Beechdean AMR get the job done in style at Spa

Beechdean AMR get the job done in style at Spa

In something close to a zero to hero race at the penultimate round of the Michelin Le Mans Cup Series from Spa Francorchamps today, Beechdean AMR drivers Andrew Howard and Ross Gunn raced their Aston Martin Racing V8 Vantage GT3 from plumb last to claim a richly deserved GT3 class P2 podium at the end of the two hour race.

With Howard having last competed at the final round of the British GT Championship at Donington Park just last weekend, it was a quick dash down to the Belgium circuit to be ready for Wednesday's Collective test where the duo ended that day with good pace finishing P3 and P2 in class across the day's two sessions.

In Free Practice 1 yesterday the team submitted no laps, before Howard then later went out solo in the Bronze Driver session to at least post some lap times before the two then went out in the final Free Practice session - clearly the team having some concerns with something yesterday? Despite clocking competitive times in Qualifying that would have been worthy of a P4 start in class, the #99 AMR Vantage was adjudged to have exceeded the maximum number of turbo over-boosts permitted by Regulation in the session and all times were deleted (not the first time that has happened with the car).

Without hearing the specific reasons why, the Beechdean mechanics worked on into the night on Friday to replace the #99 cars AMG based engine - an action that would cast the car to the rear of the grid for Saturdays race but then the car was already at the rear of the grid from having its Qualifying times deleted - nothing to lose!

Come the start of the race today, thirty cars into La Source usually creates some degree of contact and with four LMP3's and a couple of GT3's all getting embroiled in a fight at the first corner this allowed Howard to calmly drive around the turmoil to pick up an incredible nine places on the opening lap alone.

The race took another twist as the GT3 Class Championship leading Luzich Racing Ferrari 488 collected a puncture from that turn one incident and from then on they were never in contention despite having claimed the class pole position. For the next forty minutes or so, Howard systematically picked off the cars in from to be in P3 by the time a Safety Car was called due to debris along the Kemmel Straight just ahead of the expected scheduled stops for all cars.

With just the #8 Kessel Racing and the #51 Spirit of Race Ferrari's then ahead in the GT3 class, a quicker turn around for the #99 crew saw Gunn gain the advantage over the #51 in the pit lane to leave just 1.2 seconds behind the leading #8 car. For next fifty minutes Gunn tried everything to get past the experiences Piccini now aboard the #8 Kessel car but with both time and Michelin rubber beneath him running out all that Gunn could do was to bring the #99 car home at the chequered flag - still just 1.2 seconds behind the class winner.

Grateful for a clean and thoroughly entertaining race this time out for Howard, this result elevates them back up to P3 in the GT3 Championship but sadly now out of contention for the ultimate prize of an automatic Le Mans 24 Hrs invitation.

Never the less, Beechdean AMR will be back out a the final race of the season in Portimao, Portugal in five weeks time for a little more fun before the season end.

Photo credits - Le Mans Cup

Saturday, September 21, 2019 |
Team Virage trade places with Optimum in next round of GT Cup Open

Team Virage trade places with Optimum in next round of GT Cup Open

Also taking advantage of their home round of the International GT Open Series from the Circuit de Catalunya near Barcelona this weekend is local Aston Martin Racing Customer Team - Team Virage who have also entered a solo AMR Vantage GT4 into the supporting GT Cup Open races this weekend.

Following in the footsteps of Optimum Motorsport last time out at Silverstone a couple of weeks ago, the Spanish team would love to emulate the successes of both Connor O'Brien and Charlie Eastwood who secured both an overall P2 and a Class P2 in each of the Silverstone races in their #35 car.

Whilst drivers Fernando Navarrete and Alvaro Lobera may not be of the same experience level of the two Optimum drivers, both knowledge gaining and fun will be the tone for the two 50 minute races.

We wish them well.

