Red Bull RB14 displaying their 'Wings' in 2018

Red Bull RB14 displaying their 'Wings' in 2018

There was no mistaking the increased presence of the Aston Martin name and logo aboard the new Red Bull Racing RB14 Formula One car unveiled this morning as the race team and prestigious car manufacturer enter into their innovation partnership and title sponsor deal for 2018.

Having seen the AML marque feature on the Red Bull F1 car in a more subtle manner for the last couple of years, 2018 sees the two enter into an extensive technical partnership both on and off the track.

Having already seen those within the two companies come up with the 'ultimate' hypercar in the form of the Aston Martin Valkyrie (a car that may be seen on track as early at the Aston Martin Festival support event at Le Mans in 2018) it is hoped that further strives can be made with the establishment of their new shared Advanced Performance Centre in Milton Keynes.

At a very wet Silverstone circuit today, Red Bull Racing driver Daniel Ricciardo took the car out for its first tentative steps around the National circuit with the car adorned in a bespoke livery purely for PR purposes (unfortunately because we like its form and simplicity).

Testing proper for the F1 team starts next week.

Photo credits - Red Bull Racing
Monday, February 19, 2018 |
Full China GT season beckons for Gunn in 2018?

Full China GT season beckons for Gunn in 2018?

Having obviously made a lasting impression with those within the China Equity AMR team last year, it appears that Aston Martin Racing's hired gun (Ross Gunn) will again be making those long haul flights for the 2018 China GT Championship.

Paired up last year with Taiwanese driver Stanley Yang, he and Gunn achieved a 75% success rate in those four races they had together, results that went a long way in recovering the overall championship position for the team and their V8 Vantage GT4 having languished at its foot for a time.

At the last event of last year, Gunn's unavailability was covered by fellow Brit Jack Mitchell (then of MacMillan Racing) who own success secured Yang third place overall in the final standings.

By placing Gunn within the team from the very start of the upcoming 2018 season, both AMR and China Equity hope to establish a secure sounder footing within the Chinese national GT championship having had to skip four races (two rounds) last year which wasn't a good position to be in for the Prodrive supported and major AML stakeholder team.

The Aston Martin brand was also represented by customer team Zea Fea Racing who enjoyed initial and then later success within the championship before ending the season behind China Equity AMR. We await to hear of any news from them for 2018.

The 2018 China GT season is due to start in mid April at the champions Official Test at the Beijing Goldensport Circuit before the first two races of the season from the Zhuhai Circuit near Macau before culminating twelve races late at Shanghai in October.

When we last spoke to Gunn, we know that he thoroughly enjoyed the racing scene in China particularly the more obscured circuits that remain off the international race scene. The food meanwhile was something else - something he may need to stick at for a bit!!

Photo credits - China GT

Friday, February 16, 2018 |
What the best dressed AMR fan is now wearing!

What the best dressed AMR fan is now wearing!

Just as we suspected at the Autosport Show last month, there is indeed a new line of Aston Martin Racing replica racewear coming on line for the start of the 2018 World Endurance Championship.

Presently limited to just men's/women's polo shirts, T shirt, wooly hat and 'travel wear', all can be viewed and purchased from AMR's official outlet HERE

Thursday, February 15, 2018 |
"Another positive test"

"Another positive test"

That was the term given to the last four days of extensive testing by Aston Martin Racing after the first extensive running of their two new V8 Vantage GTE Pro cars entered into the 2019/19 World Endurance Championship.

With the Test Car having previously taken all of the team's attention on track, some seriously long hours from those within the Prodrive workshop delivered two brand new 2018 GTE Pro cars just in time for last weekend's test at the Motorland Aragon Circuit in central Spain for their six allotted drivers as confirmed at last Fridays FIA WEC/ACO announcements.

From what little information has come out of the test we can assume that emphasis was on both preparing these two brand new race cars as well as further tyre development testing with the teams new Michelin partners.

Joining them in Spain were both the #98 and #90 GTE Am cars from AMR and TF Sport with a part driver line up in each as they also introduced themselves back to and across to the Michelin rubber for the season ahead respectively.

The team now has just a 'handful' more test dates available to them (including the teams annual 'family test' weekend this year in Portimao) between now and the WEC Prologue Test at Paul Ricard circuit in France at the beginning of April to ready themselves for the onslaught of ten car GTE Pro class and nine car GTE Am class!!

Photo credits - AMR / social media

Tuesday, February 13, 2018 |
Oman Racing continue their TF Sport - Blancpain GT Endurance alliance

Oman Racing continue their TF Sport - Blancpain GT Endurance alliance

Completing the trilogy of racing series again for the Surrey based TF Sport team today came confirmation of the return of the Oman Racing Team to the Blancpain GT Series Endurance Cup with new drivers and in a new class.

