British GT Snetterton Race 2 - Happier faces

British GT Snetterton Race 2 - Happier faces

During the interval between races yesterday, work and adjustments carried on apace on both of the TF Sport GT3's and the MacMillan GT4 that sustained frontal damage in a racing incident earlier.

From Saturday's Pro Qualifying sessions Race 2 starting grid would see Jonny Adam start from behind both of the Lamborghini's in P3, Jon Barnes in the #11 car in P7 and James Littlejohn in the #24 from P9. Then in the GT4 field Matt Nichol-Jones would start his car from tenth with Jan Jonck starting the #42 from the back again.

At the green flag , a great 'ballsy' start from Adam would see his car move up and hold second place, splitting the Lambo's, as the front of the pack went around Riches for the first time with cars going into the tight right hander three or four wide. Misfortune was soon to strike at Littlejohn however as he would spin out at Brundle before rejoining the pack plum last.

It would also be a fraught race for the GT4 AMR runners with the #62 never being able to progress past the much more nimble Ginetta's and Mclarens and for his stint, everything would go somewhat unrewarded. Jonck would also have a difficult opening stint, presumably hampered from the effects from Race 1's frontal damage before blue smoke could be seen exiting the vehicle as they approached the halfway mark - the car would not make its way back out of the pits.

To quote TF Sport Team Manager after the race - the TF cars didn't have the pace to keep up with the Lambo's, they just had the ability to make themselves very wide and in effect hold everyone else up!! That was certainly the case as the leading #33 Barwell car had already made its exit was way up the track from the following pack and it looked like it would simply be a battle for the remaining steps of the podium.

In true British GT style however, a late call for a Safety Call to recover a stranded Bentley on the back straight would at least bunch everyone back together just after many of them had just made their driver changes. Very soon after that race officials made a race changing decision by penalising the #33 car for too shorter pit stop!!

Whilst it was game over for them, that decision left the #1 car out in front with the #11 car in third and the #24 MacMillan flying around the track trying to get on the back of the podium positioned cars as they looked for more silverware with little over ten minutes remaining. You could kind of sense Johnston willing his car around the corners and without exceeding track limits as had been the result of the cars problem before as he gradually started to eek out a small lead over the rest of the chasing field.

The drama wasn't over though as the #62 Academy car with Will Moore at the wheel came to a grinding/smoking halt at the same place as the now recovered Bentley had on the back straight due to wheel/suspension damage taken from an absent minded Ginetta driver at Murrays the lap before. We can tell you that Moore was non too impressed with that outcome!!

Finally the chequered flag was dropped and the #1 car had won what was an eventful yet totally enjoyable race with the long faces of earlier having quickly disappeared in the sprays of champagne. For TF Sport it was double success as Farmer brought home his #11 in P3 after having raised his hand to making the mistakes in race 1 that put the car out of contention then.

The team say that they have not fully cured the cars handling issues with these podium finishes but they have certainly taken large steps in the right direction. They now head to Silverstone on Tuesday for more testing before that round of the series in two weeks time.

In between that and now, the team have the small issue with a date at Le Mans!!

Monday, May 29, 2017 |
Tale of two races at British GT

Tale of two races at British GT

We arrived at Snetterton yesterday to something of a strange atmosphere within the Team AMR garages as they prepared themselves for rounds 4 and 5 of the 2017 British GT Championship.

Having already qualified on GT3 Pole, the #24 MacMillan car of Jack Mitchell and James Littlejohn elected not to participate in the morning warm up citing "all was good and there wanted to save the tyres". Their team mates, Jan Jonck and Will Phillips in the MacMillan GT4 Vantage had to go out and prove their car after being forced to replace both a fuel pump, hydraulics and gearbox throughout Saturday's Qualifying session meaning that the car would have to start from the back of the grid in both of todays races.

Up the pit lane, the drivers and crew of the TF Sport team were all wearing long faces as they struggled to overcome issues with both of their cars (mainly understeer) that left them fighting with the car throughout the lap despite all of their preparation for the event last week in testing.