Photo credit - Team Virage
Thursday, September 19, 2019 |
Back to Le Mans Cup at Spa Francorchamps for Beechdean AMR

Back to Le Mans Cup at Spa Francorchamps for Beechdean AMR

A quick dash over the Channel after the final round of the British GT Championship at Donington Park on Sunday was needed for the Beechdean AMR team to be at the iconic circuit at Spa - Francorchamps in time for pre-event testing yesterday - all ahead of the this weekends penultimate round of the Le Mans Cup Series.

Despite a class podium in the second race of the Road to Le Mans event at the 24Hours of Le Mans mid-season double header back in June, the #99 Aston Martin Racing V8 Vantage GT3 entry for Andrew Howard and Ross Gunn was competing for a potential further podium last time out in Barcelona before an LMP3 car elected to become a 'mobile chicane', lapping just fast enough to keep it in front of a charging Gunn to deny him any opportunity of challenging the GT3's ahead for position in the closing stages of that July race.

Speaking to Howard and Gunn at Donington, both are resigned to the fact that the best that they can do is race for P4 in the series, not due to Balance of Performance issues but rather due to an 'imbalance' in the driver gradings with the Ams drivers in the three Ferrari's ahead.

Let's hope that Spa allows for a little more competitive spirit in Saturdays race.

Thursday, September 19, 2019 |
GT3 auditions last weekend for Griessner and George in ADAC GT Masters

GT3 auditions last weekend for Griessner and George in ADAC GT Masters

Both drivers well versed with the complexities of GT4 racing saw David Griessner and Matt George take a significant step forward in their GT racing career last weekend as both shared one of PROsport Performances Aston Martin Racing V8 Vantage GT3's at the penultimate round of the ADAC GT Masters Series from the Nurburgring.

Making such a step up after just a simple one day test before the event was asking a lot of the two young drivers but neither went on to disgrace themselves over the course of the two - one hour races over the weekend after contractural issues with both their Pro drivers saw one one them (Daniel Keilwitz) actually compete against them in the Zakspeed Mercedes.

Whilst Griessner did suffer 'an off' on Friday that made for some late night working for the German squad, he later did well to avoid a substantial accident on the opening lap of race one where four mid field cars were taken out of the race right in front of the #98 AMR.

With that race being red flagged to clear the debris field, the #98 car went on to finish a credible P22 out of the original 31 car starters at their first attempt whilst in Sundays race they finished P23 out of a starting grid of 29 cars despite starting each race from the rear of the grid.

George would later tell us that their cycling through of various issues with the car were systematically solved only for new problem to take their place but more importantly their success was measured in many ways and not necessarily where they finished up in the races.

We wait to see if these two will figure in the final race of the Series from the Sachsenring at the end of the month.

For the teams two AMR Vantage GT4's entered into the supporting ADAC GT4 Germany Series saw a gratefully received resurgence in race results as firstly both cars finished both races and in positions that were of great credit - particularly for the #19 crew who had never raced the car or with selves before the weekend.

The #18 car of Alex Mies and David Ortmann would finish P6 and P5 whilst Christian Konnerth and Yannick Frubrich would debut with P16 and P13 finishes respectively.

That series final round of the season is also at The Sachsenring.

Photo credits - ADAC / Prosport

Thursday, September 19, 2019 |
Yoluc to defend FIA crown in a TF Sport AMR

Yoluc to defend FIA crown in a TF Sport AMR

Last year in sweltering conditions in Bahrain, Salih Yoluç stood proudly on the top step of the podium having clinched the inaugural FIA GT Nations Cup for Team Turkey. It was a sensational victory for Salih and teammate Ayhancan Guven, and one the pairing is aiming to replicate this November at the Italian circuit of Vallelunga.

Salih continues his close relationship with TF Sport as the British-based team enter the newly renamed FIA Motorsport Games GT Cup for the first time with the now-familiar #1 Aston Martin Vantage GT3. While it will be a new experience for the team, Salih is well versed with this unique event.

The format remains the same as in 2018, with practice and qualifying followed by two 60-minute qualifying races that determine the grid for deciding hour-long contest. Last year with Ayhancan, Salih finished the first qualifying race in P2 and the second qualifier in P1.

