On board the new Vantage GTE around Yas Marina
Monday, January 15, 2018 |
New look livery for one of the TF Sport car's in 2018

New look livery for one of the TF Sport car's in 2018

Presently undergoing its annual winter rebuild still sporting its red, white and black livery from the final round of the 2017 British GT Championship, the #17 TF car car will re-emerge somewhat differently to what we have been accustomed in readiness for the championships Media Day in March.

With Derek Johnston's former co-driver Jonny Adam having moved on to pastures new (well - just a few garages down the British GT pit lane to be exact) Johnston's V12 Vantage GT3 will start the pre-season testing campaign with not only a new co-driver in Aston Martin Racing factory driver Marco Sorensen but also this striking new livery.

That pre-season testing is due to start in just a couple of weeks time.

Thanks to DJ for use of image

Monday, January 15, 2018 |
Fly on the wall DeBoer's!

Fly on the wall DeBoer's!

The Racers Group driver Derek DeBoer and his family star in Fastlife, a brand new documentary-style 10-episode reality series streaming now on Amazon Prime.

Just one week after its debut on streaming platform Amazon Prime, Fastlife is quickly becoming a hit. The series, produced and shot by DeBoer’s filmmaker wife Brooke DeBoer, is a no-holds-barred, behind-the-scenes look at what it takes to become a winning race car driver in the world of competitive racing. From Circuit of the Americas in Austin, Texas to the Circuit de la Sarthe in Le Mans, France, Fastlife gives you an all-access pass on the track and off with the DeBoer family as Derek takes the wheel of TRG’s Aston Martin and Lamborghini race cars in Pirelli World Challenge and IMSA action. Derek's TRG SprintX teammate Jason Alexandridis is also featured.

Derek and Brooke teamed up to create Fastlife in 2014. “It’s pretty humbling to see our project come to fruition,” Derek says. “Brooke has really captured the moments and feeling of what we’re about and what it’s like to pursue our dreams and to be on the road and in the car with TRG.”

The series gets underway as DeBoer and TRG CEO Kevin Buckler meet in 2014. DeBoer tests for the team and the rest is, shall we say, history. “We have a rocking relationship with Derek and his family and over the past few years, Derek has really developed as a key driver for our team with wins and podiums… He’s finished every race for us he’s started and is a real pro both on and off the track,” Buckler says. “Brooke is always there with her camera filming every step of the way -- it’s like she’s a member of the team -- and it’s been great to see the results of all of that hard work, on the track and on the screen. We couldn’t be more thrilled.”

“Fastlife has already been renewed for a second season and I am in the process of going through hours of film now to create more episodes,” says filmmaker and racing road warrior Brooke DeBoer. “Our series is about Derek chasing his dreams and all of the ups and downs we’ve experienced as a family along the way. I hope our story inspires others to really go after their dreams, too.”

Source material - TRG

Monday, January 15, 2018 |
Another successful test under their belts for the new Vantage GTE

Another successful test under their belts for the new Vantage GTE

Today saw Aston Martin and three of their factory drivers conclude another successful multi-day test with the team's new V8 Vantage GTE from the Yas Marina Circuit in Abu Dhabi.

Ramping things up early in 2018 in readiness for the World Endurance Championships Prologue in early April, Danish drivers Marco Sorensen and Nicki Thiim were joined by the newest member of the factory squad in Maxime Martin who would also have his first on track experience of the factory's new turbo charged WEC and Le Mans contender.

For the first time in its relatively short testing programme, drivers were able to post some really useful photo's and video clips from the test of the new car as well as some of the two Porsche 911 RSR's, both Ford GT's and  single AF Corse Ferrari 488 that shared the test facility with them.

Saturday and Sunday saw further elongated test sessions for the team with the squad running the car for longer, circa 07:00 and 24:00hrs, not in full race simulations but continuous enough to place further stresses and strains upon the car and crew with small adjustments being made as and when required.

