ driving duties with Marco Sørensen until Darren Turner returns for Sebring in 2019. “The whole team wants to prove that the car is something special.”

Aston Martin Racing Team Principal Paul Howarth added, “We made some improvements between Le Mans and Silverstone, and we recognise that achieving competitiveness at this level means taking a logical and methodical approach to understanding the package available to us and working hard to maximise its potential. We are still learning about the Vantage GTE and it’s important to remember that it is still only two races old. It clearly has great deal of untapped potential and we are in no doubt that in a short period of time it will be highly competitive.”

The defending 2017 FIA World Endurance Championship GTE Am title-holders come to Silverstone with a point to prove, having won the opening round in Spa and led convincingly at Le Mans. But the #98 Aston Martin V8 Vantage GTE, driven by Paul Dalla Lana (C), Pedro Lamy (P) and Mathias Lauda (A), also faces a fresh challenge in the class as the similar TF Sport car driven by Salih Yoluc (TUR), Charlie Eastwood (GB) now also features Aston Martin Racing factory driver and 2017 Le Mans winner Jonny Adam (GB) for the rest of the year.

The 6 Hours of Silverstone begins at 12:00BST on Sunday, 19 August.

Source material - Aston Martin Racing
Thursday, August 16, 2018 |
Its time to get back to business in the WEC

Its time to get back to business in the WEC

Its now been how many weeks since the last round of the World Endurance Championship from Le Mans and we have inconveniently placed ourselves some six thousand miles away from home and therefore the next round of this 2018-2019 Super-Season that kicks off from Silverstone this weekend!

Usually the first round of the season, Silverstone was a late entry into this transitional calendar for the WEC as it moves to a winters series for the 2020 season and unfortunately for many (like ourselves)  in the UK, the event finds itself in the midst of the summer holiday season. Hopefully the ongoing good weather back home will encourage the crowds to go and watch the best endurance racing series in the world!

For Aston Martin Racing this year is off course the first year of its new V8 turbo charged car and having already run two almost technical faultless runs at both the opening round at Spa Francorchamps in May and then at the 24hour at Le Mans in June, Silverstone will still be another developmental event for the teams two new GTE Pro entries as they look to get their cars on par with the more established Porsche, Ford and Ferrari Pro class entries.

The team have already acknowledged that some better set up within the car will allow for some improved track performance after the three other teams mentioned above left the Pro class with two tiers in performance with both AMR and BMW each not being as quick as a package with their new GTE contenders at the two previous rounds than the others. Time to consider reams of technical data between rounds as well as a test day at Silverstone last month will have helped the team to move the project further forward.

For Silverstone, we understand that AMR have indeed been given a small performance improvement in accordance with the FIA's Technical Committee's 'Auto-bop' system but maybe some of us will view these increases (although in the right direction) as not being as significant as first envisaged or indeed hoped  - only comparitive laps times entered by the cars new two driver line up will confirm where the actually stand.

One thing from the team will be absolute and that will be its determination to take the fight to their class advisories in front of their home crowd regardless - never have we seen AMR sit back and complain about parity (or lack of) and we can be sure that Messrs, Sorensen and Thiim aboard the #95 and Martin and Lynn aboard the #97 will be all doing their utmost to succeed - for the win hopefully but if not for pride!

Presently the #95 crew (including Darren Turner) sit P7 in the GTE Pro class Drivers Championship with AMR themselves sitting in P4 in the Manufacturers table after the two events so all is still to play for.

In GTE Am, the most significant change has been the temporary transfer of Jonny Adam from the factory team #97 car to the TF Sport entry in lieu of Euan Hankey for the remaining six hour races of the season. Being no stranger to the team nor their older 2016 specification GTE car, Adam joins Salih Yoluc and Charlie Eastwood in a car that we can fully expect to see it have another great on track battle with their #98 stablemate car like we did at Spa in May.

The #98 car of Paul Dalla-Lana, Pedro Lamy and Mathias Lauda continues as a full customer entry ran by the factory team and therefore remains unchanged.

