Miedecke hits the dance floor in the fight against Cancer

Miedecke hits the dance floor in the fight against Cancer

Earlier today European time will have seen Australian Aston Martin GT racer George Miedecke hit the dance floor along with his professional dance partner all in aid of of a local charitable event against cancer.

Proud to describe himself as six foot six inches - not six foot five inches, Miedecke joined a group of nine other local business people and personalities from New South Wales at the Stars of The Hastings Dance for Cancer event.

Incredibly, across the nine couples competing a near whopping $88,500.00 Aus has been already raised for this worthy cause.

Well done to all!

Friday, November 24, 2017 |
Aston winners honoured at this evenings SRO Award night

Aston winners honoured at this evenings SRO Award night

It appears that fun was had by all invited to the annual SRO Awards Presentation Evening tonight, with the ceremony this time taking place from within the beautiful period backdrop of the former Stock Exchange in Paris as the SRO also celebrated its 25 year anniversary.

For the extended TF Sport team, awards were plentiful as they collected their trophies for their runners up positions from this years British GT Championship as well as winning the Blancpain Pro-Am Championships.

Drivers Derek Johnston, Jonny Adam, Salih Yoluc, Ahmad Al Harthy as well as team boss Tom Ferrier all attended.

Hopefully overcoming his persistent cough of last Tuesday, tonight saw Andrew Howard of BeechdeanAMR honoured as an "SRO Hero" by SRO boss Stephane Ratel, who also had his own Aston Martin Racing DBRS9 outside in the courtyard to form the race car 'guard of honour'!

Academy Motorsport's Matt Nichol-Jones was also on hand to collect the awards from his and Will Moore's exploits into the British GT and European GT4 Championships.

Photo credits - SRO / TF Sport
Friday, November 24, 2017 |
An Aston Martin Valkyrie at Le Mans maybe?

An Aston Martin Valkyrie at Le Mans maybe?

In between the bubbly and small talk at last night's unveiling of the new Aston Martin Vantage road car and GTE, we broached the subject of the Aston Martin Racing Festival that will once again act as a support race at the 24 Hours of Le Mans in June 2018.

Last run in 2015, that 45 minute race was unfortunately red flagged after an early incident involving a GT4 car left the barrier at Tertre Rouge seriously damaged just ahead of the start of the 24Hour race itself.

This year we understand that the 38 car grid of three years ago is expected to be matched or even beaten as scores of teams and owners already enquiring about the 2018 event.

Last night we learned that the provisional entry includes the delights of TWO Lola P1's, a number of DB9's and DBRS9's, several Aston Martin Vulcans and the usual Vantage GTE, GT3's and GT4's.

The news even went that bit further to include the potential of having the new Valkyrie hyper-car run at the head of the pack on the warm up lap!!!

Having already made some enquiries we understand that possible entries are coming in from the RoFGO Collection, The Racer Group, 22GT and from BeechdeanAMR.

Photo credits - Aston Martin / Max Earey 
Wednesday, November 22, 2017 |
An amazing AMR Vantage GTE Launch night

An amazing AMR Vantage GTE Launch night

Who'd have thought last night that down a dimly lit cobbled lane on the site of an old Brewery in the east end of London that you'd come across the official launch of the 2018 Aston Martin Racing V8 Vantage GTE!

With the location until then shrouded in absolute secrecy, a couple of hundred people slowly turned up at the Old Truman Brewery Site for an event that would wow the invited international customer and media audience with the simultaneous unveiling of both the New Vantage road car and race car.

After a couple of brief presentational video clips and a motivational address from Aston Martin CEO, Dr Andy Palmer it was quickly down to business with the unveiling of the two cars along with an open invitation for all within the audience to inspect the results of the team's toil over many months of development. There was no 'keep behind the line' there!!

The most obvious change (other than the new shape itself) was the inversion of its colour scheme from this year, with the new car now predominantly being a vibrant lime colour with Sterling Green left for the sponsor logo detail along with day glow orange flashes around the from end creating that predatory character that the CEO spoke about earlier.