Whilst this test was underway, the remaining trio of factory drivers were either on PR duty at the Autosport Show or at previous engagements with the Formula E series in Northern Africa. Comments on social media from these guys suggested that they will be back in the car in early February (possibly the annual AMR family test from Portimao) and maybe with more than just one car!?!?

Photo and video clip thanks to N Thiim/M Sorensen

Sunday, January 14, 2018 |
TRG-AMR looking for clientele for Festival at Le Mans 2018

TRG-AMR looking for clientele for Festival at Le Mans 2018

California based The Racer Group are looking for both professional and gentleman (or indeed lady) drivers to help them emulate the success they enjoyed last time out at the Aston Martin Racing Festival at Le Mans back in 2015.

Running for the third time in 2018, the Aston Martin Racing Festival is a support event for the 24 Hours of Le Mans and follows the same track configuration around the infamous Circuit de La Sarthe as the main racing event that weekend and is again open to any racing platform previously produced by AMR (including DB9/DBRS9/GT2/GTE/GT3/GT4/GT8/Proto/Inv) and is this year open to both AML Vulcan and Valkyrie cars.

Shipping over last time, an incredible mixture of eight GT3 and GT4 cars as well as their mightily impressive transporter rig, that investment into the event allowed the team to secure both second and third place overall for their two AMR V12 Vantage GT3's for drivers Christina Neilson, (team boss) Kevin Buckler and Robert Nimkoff in what was we recall a slightly controversial result (not involving TRG)!

The team also secured GT4 success with team stalwart Derek DeBoer claiming the class with gentleman co driver Bob Bramlage.

Speaking with those from AMR at the launch of the new Vantage GTE last year, faces beamed when the subject of the Festival arose with an early interest that will hopefully beat the 35 car entry of 2015.

Details of TRG-AMR's Festival prospectus can be found HERE

Saturday, January 13, 2018 |
Autosport Show news

Autosport Show news

Tomorrow sees the opening to the general public of the Autosport Show for 2018 from the National Exhibition Centre in Birmingham.

Having been fortunate to catch a look around the show yesterday, we have to say that we were somewhat disappointed overall with the level of Aston Martin Racing and customer team interaction this time compared to previous shows with just three GT4 cars on display, although that didn't really detract from the spectacle of the show overall as it was otherwise heavily sportscar orientated.

We had hoped from the guys at Prodrive that a show car variant (at least) of the 2017 Le Mans 24hr winning #97 AMR Vantage GTE car would be there - it wasn't (at least not on Thursday) but then drivers Darren Turner and Jonny Adam (together with Ross Gunn) will be on hand over the weekend for both interview and driving demonstrations in the Live Arena with the new Aston Martin Vantage.

A short straw for them possibly as their WEC colleagues enjoyed the first test of the year from Abu Dhabi against the likes of Porsche and Ford who are also testing there!

We had a couple of great chats with some from both MacMillan Racing and Generation AMR. Unfortunately for all, the earlier news of MacMillan being forced to take a sabbatical this year are true and we were told not to expect to see either of their cars out on track in the short to medium term with the term 'regrouping' being actively used.

The chat went on to raise the potential of seeing the teams cars out in series outside of Europe which would be really exciting for all if those deals were to come off but for now, they remain a distant ambition for the team. Team drivers from 2017, Jan Jonck and Jacob Mitchell were also on hand, with us being told that the possibility of seeing either or both of those two out racing in the UK in 2018 still a real possibility with someone TBA'd

With much of the limelight of Thursday firmly (and rightly) upon the new Invictus Games Racing British GT GT4 entries, bankrolled by James Holder and supported by the David Appleby Engineering team (all of whom deserve huge congratulations for all that has already been achieved and for what they can achieve in the future) we understand from team boss James Appleby that both James Holder and Matt George shall be returning to the European GT4 Series aboard their SuperRacing Aston Martin Racing V8 Vantage GT4 for 'pre selected' rounds from both series as well as the AMR Festival at Le Mans later in June.