Pro-Am Class winners in 2017 and runners up in class at the Spa 24 last year, the TF Sport prepared  Aston Martin Racing V12 Vantage GT3 returns to the European circuit with a revised line up compared to last year of Ahmad Al Harthy, Charlie Eastwood and Euan McKay - obviously to make the new all Silver grade line up.

McKay returns to the team having raced with them at the Gulf 12hrs in December where technical gremlins cost their car an overall race podium. Eastwood meanwhile is the latest recruit to the team and features with them in the World Endurance Championship endeavours alongside past Oman Racing drivers Salih Yoluc and Euan Hankey.

Team boss Tom Ferrier said “We’re looking forward to the challenge again. It’s a step up for Ahmad now as a Silver driver and it will be good to see him race with two of our rising stars in Charlie and Euan. Consistency is always key and we want to make sure we finish each race and make sure that we’re in the position to challenge for the Silver Cup.”
Official Test days for the Blancpain GT Series at Paul Ricard are just a month away!

Photo credit - TF Sport
Tuesday, February 13, 2018 |
Team Brit making all the right moves into 2018

Team Brit making all the right moves into 2018

Team BRIT’s drivers and cars will bear the iconic Aston Martin marque in 2018 as it has officially become one of the luxury brand’s customer teams.

Having upgraded into the GT racing arena this year with a V8 Vantage GT4, full customer status under the the AMR umbrella will afford the team vital technical assistance and support in its transition year as the team and their incredibly brave drivers strive towards their ultimate Le Mans ambition.

Founder and CEO Dave Player said, “I couldn’t be prouder to see the team bearing the AMR Customer Team branding. We are privileged to be part of the Aston Martin family – an iconic British brand that resonates with everything Team BRIT stands for.

“It has been my dream to take the team to this level of racing, driving a car that is an example of superior British engineering and this is exactly what we have achieved. We look forward to representing the AMR team in 2018 and making history as we move towards Le Mans. “

For those who missed out on the teams launch hat give away, you could always try their SHOP to secure a great looking jacket, shirt or hat all in aid of motorsport's most inspirational team!

All support will undoubtedly be gratefully received.

Photo credit - Kingsize photography
Tuesday, February 13, 2018 |
Four AMR cars confirmed for WEC and Le Mans

Four AMR cars confirmed for WEC and Le Mans

Having now let the dust (or rather the snow in this case) settle after yesterdays ACO/FIA WEC announcements from Paris, what was first feared that a distinct downward turn in endurance racing would ensue following the withdrawal of the Porsche LMP1 team but actually that transpired into being any but..........!!

Starting with Thursday's European Le Mans Series confirmation that there would indeed be no Aston Martin Racing V8 Vantage GTE competing amongst it came as no real surprise as Salih Yoluc and his TF Sport team had already publicly declared their ambition to step up to the world stage in 2018.

For the ELMS, they had clearly and successfully served their purpose as being a stepping stone in the endurance racing ladder for those with aspirations - one that an ambitious Turk has grabbed with both hands.

For Beechdean AMR, their British GT announcement of this week clarified their position, being prepared to take a short GTE racing sabbatical but step back into the GT3 arena to maintain their skill sets whilst business commitments temporally keep team boss Andrew Howard away and otherwise from potentially stepping up into the world arena as well.

Then Friday's FIA WEC's announcements may not have raised any surprises in terms of Aston Martin Racing's and their customer team's participation, but maybe raised an eyebrow or two in the absence of any team confirmation.

Starting with those already mentioned, it was great to see the ACO and the WEC reward Yoluc's ambition with a confirmed full season entry into what will be an ultra competitive GTE Am field of nine cars and as part of that full season entry they also get a second year at Le Mans in what will be an incredible thirteen car GTE Am entry. As already announced by the team, that car will see a driver line up of Salih Yoluc, Euan Hankey and Charlie Eastwood or the WEC at least.

Staying in GTE Am, it was also great to see that team stalwart and reigning WEC GTE Am Champion Paul Dalla-Lana will indeed be sticking with the Banbury team for this evolutionary season having seen him compete most recently at Daytona and Bathurst in other OEM equipment.

Publicly disappointed not to be able to race the team's new GTE from the off in 2018, the lure of swapping over to the new chassis this time next year was obviously enough for the Canadian to commit to the team following his tests in the new car at Sebring late last year.

Again as a full season WEC entrant, their Le Mans entry is confirmed for himself and fellow GTE AM Champions Pedro Lamy and Mathias Lauda.