Both the #90 an #98 cars ended their 24 Hours of Le Mans prematurely with technical issues so both teams will be looking to build upon their exiting score line secured at Spa of 18 and 25 points respectively.

All being well, we will be back in time to watch Qualifying on Saturday afternoon ahead of the start of the 6Hrs of Silverstone on Sunday.

Oh - and don't forget the TF Sport competition - #TFSport!!

Photo credit - WEC  

Thursday, August 16, 2018 |
TF Sport's competition prize of a lifetime

TF Sport's competition prize of a lifetime

We are celebrating our FIA WEC Super Season home race at Silverstone with our biggest competition yet, giving our fans a chance to win an hour at Base Performance Simulators with Jonny Adam.


Thanks to Jonny Adam and Base Performance Simulators, we’re delighted to offer a one-hour slot in a Professional Simulator with TF WEC driver, Le Mans winner and AMR factory driver Jonny Adam.
Winner will be selected by the team after 10 days from Monday 13th August at 3 PM (BST)- all entries until Wednesday 22nd (included) count! 
The date of the sim session is TBA and subject to Jonny’s availability, taking place later this year.
Please note the winner will need to make their own way to and from Base Performance Simulators – details here 


Interact with the team through social media and/or in person for the next ten days. Each interaction counts as one single entry, so the more you interact the higher your stakes.
  • Twitter - Follow, retweet, mention us through the week...
  • Instagram - Follow, comment, tag a friend who is into motorsport...
  • Facebook - Follow, share, comment...
  • Use #TFSport – with relevant content! (we will check)
  • Enter the TF Autograph Challenge on Sunday morning. Bring us an oddity to the Pit Walk/signing session.
  • Share your Silverstone photos with us on any social media platform (don’t forget to tag us or we won’t see them!) 
  • Show your support during the race! Fan-art and DIY banners/t-shirts count double.


Find the team on


Wednesday, August 15, 2018 |
Customer testing of new GT3 continues

Customer testing of new GT3 continues

After the first customer test for the new Aston Martin Racing V8 Vantage GT3 that ran at Silverstone last week, tomorrow sees a continuation of that extensive testing programme by the factory and its customer teams with another such test at Donington Park.

Having just taken delivery of his own road going variant of the new turbo charged Vantage, TF Sport's Derek Johnston was again in the hot seat of a new race car at the circuit almost four years to the day since he first tested the outgoing V12 Vantage with Tom Ferrier's team.

We saw that TF Sport's Charlie Eastwood was amongst the first 'third party' drivers to test the car at Silverstone last week presumably due to his own commitments this week?

Todays test was under the watchful eye of AMR's Ross Gunn and Darren Turner as the remainder of the factory driver squad are readying themselves for the next round of the World Endurance Championship from Silverstone this weekend.

It is expected, although not confirmed, that TF Sport shall be one of the first Customer Teams to receive the new Vantage GT3 car.

Photo credits - driver social media
Wednesday, August 15, 2018 |
Donington decider revisited (again) for British GT titles

Donington decider revisited (again) for British GT titles

Being some 6000 miles, several time zones away from home and without your trusty MacBook makes for some challenging conditions in reporting the events of this weekends penultimate round of the British GT Championship.

The pole and then the win for Optimum Motorsport’s Flick Haigh and Jonny Adam has placed them firmly into the ‘driving seat’ at the seasons finale at Donington Park next month having turned a points deficit to the #63 Lamborghini into a 17.5 point lead.

Whilst that is good news for the Aston Martin Racing side of us, we surely have to feel some kind of pity and support onto Barwells Jon Minshaw and Phil Keen as the small piece of track debris that ended their race could have such a monumental effect on the championship.

Motor racing is tough, expensive and extremely competitive and we have seen before just how the Donington Decider can effect those not quite fully on it!!

Game on!