The reduced commitment within their Vantage GT4 is simple down to the time needed to invest in their new Jaguar GT4 British GT commitments with Invictus Games Racing with George being named as one of the cars pro drivers.

Today, we heard that Chris Murphy has confirmed his return to the GT Cup Championship aboard one of his V8 Vantage GT4's. Having posted a link to his recent advert HERE for interest into both the GT Cup and Britcar championships in 2018 we hope that this news will start him and his Whitebridge Motorsport team off on what will be a busy year of competitive racing.

Also on display was the green and lime liveried AMR V8 Vantage GT4 belonging to Australian racer Mal Sandford. Having had the car first imported into Australia by Miedecke Stone Motorsport before moving to Portugal, the R-Motorsport client gentleman driver saw out the 2017 season with the 'into the night' Britcar finale from Silverstone with the EDF Motorsport team.

Placards upon the car showed that the team could well be looking to re-enter that national GT championship this year and we certainly wouldn't be surprised if the car also made it to Le Mans for the AMR Festival.

With both TF Sport V12 Vantage GT3's currently under winter rebuild we grabbed a quick laugh and a joke with their departing team Pro driver Jonny Adam. He said that his testing duties with his new Optimum team would start as early as the end of the month although he did say that he didn't expect the team to attend the TeamAMR family test later in February. Also asking whether or not Derek Johnston or Mark Farmer were prepared for the arrival of the two Danes (and their antics) ahead of the start of this years British GT Championship he simply shrugged his shoulders and said "I've warned them"!

One little tip from the show is that should you want top get your hands on any Team AMR apparel of 2017, there is a stand selling almost the entire range at nearly half price! - £100 for an adult waterproof instead of £190 and a Gillet for £65 instead of £105. Its somewhere near the Travel Destinations stand on the main entrance/exit side of the hall.

That of course raises of the question of whether there is going to be another new range released for 2018 in the new factory colours?

Have a great show if you are going.

Friday, January 12, 2018 |
GTE testing continues apace at Yas Marina

GTE testing continues apace at Yas Marina

Whilst Aston Martin Racing drivers Darren Turner and Jonny Adam enjoy the pleasantries that are the Autosport Show from the NEC in Birmingham this weekend, it appears that some of the remaining works drivers have been slumming it over in Abu Dhabi.

With Alex Lynn already committed to Formula E duties this week, social media accounts have shown that Dane Train drivers Nicki Thiim and Marco Sorensen (and we believe Maxime Martin) have started the first multi day test of 2018 with the new GTE platform ahead of the FIA WEC season that starts in May.

This, we believe would be Martin's first extensive track experience of the new car having come over to the factory team from BMW late last year. Martin and Thiim will also be racing together with an Arden prepared R-Motorsport V12 Vantage GT3 in the Blancpain GT Series.

With the team also testing at the circuit in parallel to the Porsche and Ford GT teams, they should also be getting their first 'on track' comparisons for the new car.

Photo credits - social media

Thursday, January 11, 2018 |
Whitebridge Motorsport looking to expand in 2018

Whitebridge Motorsport looking to expand in 2018

Former Aston Martin Racing "Rookie of the Year' racer Chris Murphy and his team at Whitebridge Motorsport are clearly looking to expand their racing operations in 2018 offering the services two fully rebuilt, 2016 specification AMR V8 Vantage GT4's in both the national GT Cup and Britcar GT endurance championships.

Having previously run in both championships in both 2016 and 2017 with the likes of Phil Glew, Jody Fanin, Jonny Cocker and Matt George, Whitebridge are also offering opportunities at both the AMR Customer Test at Portimao in March as well as the AMR Festival at Le Mans in June.