The deciding race saw Salih start from the pole ahead of the other 17 National entries. He remained right in the battle before ultimately making history by winning the event for Team Turkey and RAM Racing.

For Salih, he will be competing in the event between rounds two and three of the FIA World Endurance Championship in Japan and China with TF Sport, making it a busy schedule heading towards the end of what has been a busy, and ultimately very fruitful year.

Salih Yoluç

“Winning last year was a very special feeling for me. I’ve won some big races now, but to do it for Team Turkey was just an amazing feeling, so to return with Ayhancan was an easy decision to take. We’re not sure yet what the competition will be like in terms of quality, but we showed well last year and with TF Sport we expect to be up there and challenging. To win it on successive years is a tough challenge, but we have a good chance with Team Turkey.”

Stephane Ratel, SRO Motorsports Group Founder & CEO

“I am delighted to welcome back Team Turkey for this year's FIA Motorsport Games GT Cup. In every sporting contest you want to see the previous winners return to defend their crown, while also setting a benchmark for the opposition. More broadly, I am pleased with the hard work and on-going developments we have seen ahead of this year's FIA Motorsport Games. It promises to be a fantastic showcase of international talent both on and off the circuit, as well as a fitting spectacle to close the 2019 racing season.”

Tom Ferrier, TF Sport Director

"It’s an honour to be competing in the FIA Motorsport Games GT Cup with Salih and Ayhancan. We’re a British-based team with a very international flavour so it’s great to be competing as Team Turkey. For us, the opportunity to run the new Aston Martin Vantage GT3 in this series was too good an opportunity to miss. Our drive, as ever, is to give Salih the best package as possible so that he can make it back-to-back wins in Turkish colours."

Source material- TF Sport
Wednesday, September 18, 2019 |
Early intentions for 2020 from Optimum Motorsport

Early intentions for 2020 from Optimum Motorsport

With multiple championships already in the history books, Optimum Motorsport are opening a new chapter in their short history to date by expanding its race programme next year with an intention to field two entries in the highly competitive Blancpain GT World Challenge Europe incorporating Endurance and Sprint Cup.

Optimum Motorsport has a successful pedigree, winning championships at every level in the British GT Championship, taking success in the 24 Hours of Dubai on no less than three occasions and winning this year in the Pro class in the International GT Open.

The team aims to continue to run both GT3 and GT4 entries in the British GT Championship next season, whilst also embarking on a new project to compete at the highest level on the international scene.

“It’s the right time for us to broaden our range of championships,” stated Team Principal Shaun Goff. “We have had a great run of success with both the original Aston Martin GT3 and with the new Vantage and with the infrastructure we now have in place and operational, we’re very much looking forward to racing in the Blancpain GT World Challenge Europe next season.

“We continue to grow as a team, we wouldn’t be taking this step without the resource and manpower to compete at this level. It will be a learning curve, but like any other championship, we go there with the expectations and aspirations to challenge from the outset.”

Former Formula 1 driver Bas Leinders is an integral part of the Optimum Motorsport operation and as Team Manager has helped direct the British GT Championship and International GT Open programmes this year. In addition, he has won the Blancpain GT Endurance Team Championship twice both with MarcVDS and Garage 59 and so brings a certain pedigree to the team.

“I have been involved in the series since the very beginning in 2011 as a driver and Team Manager,” he explained. “First with MarcVDS and later with Garage 59, I’ve been with Optimum Motorsport for almost two years now and the team is more than ready for this step up, we have the people and know-how to perform well in this championship.

“The GT World Challenge Europe is all about good preparation and forming a strong team – but on top of that you need to do some very fast pit stops and the only way to do that is practice. We’re looking forward to challenge.”

Further details of the team’s 2020 programme will follow shortly.

Source material - Optimum Motorsport
Wednesday, September 18, 2019 |
Frustration and disappointment for AMR runners after Weathertech Raceway Laguna Seca

Frustration and disappointment for AMR runners after Weathertech Raceway Laguna Seca

Having been frustrated by misfortune on track for his previous two visits to the IMSA sanctioned Michelin Pilot Challenge Series, Indian driver Akhil Rabindra was hoping for something better as the Series visited the Weathertech Raceway Laguna Seca on the west coast of the USA at the weekend.