Strangely, the new GTE looked smaller than its predecessor but we have it on good authority that it is actually fractionally longer and wider than its road going brother with whom it shared the stage. Huge bonnet ducts and wide and wide angular door sills were also very evident - all very familiar features on its GTE advisories from the Ferrari, Ford and BMW stables.

With the initial formalities over, it was time to present the drivers to the crowd with Darren Turner, Jonny Adam, Marco Sorensen, Nicki Thiim, Alex Lynn, Pedro Lamy and Mathias Lauda all stepping forward as driving with the team in the World Endurance Championship during its transitional season that starts next May.

From what we learned from our various conversations last night however, is that this line up is not likely to be the final one going into Spa 2018 as many questions (apparently) still need to be answered within the team. Questions around the likelihood of running a three driver Pro line up at the season opener at Spa remained unanswered as well as any identity to of those possibly involved. We were told that these questions may be answered as soon as next month so we will wait and see!

Whilst the addition of Alex Lynn to the team was openly broadcasted, confirmation of the team's swap back to Michelin wasn't. That was simple left to the presence of small decals on the car and the usual blue and white decals on the sidewall of the tyres to confirm to anyone who looked.

Speaking to one driver during the evening, he was to offer that during testing on the new rubber that it very quickly became apparent as to why their fellow GTE Pro competitors were simply able to drive away from them this season, certainly in the latter half!

Hearing how this test chassis (confirmed as to be the only new 2018 spec GTE in existence at present) has been developed over some 800 man hours of the factory's time, the car actually started its track life at the Pembrey Circuit in South Wales as it (then) wasn't expected to complete many laps first time out - which it did and has continued to do!!

To date the car has now been tested at Snetterton, Rockingham, various circuits in Spain and of course most recently at Sebring clocking up an incredible 13,000kms as well as two 30hours of continuous testing.

The new chassis has also allowed the team to make critical weight and balance adjustments compared to its predecessor with a new, lighter gearbox being positioned slightly lower than before thus lowering its centre of gravity. That, together with a new and lighter driveshaft allows the team to place counterweights wherever they wish within the chassis in order to bring the car up to its minimum declared weight. Gone are the large air ducts through the rear compartment of the car and there is actually a line of sight from any rear view mirror (which there isn't as it uses a camera an WEC proximity system) through to the rear of the car.

The rear defuser also looks slightly smaller but that has simply been pushed further under the car as the extent of  'overhang' beyond the rear valance is governed by Regulation.

We understand that this test car was only flown back to the UK last Friday (after its Sebring test) to have a new engine fitted and the new, full livery to be applied for the first time. We also understand that although the new car has completed its wind shear test in the US it has yet to complete its FIA Homologation process - something that is expected to be completed before the end of the year.

The new GTE will now return to the Prodrive factory for the final build elements to be completed before it is prepared for the teams annual customer test weekend from Spain early in the new year.

Like all things motor racing - the proof will be at its first competitive race meeting but if the smiles and eager anticipation are anything to go by and the car goes as fast as it looks - its will be a great transitional season!

We would just like to thank Aston Martin Racing for their invitation to last nights event and for all their assistance and kind words over this season so we look forward to doing it all over again next year!

Wednesday, November 22, 2017 |
Meet the New Vantage

Meet the New Vantage

This lunchtime saw the formal unveiling of Aston Martin Lagonda's new V8 Vantage road car from their Gaydon Headquarters and what a beauty she is to.

With very big wheels to fit, the references to her motor racing pedigree are obvious and now we just need to imagine ourselves a  large great rear wing, flared wheeled arches, a bigger rear defuser, some number panels and we'll have ourselves the New GTE!!

Reveal time 20:00Hrs GMT

Photo credit - AML
Tuesday, November 21, 2017 |
Tonight is most definitely New Vantage Eve

Tonight is most definitely New Vantage Eve

Thanks to a very quirky but very apt comment from one of our Twitter followers, tonight is indeed that very special night in the land of #TeamAMR as we have just one more sleep to go before the full, simultaneous public unveiling of the new Vantage road car and GTE sports car.