Photo credit - Jacob Ebrey

Sunday, August 05, 2018 |
Statement from team regarding Maxime Martin

Statement from team regarding Maxime Martin

Jetstream Motorsport confirms that Aston Martin Racing driver Maxime Martin has been discharged from Kings College hospital in London, where he underwent precautionary checks after a foreign object penetrated his windscreen during Round 8 of the 2018 British GT Championship at Brands Hatch on Sunday (5 August) afternoon.

Martin was released from the Brands Hatch medical centre a short time after the incident but went on to hospital to be assessed by an ophthalmic specialist, after glass entered the cockpit. He was cleared and left hospital at 20.00 on Sunday evening.

Jetstream Motorsport’s weekend ‘down the Hatch’ started well, the team spending free practice fine-tuning an already strong base setup to rectify a slightly uncompliant rear-end and stop the car bottoming out in the undulating Kent circuit’s deep compressions.

For Martin, free practice was a voyage into the unknown. The Belgian Pro had no previous experience at Brands Hatch but found his feet quickly during FP1 on Saturday morning, recording a 1m27.480s to go seventh fastest, before finding chunks of time in the day’s second session.

Red flags flew during the latter stages of FP1 and, as the white and orange V12 Vantage sat idle in the pit lane, Jetstream Motorsport’s skilled and vigilant engineers identified a gearbox actuator issue that required immediate attention.

The team wheeled the ailing Aston Martin into the garage and immediately set about curing the problem, a rapid turnaround ensuring the car was in fine fettle just prior to the start of FP2.

After completing an installation lap to assess the repairs, Graham Davidson went on to set a 1m27.377s. The Aberdonian was the fastest Am in sixth, with only Aston Martin works drivers Darren Turner, Marco Sorensen, Jonny Adam and Nicki Thiim, and ERC Sport’s Yelmer Buurman setting faster lap times during the first half of the hour-long session.

However, the pace continued ramping up and Martin responded by registering a lap of 1m26.761s shortly after skipping across the gravel at Westfield Bend on the Grand Prix loop to go seventh quickest once again.

In qualifying on Saturday (4 August) afternoon, a red-flag stoppage spoiled what would have been Davidson’s fastest lap, but the Scot steadily upped the pace at the restart and, on Pirelli tyres that were past their best, followed a 1m27.607s with a 1m27.213s, to end the GT3-Am segment of qualifying in third.

In GT3-Pro, Martin needed a six-tenth improvement on his first time to take Jetstream Motorsport to pole position and the Belgian ace ultimately recorded a time of 1m25.992s, enough for a second-row starting position for Sunday’s two-hour race.

From fourth on the grid, Davidson swept up into the podium places with a clean and considered move around the outside of Jon Minshaw’s Barwell Motorsport Lamborghini Huracan on the initial descent through Paddock Hill Bend.

The Scot rode Andrew Howard’s coattails and gapped the pursuing Lamborghinis and Bentley during the opening laps, looming large in the Beechdean Aston Martin’s mirrors until he pulled off an opportunistic pass for second position in the short interval between Safety Car interventions.

The neutralisations thwarted Jetstream Motorsport’s attempts to build an advantage and negate the 20-second success penalty – a consequence of winning last time out at Spa – it would serve in the compulsory driver-change, and Martin found himself in ninth with a diminishing deficit to Callum Macleod’s Bentley in P8 at the close of the pit window.

However, the Belgian’s charge came to an abrupt halt when a foreign object penetrated his Aston Martin’s windscreen, sending glass into the cockpit and forcing him back to the pits to retire from the race.

Following an initial assessment by on-site medics at the Brands Hatch medical centre, Martin went to Kings College, London for further precautionary checks with an ophthalmologist, before leaving hospital at 20.00 on Sunday evening.

Jetstream Motorsport would like to thank Brands Hatch’s medical staff for their prompt action, and for ensuring Maxime, his family and the team were treated in the most efficient and sensitive manner.