Being joined this time by Stoner Car Care's Rob Ecklin Jnr, the crew of the #09 CSJ Motorsport supplied Aston Martin Racing V8 Vantage GT4 Qualified for Saturdays two hour race in P7 having had some overheating issues with the car in the earlier sessions of Friday.

With Ecklin starting the race, he did well to avoid a first lap multi car incident that affected three cars immediately beside and to the rear to establish a consistent pace in P6 until a Full Course Yellow for debris neutralised the race immediately before the first scheduled stops for the GS (GT4) class cars. Being permitted to pit under the Safety Car another case Automatic Racing's poor pit stop procedures dropped the #09 down to P13 by the track went back to green.

The sister #97 Invisible Glass liveried car of Kris Wilson Gary Ferrera would also be penalised for spinning the wheels again during their stop and that would ultimately spoil their race.

With tyre degradation becoming an obvious issue it soon became a case of not whether on not the car had enough fuel to get to the end but also that of whether the tyres would last out with other teams sacrificing track position for the benefit of new rubber - that was shown to be anything up to 5 seconds per lap difference.

The #97 would add to their woes after a heavy impact with a BMW GT4 whilst overtaking a TCR car - simply a case of the Aston not being aware of the immediate proximity of the BMW in that manoeuvre.

With less than 30 minutes remaining, Rabindra had quietly made his way up to P2 in a top trio of cars that had yet to made their final stop for fuel. Taking the gamble, the team elected to only refuel him and not replace any of his somewhat 'tired' rubber. The delay in his fuel stop alone dropped him back to P9 by the time he returned to the track but that was only to get worse when it was realised that they didn't get enough fuel on board for him to reach the end of the race.

A further 'splash and dash' stop for Rabindra dropped the #09 car back to P18 at the finish an away behind the sister #97 car who finished in P11 despite all of their issues.

With all having travelled so far to get to this penultimate round of the season, that was all a bitter pill to swallow - hopefully the crews can shine at the season finale at Petit Le Mans later next month.

Photo credits - CSJ / Stoner Car Care

Tuesday, September 17, 2019 |
Wilkinson wanting to avenge the memory of Silverstone at Barcelona GT Open

Wilkinson wanting to avenge the memory of Silverstone at Barcelona GT Open

Hot off the heels of the final round of the 2019 British GT Championship season from Donington Park last weekend sees the Optimum Motorsport team back on the road again for this weekends penultimate round of the 2019 International GT Open Series from the Circuit de Catalunya near Barcelona, Spain.

This circuit is apparently the location of Ollie Wilkinson's debut into the European series just two years ago and 2019 has seen a dramatic improvement in maturity, confidence, competance and general driving ability of the 23 year old from Leeds having achieved his first full Pro race win in the series at the Red Bull Ring, securing the overall GT3 Silver Cup class in the British GT Championship as well as being elevated to a BRDC Rising Star driver just a few weeks ago - all in his first season with the all new AMR Vantage GT3.

Whilst his season within the British GT Championship unfortunately ended for him and co-driver Bradley Ellis with a late DNF, he and GT Open co-driver Darren Turner will both be determined to erase the memory of the last round of the GT Open Series from Silverstone just two weeks ago when spins in both races destroyed any chance of a decent points haul for the #96 car.

Whilst TV evidence supports that Wilkinson was not responsible for either spin it goes to prove how sometimes results are wholly reliant upon the performance of others competing around them.

Silverstone was a tough weekend but that’s firmly behind us and we’re hungry to make up for lost points. Our recent test in Barcelona – our first running there in the Aston – was encouraging and we learnt a few things to take forward into the race. But a clean and clear qualifying session will be key for us. We’ve had issues in the last two, including a broken subframe, which has stopped us from maximising the opportunity. That said, I’m really pleased with how my form is progressing, I was just a couple of tenths off Darren’s pace in Q2 at Silverstone" Wilkinson said.