Having be extremely fortunate enough to have secured an invitation to this exclusive event in central London tomorrow night, we shall of course endeavour to (as far as our cameraphone batteries allow) provide as much coverage of the event that we can.

You could say that we are already pretty excited!!

Monday, November 20, 2017 |
Aston Martin Racing wins WEC GTE Am Championship

Aston Martin Racing wins WEC GTE Am Championship

Aston Martin Racing clinched the GTE Am drivers’ and teams’ titles in the final round of the 2017 FIA World Endurance Championship in Bahrain on Saturday. Capping an astonishing season that included seven pole positions and four victories for the crew of the #98 Aston Martin V8 Vantage GTE, Paul Dalla Lana, Mathias Lauda and Pedro Lamy covered themselves in glory on the series’ final visit to the Bahrain International Circuit.

Having started from pole position, the #98 Aston Martin V8 Vantage GTE delivered a storming drive to take an emphatic victory of the season in the Bapco 6 Hours of Bahrain, securing a dream result for everyone in the team and those back at the factory in the UK.

After coming out on top in a fierce battle with the #98 car’s chief championship rival in the first stint, Lauda handed over to Dalla Lana who drove two brilliant stints to keep the car in control of its destiny. Aston Martin Racing stalwart Lamy had the honour of bringing the car home at the flag having built up an indomitable lead in his two stints.

Afterwards, an emotional Lamy said: “This is a dream come true. We’ve been trying so hard for four years now and finally we’ve won. We were so strong in the past taking so many pole positions and race wins even when we were not in the fastest car on the grid. For so many seasons we’ve missed out on that feeling of winning a championship but now we’ve got that feeling and I’m incredibly happy. I just want to say that it’s a big honour to win this championship and to do that with Aston Martin. This is the most important one for me and to take this championship alongside Mat and Paul is really special. I’ve raced with this team now for many years and I have a lot of love for this brand”.

For Dalla Lana, the first Canadian to win an FIA WEC title, this championship victory represented four years of hard grind. “To describe the feeling of winning this championship in one word… finally! I’ve seen Nicki and Marco enjoy this moment last year and Darren, Jonny and Daniel at Le Mans this year, so I can appreciate what they went through because this really is complete and total satisfaction. It’s so hard to get here, you need hundreds of people behind you but to have finally made it feels great. It’s going to have to sink in over some time but for now I just want to really enjoy this moment. Thank you so much to the team for making this championship victory a reality”.

It was also the first time that Lauda had won a world championship and Mat admitted he was ‘over the moon’ with the result. “With Paul and Pedro we’ve won 12 races in the three years that I’ve been in this car and the championship has always been our main goal and finally we’ve done it! That was a tough race,” he said. “The only way the Dempsey Porsche could win the championship was if we had a problem and they won but I took my time in my opening stint without taking any risks to make the pass. Once I got past him, the car felt great and I was really able to open the gap, drive smart and just make sure not to make any mistakes. The last hour was so tough to watch but to watch Pedro cross the line was an absolute dream come true”.

In GTE Pro, Aston Martin Racing was unable to repeat the success of 2016, where Nicki Thiim and Marco Sørensen clinched the world crown, as the V8 Vantage GTE bowed of the Pro category. Having shown excellent pace in qualifying, ultimately the challenge of the #97 and #95 crews faded in the race to sixth and seventh positions in class.

“It was always going to be difficult when you have to run four sets of tyres over a six-hour race,” said Darren Turner, who shares the #97 Aston Martin V8 Vantage GTE with Jonny Adam. “Once the first hour is done you don't really know where you are because everyone is going to split their strategies to suit themselves and it is not so easy to understand the pace relative to the others. There were some good points during the race and I certainly enjoyed it but the highlight for everyone in the team this weekend is the performance by #98. Another textbook race by those guys and it's just so nice that they have got the title and every member of the team will be celebrating hard with them tonight.”