Source material - Jetstream Motorsport
Sunday, August 05, 2018 |
Aston Martin Racing confirm position of driver lines for WEC

Aston Martin Racing confirm position of driver lines for WEC

Aston Martin Racing has adjusted its driver line-up for the remainder of 2018, beginning with the 6 Hours of Silverstone (19 August) and including the 6 Hours of Fuji (14 October) and 6 Hours of Shanghai (18 November).

With the team focussed on its FIA WEC Super Season world championship aspirations, Nicki Thiim (DEN) and Marco Sørensen (DEN) will share driving duties in their regular #95 ‘DaneTrain’ Aston Martin Vantage GTE, while Maxime Martin (BEL) and Alex Lynn (GB) will pair up in the #97. Each entry will benefit from increased track time and fewer compromises in their driving positions in a move that has become standard practice in the GTE Pro category.

Aston Martin Racing factory driver Jonny Adam (GB), will switch temporarily to partner team TF Sport to support its GTE AM championship programme, driving an Aston Martin V8 Vantage GTE alongside Salih Yoluc (TUR) and Charlie Eastwood (GB).

Meanwhile Darren Turner, Aston Martin Racing’s longest-serving and most decorated driver, has extended his 14-year association by signing a new long-term contract. He takes on a more senior role that includes additional development responsibilities with road and racing programmes and brand ambassador duties. Turner will also return to the #95 car for the 2019 phase of the Super Season, including Sebring 1000-mile race, Spa-Francorchamps and the Le Mans 24 Hours.

Darren Turner said: “I’m delighted to extend my association with Aston Martin. After three Le Mans victories and 14 amazing years, driving for this brand has been the highlight of my career. As I look into the future I’m excited to be able play a significant role in shaping new road and racing cars. It goes without saying I’m looking forward to getting back in the #95 when we head to Sebring next year. It’s exciting times at Aston Martin and I’m very proud to be a part of it.”

Aston Martin Racing Team Principal Paul Howarth said: “As we move into the second phase of the Super Season, it is critical we maximise our opportunities through the three shortest races on the calendar. By switching to two-driver crews we achieve this. Nicki and Marco have a long-standing partnership, while Maxime and Alex have settled into the team well. Jonny remains a vital part of our line-up and we are pleased he will race in the TF Sport entry, which keeps him race-sharp at world level. I am also delighted that Darren continues to play a major role. He proved he’s lost none of his speed with an exceptional performance at Le Mans, and his experience and wisdom is invaluable as we continue to develop our still young Vantage GTE programme.”

Aston Martin Racing Managing Director John Gaw said: “We expect to see additional performance from the Aston Martin Vantage GTE at Silverstone, after a period of analysis and development post-Le Mans. These adjustments to the line-up compliment this process and give us the best chance to achieve maximum points in the shorter races. There are no weak links in our driver line-up and I am proud of all of them. Keeping Jonny in the fold and race sharp is essential, while I’m delighted that Darren continues his exceptional career with Aston Martin, where he belongs.”

The line-up for the #98 Aston Martin Racing V8 Vantage GTE Am entry driven by reigning champions Paul Dalla Lana (CDN), Mathias Lauda (A) and Pedro Lamy (POR) remains unchanged for the rest of the Super Season.

Source material & photo credits - Aston Martin Racing 
Thursday, August 02, 2018 |
Updated: Six become four at Aston Martin Racing at Silverstone

Updated: Six become four at Aston Martin Racing at Silverstone

This article has been superseded by todays release from Aston Martin Racing that is available HERE

In a sense of inevitable consequence, we see from version 2 of the World Endurance Championships Provisional entry list for the forthcoming round at Silverstone it appears to feature just two drivers per Aston Martin Racing V8 Vantage GTE Pro car entered.

Unfortunately for us (and in the absence of any official confirmation from the team) it appears that both Darren Turner and Jonny Adam will now not be competing within their respective #95 and #97 car for at this, the third round of the new Super-season leaving Danes Nicki Thiim and Marco Sorensen in the #95 and Alex Lynn and Maxime Martin in the #97.