The two factory GTE Pro entries is where the eyebrows started to twitch. It was said to us at the official launch of the new GTE way back in November last year that the Le Mans winning #97 car would have a new driver appearance for 2018/19 and yesterdays announcements went part of the way to confirm that.

With the factory team also having active in the driver markets over the winter with the acquisition of two new big GT names coming into the fray, the continuation of a teams two driver line up preference was always going to generate 'casualties' within.

With 2018 now confirmed as starting at the Prologue (official test) in April, the first round proper will this time be at Spa Francorchamps and as this race will also be the pre-cursor to Le Mans it is fully expected that the #95 and #97 cars will field a triple driver squad going into that event and into Le Mans. After that is where we expect one name to be dropped from each car going into the next round at Silverstone in August before increasing again for the 12hours at Sebring, Spa and Le Mans again in 2019.

Yesterdays events confirmed that 2017 Le Mans winner Darren Turner would again become Danish and would rejoin the Dane Train of Marco Sorensen and Nicki Thiim (as he did at the start of 2016) in the #95 car whilst fellow Le Mans winner Jonny Adam would lead team newcomers Alex Lynn and Maxime Martin in the #97. For two Le Mans winning British drivers to potentially miss out at their 'home event' at Silverstone in August is disappointing for them and the fans if that were to be the case.

That is all we know at present, other than all GTE entrants into the WEC/LM24 have now made their way to Motorland Aragon in Spain for an intensive 4 day test. Hopefully social media will again play its part with the drivers and teams keeping us updated!

Photo credits - social media/AMR

Saturday, February 10, 2018 |
International news catch up

International news catch up

Putting today's new out of Paris to one side, elsewhere in the world has seen #TeamAMR kick off 2018 with a brace of podiums in South Africa and the re-emergence of our friends down under.

Charl Arangies and his Stradale Motorsport team kicked off their opening rounds of their national Extreme Supercars Series two weeks ago with two lights to chequered flag overall race wins aboard their former Motorbase Aston Martin Racing V12 Vantage GT3. This is their first year aboard the AMR having stepped up last year from a Lamborghini.

Meanwhile and over in the USA last month, Canadian based GT Racing were again out with their former PFL Motorsport V12 Vantage GT3 at the PBOC Motorsport Winterfest event at the Sebring International Raceway where father and son duo Marc and Louis-Philippe Montour extended their collection of silverware for their efforts

Competing in two sprint races and a six hour night enduro, the duo collected class gongs for P3 and P2 in class for each sprint race respectively before claiming top class honours in the night race.

Over in Queensland, Australia and not race meeting related we saw Miedecke Stone Motorsport out for the first time this year (yesterday) shaking down their two V12 Vantage GT3's after their winter rebuilds which sees their chassis #11 (the white car) being listed for sale whilst final deals are put into place for their remaining GT3/GT4 machinery within their domestic Australian GT series.

Photo credits - social media

Friday, February 09, 2018 |
Scooby comes home to the British GT

Scooby comes home to the British GT

Its fantastic to see one of the most successful British GT GT3 teams making a welcomed return to their national GT Championship with their infamous blue and white liveried Aston Martin Racing V12 Vantage GT3.

Having taken the massive step up the GT ladder into the European Le Mans Series in 2016 and winning the GTE title in the process aboard their own AMR V8 Vantage GTE, team boss Andrew Howard and his Beechdean AMR team have elected to return to the fiery cauldron that is British GT scene with his new co-driver for the 2018 season in Darren Turner.

Winning his GT3 Championships in both 2013 and 2015 with Jonny Adam by his side, Howard spent last years ELMS season under the watchful eye of AMR factory driver Darren Turner who Howard credits for improving his racing style over the year despite the teams 'difficult' season.

Speaking with Howard last year at the launch of the new AMR Vantage GTE, he felt that the then minimum drive time for the Bronze driver was not worth the expenditure for him although that has now of course increased for the 2018 season. We understand that the main reason for the switch is the time needed of him within his rapidly expanding expanding ice cream business.

Turner joins fellow AMR factory drivers Nicki Thiim and Marco Sorensen who will also debut in the British GT Championship with the TF Sport team and their Gentleman drivers Derek Johnston and Mark Farmer whilst Jonny Adam who moves across from TF Sport to the Optimum Motorsport team.

For Aston Martin Racing, placing four of their six factory drivers into what is a highly competitive national GT series is a master stroke as it (a) satisfies the needs of two of their customer teams by also keeps their own drivers race ready as they enter the new drawn out beginnings of the 2018-2019 World Endurance Championship 'Super season'.

Media Day for the 2018 British GT Championship is at Donington Park on 8th March

Photo credits - Jacob Ebrey / AMR

Thursday, February 08, 2018 |