Under a clear blue sky Race 1 (Am Drivers) started with Mitchell quickly establishing an early lead over both of the super quick Barwell Lamborghini's. Just a bit further back Mark Farmer in the #11 TF Sport GT3 was all over the back of the #30 AMD Mercedes AMG trying to get past for lap after lap.

As expected due to the high speed differential ewteen classes, a large gap soon established between the GT3 and GT4 runners. Phillips in the #42 MacMillan GT4 had already picked off 5 or 6 cars after his start from the rear of the grid and was progressing nicely before heavy contact was made with the rear of a Porsche going into the Wilson hairpin but he was at least able to continue.

Just prior to the pit window opening an over impatient Farmer would make contact with the rear of the #30 Mercedes going into Riches at Turn one causing damage to his own car that would result in spins at both Wilson and the Bomb Hole due to a deflating tyre. Repairs to that would put them a lap down and out of contention by the time of the pitstops.

Mitchell had done a sterling job in his MacMillan car - establishing a lead over ten seconds prior to their compulsory stop but like Rockingham only time would tell if that would be enough to defend once the Pro drivers got in?

The answer to that question unfortunately came quite soon as Phil Keen was simply able to drive up to the back of James Littlejohn in the #42 MacMillan with still nearly twenty minutes remaining. This time (similar to Rockingham when Mitchell got in at the half way mark) it would be down to the ex radical racer to hold off the hungry Bulls behind him.

The inevitability of having to carry the Silver/Silver equalisation ballast around came back to bite Littlejohn with just seven minutes remaining and two laps later he would loose the second step of the podium to the sister #6 Lambo but at least the gap between him and the fourth placed car was enough to see out the race.

Whilst Mitchell and Littlejohn could be moderately happy with their P3 finish from their podium start in Race 1 the same couldn't be said for Derek Johnston and Jonny Adam in the #1 TF Sport car. Speaking with Johnston in the paddock between races he was explaining how the car had been suffering from understeer type issues and no matter what the did nothing changed, and that the car was different to change each time they did something to it. A great deal of despite and frustration was evident.

Better news was to come to the #1 car after the race however, as a post race penalty was applied to the #31 Bentley dropping them down to P7 and lifting the #1 car up to P5 so despite their car issues they at least bagged some points. The #11 car was classified as finishing P10.

Back in GT4 the Academy Motorsport car of Will Moore and Matt Nichol-Jones headed the class for Team AMR finishing P5 in class whilst the #42 car suffered a further 5 second penalty for track limits to finish P13 in class.

Race 2 would be after lunch.

Podium photo credit - Jacob Ebrey

Monday, May 29, 2017 |
Turner and 'Team' conquer the Green Hell in Vantage GT8

Turner and 'Team' conquer the Green Hell in Vantage GT8

Darren Turner and his Aston Martin team mates, Nicki Thiim, Markus Lungstrass and Peter Cate, took the #7 Aston Martin Vantage GT8 to a dominant class win in the ADAC Zurich 24-hour race at the Nürburgring Nordschleife today, finishing eight laps ahead of their nearest class rival and 21st overall from a field of over 150 cars.

The Vantage GT8 took second place in qualifying for the 24-hour race. Although just short of the single lap pace of the P1 car the team knew they had a driver line up that would deliver the goods when the lights went green on Saturday.

“For a 24-hour race it was actually fairly straightforward,” said Turner. “Nicki started and we all took turns single stinting to make sure we all got a good look at the track before it went dark. We then switched to double stints throughout the night.”

At the end of every stint the Vantage GT8 was refuelled and given a new set of tyres and sent on its way. The car ran like clockwork throughout the race, with the longest delay down to a scheduled brake change at around the half way mark.