Whilst they are not in the title race in the Pro category, four decent race results from both Barcelona and at the final round at Monza in early October would really boost their final finishing position in the Championship as Wilkinson continues to chase the AMR Drivers Academy ultimate prize.

Despite the current season coming to an end the news is still coming out thick and fast so make sure that you keep an ear open to any fresh news concerning this team!!

Photo credits - GT Open / Optimum

Tuesday, September 17, 2019 |
Another extraordinary Donington Decider in British GT

Another extraordinary Donington Decider in British GT

All previous examples of the British GT Championship's infamous hashtagged final race of the season have all provided highly exciting and eventful races that have in the past (mostly) gone in the favour of any Aston Martin Racing customer team in the equation, but Sundays events took all of that to the next level.

Going into Sunday's finale there were four AMR cars all with a statistical possibility of lifting a class or overall crown should all other results go their way. Indeed, such was the complexity of the issue that TF Sport had even created themselves a large excel document listing all of the scoring permutations just in case!

The 'favourites' had to be the then class leading entries of the #42 TF Sport Vantage GT3 car of Graham Davidson and Jonny Adam, the #97 TF Sport Vantage of Tom Canning and Ash Hand along with the #11 Beechdean AMR Vantage of Martin Plowman and Kelvin "Twinkletoes" Fletcher all up for a potential haul of accolades in both GT3 and GT4. All they had to do was to follow the team plan and not fall off the track!

The #96 Optimum Vantage GT3 of Ollie Wilkinson and Bradley Ellis did have a small statistical possibility of taking the overall GT3 crown but following issues during Free Practice and Qualifying it seemed that that duo had 'settled' for the GT3 Silver Cup title which they received on Saturday as their prize for a job well done in the first season of British GT.

Speaking with many of the drivers concerned, it was quite surprising just how 'matter of fact' they were being about it all - even for those who hadn't won anything of this level before as it would after all be what it was going to be. One thing was always going to be for sure though, that none would go down without the biggest fight that they could muster on track!!

On the formation lap, clearly some had got a little ever excited with two GT4's coming together at the Melbourne Hairpin putting themselves effectively out of the impending two hour race even before it had started - fortunately none of the AMR family of cars were affected as the actual race then began behind the Safety Car.

With the Am drivers taking the start, the opening laps saw Davidson do exactly what he needed to do in terms of following (whilst still applying the pressure) onto their Championship rival in the #72 Barwell Lamborghini - then the BMW of Angus Fender got past the #47 for position to start applying (helpfully) some significant pressure onto Adam Balon.

In GT4, Tom Canning was doing the same as he followed the class leading #29 Stellar Performance Audi R8 whilst the #97 TF Sport car of Patrick Kibble acted 'like his wingman' keeping their Championship rivalling Multimatic Ford Mustang of Scott Maxwell safely behind.

Whilst the order within GT4 would remain the same until the pitstop, pressure clearly got the better of Balon who dropped behind Davidson and into the crosshairs of both the #96 Optimum of Wilkinson and the #99 Beechdean AMR of Andrew Howard. At the halfway stage the #47 pitted for their extended pit stop from P4 whilst the #72 was now down in P11.

For the GT4 starters of Canning and Kelvin Fletcher (#11), they both ran impeccable opening stints with fast lap times built upon the basis of zero mistakes and that helped them to be able to pass on almost undamaged cars onto their respective co-drivers.

Obviously there were a few other Aston Martin Racing teams competing in the event. Despite Academy's experiencing another problematic opening day to the meeting to a point where many of the teams mechanics would spend more time working upon the #62 car of Will Moore and Alex Toth-Jones that the car ever would on race track over the weekend, at least they, with Micah Stanley and Ben Hurst in the #61, would see their season out with two solid, mid table finishes.