Reasons for this change will we are sure will become evident at a later date.

This decision in itself is no surprise as even back in March when we visited the Prodrive factory team boss Paul Howarth confirmed that each of the six originally named drivers may well not be attending each and every round as two drivers was the class preference for the shorter six hour events. For the longer races this year and next the three driver line up will undoubtedly be restored.

Photo credit - AMR

Wednesday, August 01, 2018 |
A familiar closing stretch to the British GT Championship at Brands Hatch

A familiar closing stretch to the British GT Championship at Brands Hatch

With the GT3 title now a mathematical possibility of securing for the class leading Barwell Lamborghini of Jon Minshaw and Phil Keen at the penultimate round of the British GT Championship from Brands Hatch this weekend,  Sunday's two hour will become a boom or bust round for the chasing Aston Martin Racing pack to take the Championship to another, final round decider in September.

Minshaw and Keen presently lead the Optimum Vantage GT3 of Flick Haigh and Jonny Adam by fourteen points with the TF Sport duo of Mark Farmer and Nicki Thiim just 3.5 points further back and is a repeat of previous seasons when those trailing the leading Lambo have gone on to lift the Championship.

Metaphorically, the #11 Farmer/Thiim car is on the back foot with a very early DNF at the last round at Spa Francorchamps when Farmer was 'rudely' pushed off the circuit going into the very fast Eau Rouge by a guesting Mercedes AMG GT3 leading to a spectacular fiery finish to their race. Although not technically an engine failure in its own right, damage sustained in that incident would have necessitated a new engine. Hopefully, that incident will not prove too costly for the #11 car.

Having gained pole at Spa, Haigh and Adam eventually finished a very close fourth on track but that was to be elevated to third after the #17 TF Sport car of Derek Johnston and Marco Sorensen was served with yet another post race time penalty that saw them drop down to seventh overall. That query of fate against their stablemate at least keeps there own title aspirations very much alive although they will have a 10 second success penalty applied to them this weekend whereas the Barwell car is penalty free.

Still riding high on the crest that was your first British GT overall win is the Jetstream Motorsport crew of Graham Davidson and Maxime Martin who grabbed the opportunities presented to them on track with both hands to secure a race winning margin of over seven seconds. Having come so close to a race winning performance before at Silverstone and Rockingham it was great to see self discipline instilled to avoid any repeat penalties/incidences that have blighted them before.

Conversing with Davidson over social media this afternoon he was slightly disappointed that their inaugural win in the Championship having moved over from GT Cup had been 'lost' in the build up to the Blancpain Spa 24hr race.

With the Scottish/Belgium racing line up presently residing down in P6 overall and technically not out of a shout of the Championship , Davidson was simply looking forward to another race at one of his favourite circuits but equally determined to race the others for another race win irrespective of who is ahead of them in the table so it appears that nobody can expect any concession on track from these guys!!

When asked about his driving relationship with AMR Factory driver Martin, he confirmed that the Championship's Media Day was the first time they had shared a car together and that their racing relationship had taken a number of rounds to be where it should have been given any pre-season opportunity. Today, he said that given the chance and the situation again he would come back to the championship next year with the same overall package of car, team and co-driver (not that anything is confirmed for 2019 yet that is).

Beechdean AMR will be looking to finish off their return t the Championship in the manner that they started it after what has been a bit of hit or miss affair (in terms of results) in the championship after another DNF for themselves at Spa after team boss Andrew Howard incurred damage to the front of his car in the opening lap. Despite the best efforts of the team to repair the damage (which they did) they also elected to box the car and save it for Brands.

For the Pro driver within the team, Darren Turner, this weekend will be his first visit to the Kent circuit since his Touring Car days and will again be another circuit that this duo (as with several others) have not tested at this year so progress across the field should be progressive.

Completing the GT3 line up is the Ultimate Speed Vantage GT3 of Mike Brown and Matt Manderson for their second visit to the championship.