“The car ran like a dream,” said Turner. “Nobody made a single mistake and the car wouldn’t have had a mark on it if it wasn’t for some on track debris. I moved off line to overtake in the night and ran into what I think was a tyre carcass, which caused a bit of bodywork damage but it wasn’t a problem. No car is going to do 24 hours at the Green Hell without any scuffs!”

David King, President of Aston Martin Racing, set the team an objective to make it into the overall Top 30 by nightfall, which they duly delivered. The next target was a big ask: to break into the Top 20 by morning, but they almost did it, running in 22nd overall.

After a sunny start to the race and a clear night it was inevitable that the weather gods wouldn’t let the race finish without some sort of intervention. With less than 30 minutes to go half of the 12.9-mile track was treated to a downpour whilst Turner was at the wheel.

“I was quite happy to wade through the wet bits on slicks,” he said. “Although it would have been quicker to come in for wets we had enough of a buffer over the P2 car in our class that I could afford not to box.”

He crossed the line as the winner of the SP8 class; in 21st place overall, a massive eight laps ahead of the second placed SP8 car.

“I love racing on the Nordschleife,” said Turner. “Every lap is a new adventure and it is hugely rewarding just to drive on that circuit, let alone race there with so many other cars. This was a fantastic result for Aston Martin and demonstrates again how strong the Vantage GT8 is as a road car.”

Source material - D Turner PR

Sunday, May 28, 2017 |
Going to be a tough day at the office for TeamAMR at Snetterton tomorrow

Going to be a tough day at the office for TeamAMR at Snetterton tomorrow

Two, one hour races await the British GT field at Snetterton tomorrow after challenging Free Practice and Qualifying sessions today.

In the smaller than usual GT3 field, it was the Barwell Lamborghini of Jon Minshaw and Phil Keen showing the pack a clean pair of heals with the best of the AMR GT3 runners being 1.3 seconds back in P4 by the end of FP1. That position did slightly improve during FP2 with the #1 car of Derek Johnston and Jonny Adam moving themselves up to P3 by the close but as a whole it was the #33 Lambo that was the quickest

The two MacMillan and Academy Motorsport GT4's finished FP2 9th and 14th in class respectively, so they have their own battles in that highly competitive class.

With two races being available on Sunday, that allowed for stand alone Am and Pro qualifying sessions  with each driver taking the start of a race.

In the GT3 Am class it was the #24 car of Jack Mitchell who secured pole for Race 1 with a time 0.866 seconds faster than Minshaw, with Mark Farmer in the #11 TF Sport car finishing P5 and Derek Johnston P7. 

In GT3 Pro Jonny Adam was the highest AMR finisher with P3 for Race 2 with Jon Barnes P7 in the #11 car and James Littlejohn a bit further back in P9

In GT4 Am it was Will Moore in the #62 Academy finished P6 whilst in GT4 Pro Matt Nichol Jones finished P10. Whilst the #42 MacMillan car of Jan Jonck and Will Phillips did compete in both Free Practice sessions neither driver set a qualifying time due to a fuel leak requiring urgent repair.

After the morning warm up session tomorrow morning the first race starts at 11.40 with the second race starting at 16.00hrs.

Photo credits - Jacob Ebrey
Saturday, May 27, 2017 |
Miedeckie goes club racing in Vantage GT4

Miedeckie goes club racing in Vantage GT4

Instead of contesting the opening round of this years Australian Endurance Championship this weekend, Andrew Miedecke is helping one individual move up to GT based racing in on of their recently acquired Aston Martin Racing V8 Vantage GT4's.

Having acquired two AMR Vantage GT4's for clients from Academy Motorsport back in March Miedecke senior took Ute and Production car racer Jeremy Gray for an early spin in one of those cars whilst that owner was deciding which series to run the car in. It was expected to see it in that GT4 race within the Australian GT Trophy Championship that started last month but that wasn't to be.

We understand that over this weekend, both Miedecke and Gray will be running the car within the New South Wales Motor Racing Club Championship event that is taking place at their 'local' Sydney Motorsports Park circuit. That shall see the AMR V8 compete against older generation Porsche and Audi GT3's amongst others more 'native' models.