Paul Howarth, Team Principal Aston Martin Racing said, “It's brilliant to still be world champions as a team. Having conceded the FIA GTE Pro titles, we've won the GTE Am titles for Aston Martin Racing. Seven poles, four wins, the Am class and GTE Pro wins in Le Mans and Mexico. It's the icing on the cake for the whole team and everyone involved in Aston Martin Racing. All the partners, Dunlop, everybody back at Gaydon, winning world championships don't come easy. It's an immense moment for the people who support the team including Paul Dalla Lana and it's a big moment for Pedro and Mathias too. They have stuck with it, and come close so many times.

We decided from the outset that we were here to race. You can make so many errors driving around for position, and then you force an error and get in the wrong position on the track. So the plan was to lead from the front, and they committed to that. Once Mathias took that leap forward he got back on par with everybody else and then just carried a very strong pace which is a credit to all three of them, the car and everybody in the team. We then carried a strong pace to the end to let the opposition know there was no chance of winning.

The V8 Vantage GTE has bowed out in real style. It's a Le Mans winner, a world championship winner for the second year in a row. It can be recognised as one of the greatest cars in GT racing and going forward the next generation of race cars have a hard act to follow.”

John Gaw, Managing Director Aston Martin Racing added: “I'm so pleased for Paul because he's tried so hard and he's been working for this for four years. That makes winning the championship all the more special. He's a great team player and he made the difference again today with his strong middle stint, just as he made the difference in qualifying. Mathias drove well to put the car in the right position at the start and Pedro delivered what was needed to bring home the title. I'm very happy and proud of everyone at Aston Martin Racing tonight and the team behind the #98 Aston Martin V8 Vantage GTE deserve all the credit.

Now we get to celebrate tonight and then on Tuesday we launch the next chapter in Aston Martin Racing's GT story and that's incredibly exciting”.

Source material - AMR
Sunday, November 19, 2017 |
GTE Am destiny in their own hands in Bahrain?

GTE Am destiny in their own hands in Bahrain?

Aston Martin Racing claimed the GTE Am pole position for the Bapco 6 Hours of Bahrain, bringing the crew of the #98 V8 Vantage GTE to the brink of FIA World Endurance Championship title glory.

Pedro Lamy (P) and Paul Dalla Lana (C) claimed a vital point for their achievement to give them both and teammate Mathias Lauda (A) an 11-point lead over their nearest rivals. The trio must finish at least third in Saturday’s season finale to secure the GTE Am drivers’ and teams’ world championships.

While Pedro delivered his usual high level of performance in qualifying, the Portuguese paid tribute to Dalla Lana who’s time was more than a second faster than any other amateur in the session. It was the crew’s seventh pole position of the season.

Lamy said, “I did an okay time but Paul, compared with all the other Bronze drivers, did a brilliant job. He really made the difference. It is great for us and the point is really important considering the championship position we are in”.

Dalla Lana added that while securing the title was now a real possibility, he was trying hard not to think about it. “The plan is to win, but tomorrow is one of those occasions where we need to finish and focus on being where we need to be to secure our ultimate goal. I’m afraid to talk about anything more than that!”

In GTE Pro, the #97 V8 Vantage GTE of Darren Turner and Jonny Adam will start the V8 Vantage GTE’s last race in the category from the front row after placing second during the session. With Turner out first, the car quickly shot to the top of the times with a 1m56.021s before dropping behind the pole car. When Jonny Adam took over from the Englishman, he encountered traffic on his fastest lap, but even still the duo’s best combined average came to 1m56.372s, +0.339s away from the top slot.

Turner said, “It's wonderful that we are on the front row for the last race of the Vantage. It would have been nice to get pole position like we had here 12 months ago. It was very close and I think everyone except the pole car probably had a few points around the track where they lost a tenth and with the competition as strong as it is you need perfect laps by everyone. We tried a different strategy with Jonny and myself, which didn't help Jonny, so we've learnt something for the race tomorrow. I think we are in good shape and you can see by the times it's going to be a close battle.”