Over in GT4, the Academy Motorsport entry from Matt Nichol-Jones and Will Moore also retain a mathematical chance of lifting the Championship being twenty points behind the leading Century Motorsport BMW of Jack Mitchell. Brands Hatch has never been too kind to this duo in previous years with either technical issue or incident curtailing their race early so a podium finish would see that class going down to the wire at Donington as well.

Team mates Jan Jonck and Tom Wood sadly endured another tough race to end their Spa race down in P9 having been blighted any an early puncture and then coming out on the wrong side of a Safety Car in what really has been a jinxed season for the youngsters!

Sunday's race begins at 13:40Hrs.

Photo credits - Jacob Ebrey

Wednesday, August 01, 2018 |
Welcome back Tony Quinn to #TeamAMR

Welcome back Tony Quinn to #TeamAMR

After whats been just about a year's sabbatical from the marque, Scottish born New Zealand resident Tony Quinn returns to the Aston Martin Racing fold for the next round of the Australian GT Championship from Sydney Motorsport Park this weekend.

Having swapped his own V12 Vantage GT3 in favour of his son's former 2016 championship winning McLaren 650S instead back in March last year, racing performances didn't always go exactly to plan for the then main stakeholder in the Australian GT Championship.

Having relinquished that controlling interest in the Championship only a few weeks ago, the Championship has confirmed an entry for the main Aston Martin Lagonda protagonist in Australasia with a car undoubtedly brandishing more logos of another one of his food empires.

Quinn rejoins the Miedecke Motorsport V12 Vantage GT3 entry for Andrew and George Miedecke for what is expected to be (at the moment anyway) a one off entry for the father/son duo in the main championship.

Rounding off the AMR entry for Sydney Motorsport Park is of course the GT4 Championship leading V8 Vantage of Jeremy Gray who enjoys a lead of 170 points with just two rounds remaining.
Gray recently tested the Miedecke ran GT3 at the circuit earlier this month in a possible developmental step for him next year.

The fifth round of the season will kick off with practice, qualifying, and an opening 40-minute race on Friday August 3 followed by two more 40-minute races on the Saturday August 4.
Photo credit - Australian GT / Miedecke Motorsport
Tuesday, July 31, 2018 |
How long now before we see the new Vantage GT3 at its first competitive race?

How long now before we see the new Vantage GT3 at its first competitive race?

Catching up on an interesting snippet of information coming out of Spa Francorchamps at the weekend, it looks like Aston Martin Racing and their strategic partners are about to embark upon the final stretch of development testing with their new V8 turbo charged Vantage GT3 as the factory strives to make this new car available to their customer teams in time for the 2019 pre-season testing.

Having already seen the new 'concept' car as they called it run to such great effect in its 'raw' state by Ross Gunn at the Aston Martin Racing Festival at the Le Mans 24Hr back in June, it has since been disclosed that R-Motorsport will be entering at least two examples of this new car in the two available classes at the Bathurst 12Hr event in Australia which kicks off in late January 2019.

That of course does not leave much time in which to complete its development, homologate and then get the required numbers built for their wanting customer teams around the world.

The car that we saw race at Le Mans was chassis #1, the new Vantage GT test and development car of the new turbo charged GT era but running with associated GT3 engine, suspension and running gear components (mainly ABS and traction control) and also running in an unrestricted format and with GTE aero. From conversations had we understand that the GT3 aero will certainly be less 'aggressive' than that of the GTE in its final state.

Indeed, looking under the bonnet of the GT3 development car in the paddock at Le Mans there was little obvious differences between the two and we had to take the word of the technicians of the differences actually being there! The engine and turbos are essentially the same so it is understandable if the associated air channelling around the engine bay was also essentially the same - hence the immediate similarities.

The public reveal of the new GT3 and GT4 platforms at Le Mans was also something of an understated affair with the full time sports car media attending the World Endurance Championship event not actually being aware of the new cars presence in France until such time at the GT3 actually hit the track in Free Practice for the support event and shots of the new GT4 in the support paddock were revealed on social media.