Also, the two Optimum GT4 cars of Connor O'Brien and Jack Butel (#35) and Mike Robinson and Patrik Mathiessen (#75) would sadly see out the season on something of a crash and a whimper (despite earlier promises in Qualifying) as O'Brien would crash out in an incident at the Old Hairpin where he would at first leave the track before rejoining it (facing the wrong way) and being collected by the Race Performance Mustang ending their season on the spot.

That incident also prompted another Safety Car period that would rotate the tables slightly for both the #47 and #97 TF Sport cars at the restart.

Firstly, the #15 Multimatic Mustang of Seb Priaulx would take P2 from Ash Hand as the pack began to space out a little once the circuit went green again - that would reduce the points deficit between the two cars slightly in the Championship but was OK as long as things didn't get any 'worse' on track.

In GT3, the biggest drama was just about to unfold going into the closing minutes of the race when the #18 WPI Motorsport Lamborghini at first gave Jonny Adam a more than decent whack up the rear going into the final corner of one lap before giving him further 'kisses' down through the Old Hairpin before overtaking him for P5 a corner later on the next lap.

That overtake took the #47 car off the top of the table in GT3 and with Adam seemingly unable to respond that all allowed the #69 Barwell car of Sam de Haan and Jonny Cocker to be the surprising victors at the chequered flag just half a lap later. That 'disaster' within one side of the TF Sport garage opposed directly with the joy and elation on the GT4 side as Hand delivered the #97 Vantage GT4 home to claim P3 in class and the GT4 crown.

Martin Plowman would also avoid all the clashing and banging on the restart (action that would ultimately claim the #96 Optimum GT3 into the gravel on the final lap) to finish P4 overall in GT4 and convincingly claim their GT4 Pro-Am title which was being celebrated in the pit lane even before the #11 car returned to Parc Ferme!!

Even at their younger ages, it was extremely professional of all four members of the TF Sport crew to mellow their celebrations as the team responded to the events on track and pondered any protest against the actions of the #18 car against the Adam/Davidson car. That action quickly went into full effect as the #47 car's Prodrive engineer was soon on his way to Race Control armed with the car's software data upon his laptop closely followed by both Adam, Davidson and other AMR representatives.

Passing them waiting outside the office of Race Control was reminiscent of waiting outside the headteachers office at school but obviously a lot more rode upon the outcome of any decision they might make - it could have easily been a very long night for all as the race results remain strictly provisional.

Investigation/appeal - counter claim/investigation from all parties all ended with WPI Motorsports appeal against their five second post race penalty finally being rejected by the Stewards allowing both Jonny Adam and Graham Davidson to be officially declared GT3 Champions based upon their adjusted P5 finish to the race thanks to a 0.037 of a second gap to the #18 car now behind them in the results.

To say that the eleven Aston Martin Racing GT3 and GT4 race cars entered this year dominated the season wouldn't be so, whilst the #47, #96, #97 and #11 car's have dominated six British GT Championship titles in both GT3 and GT4 classes which they have won, the 2019 season has been one of the most competitive and closest seasons to date and is a testament to the SRO ability to regulating such close inter marque competitiveness.

What a race - what a season and thank you to all who made that possible!

Now - when does 2020 start......???

Monday, September 16, 2019 |
AMR on top of the world at British GT Finale

AMR on top of the world at British GT Finale

Aston Martin marked the most successful campaign in its domestic racing history, winning six of the eight available titles in the 2019 British GT Championship, following the series finale at Donington Park. Three partner teams, TF Sport, Beechdean AMR and Optimum Motorsport all secured titles in either the GT3 or GT4 classes in a dominant season debut for the new Aston Martin Vantage.

Works driver Jonny Adam retained his British GT drivers' title for a record fourth time in a dramatic season finale. The most successful driver in the championship's history, Adam and TF Sport team-mate Graham Davidson survived a late-race skirmish with a rival to be classified fifth in the race, which was enough to secure the title in a season that included two victories.