With Miedecke Stone Motorsport actively promoting the Aston Martin Racing V8 Vantage GT4 in Australia we expect to see them enter (with clients) other State series as they bolster their own collections of such cars to run in those and other National and International Series.

Photo credits - MSM
Friday, May 26, 2017 |
Le Mans 24H Official Test only a week away (UPDATED)

Le Mans 24H Official Test only a week away (UPDATED)

That conjures such scary thought for some as it only seemed to be a few weeks ago that we were all at Silverstone looking forward to the first round of the 2017 World Endurance Championship!

However, all teams entered into the 2017 24Hours of Le Mans need to have their cars ready for official pre test scrutineering by Thursday 1st June (we believe at least one example per class entered must be in attendance ) ready for the AM and PM sessions that make up Sundays official test.

We have seen some last minute testing going on by Aston Martin Racing earlier at Snetterton and more recently at Spa where they joined many other LM24 runners for a two day test maybe to get a grip of the revised Balance of Power adjustment permitted to then by the FIA for this years LM24 race. Here the GTE Pro V8 Vantages received a larger engine restrictor compared to both last years LM24 and the last round of the WEC at Spa, a larger fuel capacity, a minimum weight decrease but a small rear wing gurney adjustment.

All five V8 Vantage GTE cars that AMR will be bringing with them this year, including the two customer team entries from both Beechdean AMR and TF Sport will be checked over by race officials on the afternoon of the Thursday 1st together with driver equipment and licence checks the over the course of Thursday and Friday.

For those attending the Test Day weekend there will be a pit walk during the day whilst the above checks are being undertaken with Saturday following much the same path but culminating with the usually group photo on the grid of this years entry.

Sunday 4th June is when the track action begins with the morning session running between 09.00 and 13.00hrs local with the second and final session starting after lunch between 14.00 and 18.00hrs.

For Daniel Serra, this will be his first LM24 event for which he must complete at least 10 laps in the car  in order to pre qualifying his position within the team and for the #90 TF Sport and #99 Beechdean AMR that requirement would also apply with Ross Gunn, Euan Hankey and Salih Yoluc.

The sessions will be timed but they will not be televised. We have since been advised that the guys at will be running their own link to the live timing service again via this link HERE as well as live updates and circuit photos through the test week end so thanks to John for sharing that.

It is then usual for the teams and cars to remain at the circuit and be prepared once again for the main event that will start just a week later.

It is now officially time to get excited!!

Photo credits - AMR / Adrenal Media
Friday, May 26, 2017 |
All gearing up for tomorrows start of the N24

All gearing up for tomorrows start of the N24

Having had their eye firmly fixed upon the SP8 class pole position during Free Practice and both Qualifying sessions, the #7 Aston Martin Lagonda entered Vantage GT8 has had to settle for P2 in class for the start of tomorrows ADAC Zurich 24H.

Setting the second fastest time in class during FP1 the #7 car then went to the top of the class leader board (and P50 overall) during Q1 last night just ahead of the #69 Dorr Motorsport Lamborghini Huracan but despite Darren Turner setting a sub 9 minute lap time in Q2 (8:59:625) the #69 ended up taking class honours by the conclusion of this mornings Q2 session.

The other Aston in SP8, the #49 Vantage AML of Europe entry finished the qualifying process P5 in class with a time (9:34:522).

In the SP10 class for GT4 spec cars the #70 R Motorsport entry (now affectionately known as Sherman) finished P4 in class with 9:19:530 - a time of just 10 seconds behind the class pole setter. They in tern will be followed by the ¶3 Team Mathol Avia Racing Vantage GT4 who set their best time of 9:26;230.

Its a long race on the toughest circuit in the world so by not qualifying in class pole position is by no means the end of it.

The first scheduled lap of the 24Hour itself is set to be about 15.30hrs local.