Then, the teams new GTE was already known to be struggling with permitted performance for the 24hr race so just maybe this was all something of a last minute 'gesture' by the team to be able to 'demonstrate' what their platform was actually capable of if left alone as indeed it was actually faster than the GTE equivalent. Who know ........................!!

With the venerable V12 iteration of GT3 well within its final year of top flight competition around the world (and still winning we might add) we understand that the volume of enquires to the factory about the new car has been unprecedented with potential sales already outstripping the volume of the platform it succeeds. Only recently has Prodrive advertised an intense recruitment drive for thirty odd trained technical staff to help with the fabrication and running of these new cars form their Banbury facility.

With the new Vantage GT4 also being on display at Le Mans (although unfortunately only in a static format) it only makes sense to expect the final development of that car to follow a parallel path to its bigger GT3 brother at the same time as potential interest in that platform is apparently even higher!

Straining our grey matter back to the time of the ADAC N24 from the Nordschleife back in May, we seem to recall that AMR President, David King suggested that such a new GT3 platform could see its first competitive races in its completed state in a VLN series race at the tail end of the 2018 season in either September and October.

Aston Martin Racing have previously said that both cars would remain in development until their homologation are confirmed for competition from 1st March 2019 so it will interesting just how the R-Motorpsort announcement is permitted to operate.

Where and when it actually appears we will have to wait and see!!

Tuesday, July 31, 2018 |
Oman Racing with TF Sport frustrated following early Spa 24 exit

Oman Racing with TF Sport frustrated following early Spa 24 exit

Oman Racing with TF Sport were left disappointed after early exit from round four of the Blancpain GT Endurance Cup, the 24 Hours of Spa. Having made gains early in the race to run fourth, an off three hours into the race effectively ended the podium challenge there and then.

Ross Gunn joined Ahmad Al Harthy, Charlie Eastwood and Euan McKay in the #97 Aston Martin Vantage GT3, keen to build on the string of points finishes. Qualifying proved to be a bit mixed with the team losing time following contact from the #42 Strakka, whilst Ahmad was at the wheel.

Night practice followed with all four drivers putting in the laps before pitting early to preserve the car. Race day saw Ross take the start from seventh, quickly moving ahead of the #78 Barwell entry to run in sixth before pitting at the one-hour window.

Ahmad took over for the second stint, running as high as fourth as the stops cycled through before taking a comfortable fifth position and finding good pace from the Aston Martin. A full course yellow followed, and Ahmad pitted for fuel and tyres and resumed for another stint before handing over to Euan.

Unfortunately, Euan lost control of the car at turn eight on his out lap, making heavy contact with the barriers. He was able to return the car back to the pits where the team set about repairing the front left corner. It was another mighty effort from the team and Euan was able to get back out, but it was clear that the Aston Martin still had problems.

Euan pitted again and the team set about looking at rear brake callipers before the decision was taken to retire from the race such was the level of damage sustained.

“It’s been a disappointing week for us,” stated TF Sport Director Tom Ferrier. “There’s not much to say about the race. We struggled to find pace from the car all week and then in the race, it finally came to us. Ahmad in particular really found some time in his double stint, but unfortunately we never got to show it in terms of the results.

“Euan made a mistake, but that happens in racing. The team worked hard to try and get the car back into the race, but it just wasn’t our weekend.”

Source material - TF Sport
Monday, July 30, 2018 |
Battle scared and battle weary - but no reward for AMR runners at Spa 24

Battle scared and battle weary - but no reward for AMR runners at Spa 24

The 70th running of the Total 24Hrs of Spa is the most competitive and gruelling endurance event in the world for GT3 runners and its four grades of driver entries and this year's event was certainly no exception to that.