Coming in to the final round with an six-point deficit to the series leaders and a 20s success pitstop penalty for winning the previous round at Brands Hatch, the odds were stacked against the Scottish duo. But following a brave stint from Davidson, Adam was on course to take the title in fourth position as his rivals faltered. Adam was then hit by a rival car on the penultimate lap dropping him to sixth position and second in the championship, until a subsequent post-race stewards enquiry reversed the positions and gave them the points needed to secure the title.

TF Sport also provided the leading lights in GT4 where Aston Martin swept the board. AMR Academy drivers Tom Canning and Ash Hand secured the overall class championship as well as the Silver Cup with third place in class, following an exemplary drive by both. They were followed home by another Aston Martin Racing partner team Beechdean AMR, whose drivers Martin Plowman and Strictly Come Dancing contestant Kelvin Fletcher, who secured the GT4 Pro-Am title. Patrick Kibble and Josh Price's sixth place was enough to give TF Sport the GT4 Team's crown as well.

All in all, and including the GT3 Silver Cup title that Optimum Motorsport won at Brands Hatch, Aston Martin secured two titles with the Vantage GT3 and four with GT4, representing the most successful haul by any manufacturer with a car on its season debut.

Adam said: “What a season it's been, to be 54 points off the lead of a championship and then come back and win is mega for everyone at TF Sport and Aston Martin Racing. To wrap up some championships and showcase how good the new car is on its debut season is an immense achievement. British GT is an important customer-base and to win four championships is really important to me personally. It's a lovely feeling. To see so many new Aston Martins on the grid this year at the first round was really nice, so to come here at the final round and for Aston to dominate in the points in all classes shows how good a car we've built. Graham has driven so well this year, and he has really wanted to win this championship. To have the nerve to drive the way he did today and give us a shot was amazing.”

Davidson added: "After Silverstone I thought it was all lost but I did what I could do and somehow we have got to this result at the end of the year. But it just goes to prove that persistence, practice, training and simulator work makes a difference. Jonny knows how to win a championship and he knows how to work with his co-driver. Even yesterday it seemed a distant chance, but I went out there and just got the best out of the car and didn't take any chances. It's nice to win it with Aston Martin and TF Sport. Jonny is the best driver coach in the world."

Aston Martin Racing President David King added: “What a fabulous result for the new Aston Martin Vantage. It's unprecedented to see a new car dominate such a competitive championship as the British GT series. That three teams were able to secure championship titles and deliver on the promise of the Vantage is testament to the tremendous hard work and engineering talent of everyone at Aston Martin Racing and of course our partner. And I would like to take this opportunity to thank those teams for making such a big commitment to a new car in its first season. I am so pleased we could repay their faith in us. When we envisaged the new Vantage racing car, it was always with a view to creating a user friendly platform that was fast in the hands of professional drivers and customers alike. That we have been so successful in British GTs and competitive in so many other places around the world, proves that we have achieved our objectives.”

Source material - AMR
Monday, September 16, 2019 |
All set up rather nicely for tomorrows finale

All set up rather nicely for tomorrows finale

Tomorrows final round of the 2019 British GT Championship is all set up nicely to produce yet another cracking #DoningtonDecider that we have all come to expect over the years with three Aston Martin Racing Partner team drive line ups 'well in' with a chance of lifting their respective class title with another with an outside chance at the end of another two hours of racing.

Glorious weather today at the Leicestershire circuit allowed many of the thirty eight GT3 and GT4 cars to circulate faster than what they did at round 6 from the circuit earlier in the year and with similar weather and warmer temperatures again expected tomorrow's two hour finale will be a fast and furious one for sure.

All of the AMR's up for Championship contention - #47 GT3 TF Sport of Graham Davidson/Jonny Adam, the #97 GT4 TF Sport of Tom Canning/Ashley Hand, the #11 GT4 Beechdean AMR of Martin Plowman/Kelvin Fletcher and somewhat with the outsider #96 GT3 Optimum car of Ollie Wilkinson/Bradley Ellis all kept their 'powder somewhat dry' in the opening Free Practice sessions earlier today, letting others go thrashing about the circuit always with a risk of damaging their cars.