Full details can be found HERE
Tuesday, January 09, 2018 |
TF Sport hoping to move up ladder to World Endurance Championship

TF Sport hoping to move up ladder to World Endurance Championship

Since its inception in 2014, TF Sport has enjoyed phenomenal success in GT Racing with championship honours in the Blancpain Endurance Cup, Michelin Le Mans Cup, British GT as well as wins and a title challenge in the European Le Mans Series (ELMS). Now the British-based team, which continues to enjoy factory support from Aston Martin Racing, is delighted to confirm that it will compete in the 2018/19 FIA World Endurance Championship (WEC) ‘super-season’ in the GT-Am category subject to entry acceptance*

The successful partnership of Salih Yoluc and Euan Hankey is set to continue, the pair stepping up to WEC from ELMS, alongside UK rising star Charlie Eastwood.

Yoluc and Hankey have competed together with TF Sport with great success, winning the teams’ championship in 2016 in the Michelin Le Mans Cup on the back of two wins. In 2017 they raced in ELMS, taking victory in the opening round at Silverstone and then securing multiple podium positions on the way to a fighting second position in the championship.

Eastwood joins TF Sport having wrapped up the Porsche Carrera Cup in the UK in 2017. The Belfast born driver enjoyed a successful karting background from 2004 – including the Rotax World Championship in 2012 and the European championship in 2013. He then started his single seater career in Formula 4 in 2014 before taking on the challenge of the Toyota Racing Series in New Zealand. A move to Formula Renault followed but it was the move to the Porsche Carrera Cup that brought him onto the GT radar in 2016.

With everything now in place, TF Sport, Yoluc, Hankey and Eastwood are set to embark on a programme at the very pinnacle of GT racing as they prepare for the eight-round 2018/19 championship which gets underway in May 2018 at Spa Francorchamps. This is followed by no less than two races at the 24 Hours of Le Mans, as well as rounds in Japan, China and the US in what really is a super-season at the very highest level in motorsport.

Tom Ferrier, TF Sport Sporting Director

"It’s a huge honour to be competing in the World Endurance Championship next year; it’s by far our biggest ever programme and it underlines the strength of our team at every level. We have had huge success in the past two years in very tough championships such as Blancpain and ELMS so I feel we are ready to move up.

"We have a really big challenge in WEC but we’re confident that we will be competitive and deliver the results that we, our supporters and partners, now expect from us."

Salih Yoluc

"As a team, it is very exciting for all of us to be on the very highest stage of sports car racing. I'm really looking forward to exciting races and of course our first WEC win! We've been quite unlucky in ELMS this year in so many ways, but I hope we were just suffering a little to make the future victories even sweeter, with a change in fortune.

“Being able to fight to be a world champion and also a 24 Hours of Le Mans winner is something very special and we'll do our best and make sure we enjoy the journey.”

Euan Hankey

“Myself, Salih, Charlie and TF Sport are really on a fantastic journey and it’s great to be a part of this programme. We’re under no illusions as to how hard WEC will be as it’s the very very top category of racing in the world. But in saying that, we’ve got a great track record, a mega team, so there’s no reason why we can’t build and continue to show what we can do, even in WEC!”

Charlie Eastwood

“It’s going to be a big challenge to step up to what is the very top in GT Racing; it’s a big old step. With the line-up we have, we’re confident we’ll be quick in each of our driver categories. I won the Carrera Cup in 2017 but remain Silver, so it’s the ideal partnership with Salih and Euan.

“I met with Tom (Ferrier) and some of the guys in the team five weeks ago for the first time and it was a great meeting. It really kick-started the talks and the Friday before Christmas it was all confirmed. It’s great to know so far in advance what you’re doing for the coming season and with Tom’s amazing record with TF Sport and the driver combination we have, we’re all pretty buzzed up and raring to go.

“There’s a lot of unknowns for all of us obviously, but we’re looking forward to the challenge. I know Silverstone and Le Mans and we’re planning on a good test programme. So as a team we all have the same desire and I can’t wait to get started!”

* No team has a guaranteed entry to the WEC; the team has submitted an entry to the Championship and successful entries will be announced February 8th.

Source material - TF Sport
Monday, January 08, 2018 |