Four Aston Martin Racing V12 Vantage GT3's from three customer teams entered this years event - one was promoted to overall pole position for the start whilst its sister car would start from the opposite end of the grid, one was looking to overcome previous bad luck and misfortune whilst the local crew were simply taking challenges of the event for what it gave them.

For possibly two of these teams, this event was also the last time that they would be running with the V12 variant of the car at the event as the new V8 turbo charged car comes on line later in the year.

It was great to see that the #62 R- Motorsport car of Maxime Martin would lead the grid at the start of the race after the #1 Audi, which originally 'claimed' super-pole on Friday, was penalised for a technical infringement. This was even more so as this car's trio of drivers was something of an unknown since Dominik Baumann joined the #62 crew since the last round of the series at Paul Ricard.

The Swiss based, Arden supported team had already proved at Silverstone that they had both machinery and personnel to compete at the highest level of GT3 racing but, like many other endurance events, this was a 24hour sprint on a circuit and against a racing field that gave little mercy to either driver error or mechanical ailment as many were to find out again.

The Oman Racing by TF Sport #97 car went to Spa desperate to overcome their run of bad luck and misfortune that had blighted their Blancpain GT Endurance season so far. Joining their three regular drivers was AMR's Ross Gunn who would end up having the 'honour' of starting the race for the team from their mid place in class starting grid slot.

Unfortunately for the team, their luck went from bad to catastrophic as having already cycled through both Gunn and Ahmad Al Harthy within the car, early into his first stint Euan McKay made a mistake at T8 that resulted in heavy contact with the barriers and tyre wall that caused significant damage to the car. Despite getting the car back to the garage and the team effecting emergency repairs the car was to briefly return to the track before returning with underlying issues that would ultimately necessitate its retirement from the race with still over twenty hours remaining. Poor Charlie Eastwood would get a drive in the race.

Local team Aston Martin Brussels were out for only their second race of their season having already competed in the International GT Open event at the circuit earlier this year. Taking the spirit of endurance racing to the max, the four drivers were going to 'enjoy' the race for what it was worth in their Pro-Am class #100 car.

Varying on-track and in pit lane issues for these guys left them too many laps down to mention within  their class winner ahead but at least the finished the toughest race that they could ever enter - congratulations to them.

The greatest accolades are of course reserved for the two R-Motorpsort Pro class cars which would be starting from opposite ends of the grid. Starting P62 and dead last, the statement of intent from the Nicki Thiim, Jake Dennis and Mathieu Vaxivierre #76 car was simple to understand from a tweeted photo below!

At the end of just the second hour of racing and with the #62 still at the head, the #76 car had raced its way through the Am and Pro-Am cars to sit P24 overall - an incredible achievement in such a short period of time and that performance for the #76 at least) was set to continue as they reached the top 10 overall. Sadly for the #62, contact with a Lamborghini and the resulting puncture would loose them valuable track time and position from which they wouldn't recover to finish P35 overall - 26 laps down.

For Thiim, Dennis and Vaxiviere, it was an incredible P9 finish - how that would have been different had they not have had a technical issue during Qualifying that forced their stating position its hard to say but it was a nightly achievement non the less.

A full press release from R-Motorpsort can be found HERE

Finally we wish former Aston Martin Racing driver Andy Meyrick and Lamborghini driver Jurgen Krebs a speedy recovery after their accident during the night that landed them both in hospital.

Next stop for many of these guys is at the British GT meeting at Brands Hatch next weekend!

Photo credits - Blancpain / R-Motorsport / TF Sport

Sunday, July 29, 2018 |
What Spa 24hr does best

What Spa 24hr does best

With all of the cars in the midst of their qualifying runs on track, we take a quick picture postcard look back at last nights events in the town centre where the cars and drivers interacted with the enormous crowds.

Driven from the circuit to the town and back again on the eve of the first track action for all, the annual task of taking the event to the crowds was obviously another great success for the Total 24Hrs of Spa and was enjoyed by all.

Photo credits - Brussels Racing / Blancpain / TF Sport / R-Motorsport

Thursday, July 26, 2018 |