For all except the #96 car, none of these crews have to win (whereas the #96 do) to keep alive their championship aspirations but they did have some issue with their brakes during the morning which is hopefully now cured.

At the end of this afternoons combined Qualifying sessions it was the Balfe Motorsport McLaren 720S that grabbed pole position from the #72 Championship contending Lamborghini of Phil Keen and Adam Balon but worryingly the #72 has been consistently quick all day today. The #47 TF Sport car of Davidson and Adam will start from the second row of the grid - close enough to the #72 to keep them in check and far enough forward to hopefully keep out of the pack on the opening lap.

In GT4, the #97 TF Sport car of Canning and Hand have repeated what they have been doing almost from race three by Qualifying up towards the front other pack, starting P2 but with (possibly importantly) their sister #95 car of Patrick Kibble and Josh Price starting between the them and the Championship contending Ford Mustang of Scott Maxwell and Sea Priaulx down in P5.

The #11 Beechdean AMR GT4 race tomorrow to retain the top honours in the GT4 Pro-Am class with a P2 start in that class - P11 overall in GT4 but four places behind their pole setting Fox Motorsport Mercedes. Their main championship rivals however (Graham Johnson and Michael O'Brien) will be starting in their Balfe McLaren 570S from right behind them in P12 overall - the Balfe car must win to have any chance by the time the chequered flag falls at 15:00hrs tomorrow.

That all said, the race will be what it will be. Champions will be crowned and will make for an early start to their celebrations whilst others will come up just short at the end of what has been another highly entertaining season of GT racing at the highest level.

We obviously just hope that the former will be an AMR crew or two or three!!!

Confirmation of GT3 Qualifying and starting positions can be found HERE for GT3 and HERE for GT4

Whilst all eyes will be upon those in the Championship races lets not forget those who are not with the Mark Farmer/Nicki Thiim pairing probably running its final outing tomorrow in the #2 TF Sport GT3 whilst Andrew Howard is again out with Valentin Hasse Clot in the #99 Beechdean AMR GT3 after their first race together at Brands Hatch. Then in GT4 with have both the Optimum cars of Connor O'Brien and Jack Butel in the #35 and Mike Robinson and Patrik Mathiessen in the #75. We have already mentioned the #97 TF Sport car of Kibble and Price so that just leaves both Academy cars of Micah Stanley and Ben Hurst in the #61 car finally Will Moore and Alex Toth Jones in the #62 if it runs as it seems that both cars were again blighted with technical issues today. The #62 hasn't run beyond FP1 it seems.

Game on...........................

Photo credits - British GT / S Jackman
Saturday, September 14, 2019 |
Aston Martin Vantage Cup by R-Motorsport

Aston Martin Vantage Cup by R-Motorsport

Today, R- Motorsport announced a new key component of their international motor racing programme: They will establish the new Aston Martin Vantage Cup by R-Motorsport series. Further plans with details for the motorsport future will be announced at a later stage.

The Vantage Cup by R-Motorsport car is based on the Aston Martin Vantage V8. The cup race car is a high performance race version of the road-going Vantage with its 4-litre, twin-turbo V8. Four Cup racing series are planned worldwide over the next four years with the first races scheduled to take place soon in 2020, first in Europe and later in Asia in 2021.

Source material - R-Motorsport
Friday, September 13, 2019 |
Super Taikyu Series returns for D'Station Racing AMR

Super Taikyu Series returns for D'Station Racing AMR

Last weekend the team was out racing at Autopolis on the South Island of Japan in the Super GT Series, this weekend D'Station Racing AMR are back out racing again - this time at the penultimate round of the Pirelli Super Taikyu Series from the Twin Ring Motegi circuit in central Japan.

Last time in the teams brand new #777 Aston Martin Racing V8 Vantage GT3 at Autopolis, drivers Satoshi Hoshino, Tsubasa Kondo and Tomonobu Fujii claimed a very credible P2 finish in the typhoon shorted race and they will be looking to go one better again at this weekends five hour race.

Photo credits - D'Station Racing AMR
Thursday, September 12, 2019 |