The #95 V8 Vantage GTE of Nicki Thiim (D) and Marco Sørensen (D) will start tomorrow’s race from 5th, after an uncharacteristically low key session.

Thiim said: “The car feels good it's just that on the watch we are just not quick enough. It's not going to be a walk in the park like we thought it would, but we are still in it.”

Paul Howarth, Team Principal Aston Martin Racing said, “This is the seventh pole of the year in GTE Am, so it was a strong performance by #98. Every point is important so to take one for pole means tomorrow we need to finish in the top three. But there is still some way to go. Darren and Jonny drove a really strong lap, nearly there but not quite enough. Going for pole is critical for the team, and it would have great for the last race of V8 Vantage GTE in the championship, but it shows its competitiveness to the end.”

The Bapco 6 Hours of Bahrain will begin at 16h00 local time on Saturday 18 November.

Source material - AMR

Due to an untimely clash with family business abroad we will not be able to cover the race. We do obviously hope that Messrs Dalla Lana, Lamy and Lauda achieve the dizzy heights of WEC GTE Am Champions cum the end of the race tomorrow, not just for themselves but for all those who work around them and have supported them all year. You really do deserve it!

We also hope the the GTE Pro boys get to finish the race on the podium so that their most trusted and successful steed sees out her Pro duties on the high that she deserves.

Good luck - be safe and take that silverware guys!!!!

Friday, November 17, 2017 |
Aston Martin Racing's GTE Pro Vantage swansong

Aston Martin Racing's GTE Pro Vantage swansong

British marque Aston Martin retires its most successful ever racing car, the V8 Vantage GTE, from GTE Pro duty after the final round of the 2017 FIA World Endurance Championship in Bahrain. Meanwhile, the team’s GTE Am squad goes into the finale hunting championship glory.

V8 Vantage GTE: 2012-2017

After winning the 2017 24 Hours of Le Mans in June in dramatic fashion, the #95 and #97 Aston Martin Racing entries will be looking to provide both cars with a suitable send-off this weekend in the Bapco 6 Hours of Bahrain, the final race at the venue which does not feature on next year’s calendar..

The #95 car will once again be driven by the 2016 GTE reigning Drivers’ champions Marco Sørensen and Nicki Thiim. The Danish duo wrapped up their title in Bahrain last year with victory, while Le Mans-winning drivers Darren Turner and Jonny Adam will occupy the driving seat of #97.

Having won 36 races, four championship titles and stolen the hearts of race fans worldwide between 2012 and 2017, the V8 Vantage GTE will look to add one final win to its tally in GTE Pro this weekend.

After racing the car in each of its campaigns and taking Le Mans victory in the car earlier this year, driver Darren Turner said: "For everyone at Aston Martin Racing, the actual journey with the race car has been truly a great experience. From the first year in 2012; where we didn’t get the car’s first win until the last race in Shanghai, to then watch it grow into one of the most successful cars in the championship both in Am and Pro. It has pretty much won at every venue throughout the championship and it's been amazing.

"We've had some hard battles with it, we've had the highest highs and we've had a few lows as well. The evolution of that car from one season to the next as we've strived to remain competitive with the technical package is testament to the hard work that has gone into it by everybody back at Aston Martin Racing and everyone at Aston Martin developing and designing such an amazing and special car. So it will be sad to race it for the last time in the Pro category on Saturday, but everyone can look back and have fond memories and be very proud of what has been achieved with the V8 Vantage GTE."

In celebration, all three V8 Vantage GTEs will sport a unique livery this weekend, with a montage of iconic podiums from the car’s WEC career from 2012-2017 adorning each roof and the iconic Vantage GTE nameplate will be proudly worn across each rear wing.

While the V8 Vantage GTE will live on in GTE Am, this weekend marks a significant point in Aston Martin Racing’s history.

Source material - AMR

Thursday, November 16, 2017 |