Photo credit - AMR / R Motorsport 
Friday, May 26, 2017 |
Blink - and you'll miss the Vulcan at Shelsley Walsh

Blink - and you'll miss the Vulcan at Shelsley Walsh

With one of Aston Martin's Special Projects cars already on official duty at the ADAC Zurich 24 hours of the Nurburgring this weekend, today  we learn of another of David King's department magnificent creations being allowed to stretch its legs at another showpiece at event closer to home.

It has been confirmed that an Aston Martin Vulcan will be in attendance and will actively compete at next months Shelsley Walsh Hill Climb event as part of their 'British Racing Green' event on the 3rd and 4th of June.

Crowds can expect to see Vulcan take to the hill twice on each day, alongside the venue’s regular hill climb competition and Midland Hill Climb Championship.

David King, Vice President & Chief Special Operations Officer said, “Aston Martin began life racing at hill climb events across Britain and it’s a pleasure for us to bring the company back to one of its earliest venues of competition. Shelsley Walsh is an iconic venue in the world of motorsport and it will be an epic sight for those attending on the day. We look forward to putting on an entertaining show”.

Mark Constanduros, Shelsley Walsh said, “This is fantastic news both Shelslely Walsh and Aston Martin have such strong links and to have Aston Martin support this new element to the event and to bring the Vulcan is superb. The brand is absolutely perfect and is what British Racing Green is all about”.

Shelsley Walsh’s British Racing Green takes place on the 3rd and 4th of June, with tickets available from £16 with an advance booking at

Speaking on Radio Le Mans this weekend at the ADAC Zurich 24H David King hinted that the driver may well be Vulcan co developmental driver Peter Dumbreck.

Sourec material - Shelsley Walsh

Photo credit - Max Earey

Thursday, May 25, 2017 |
Another busy weekend for Team AMR around Europe

Another busy weekend for Team AMR around Europe

This weekend sees two very popular GT series resume their season after several weeks off whilst over in Germany, on of the most iconic and toughest endurance races in the GT world takes its green flag.

Over at Spa Francorchamps, the International GT Open series resumes for the two races over the weekend that will form its second round of the season with two Aston Martin racing V12 Vantage GT3's entered.

As previously reported, joining the full season entry from the Italian Solaris Motorsport squad will be the return of the local Aston Martin Brussels Racing car as a one off appearance with two local drivers. Last seen at the same event in 2015 the yellow and white car will be driven this time round by Tim Verbergt and Sam Dejonghe.

Solaris, themselves return to the series hoping for better performance after their earlier 'new car' niggles frustrated drivers  Francesco Sini and Mauro Calamia last time out in Estoril.

The two AMR's make up an impressive 29 car entry.

Over in south Norfolk, the British GT Championship also resumes with two, one hour races that form rounds 4 and 5 of their championship.

As usual, the five AMR representative cars return with the two TF Sport GT3's, the GT3 and GT4 from MacMillan and the GT4 from Academy motorsport. With both TF Sport cars trailing in P4 and P5 in the GT3 championship both will be looking to recover that point deficit to the now leading Barwell Lamborghini car of Jon Minshaw and Phil Keen.

Likewise, Messers Littlejohn and Mitchell will be wanting to build upon their first podium success in their MacMillan GT3 last time out at Rockingham.

Over in the GT4 class, it is again another story of needing quick points for both the Academy and MacMillan crews as they trail the championship leading HHC Ginetta crew by a hefty fifty points.

Finally and certainly no means least, Saturday sees the start of the 2017 ADAC Zurich 24 Hours of the Nordschleife featuring four cars from the Aston Martin family. Again, and as previously reported there are no Aston Martin Racing entries for this years event although there are two factory drivers inside the AML entered Vantage GT8.

One thing that we are waiting to be confirmed however is the name given to the R Motorsport's V8 Vantage GT4 for the race from the entry from a lighthearted Facebook competition.

Good luck to Team AMR but have a safe race to all.

Wednesday, May 24, 2017 |