Eastwood attains Super Star status

Eastwood attains Super Star status

TF Sport's Charlie Eastwood becomes the latest person wearing an Aston Martin Racing team coverall to be recognised by the British Racing Drivers Club Superstar driver development programme.

Admittedly, having gained this recognition for his championship winning efforts in the Porsche Carrera Cup GB last year, the young Irishman is just the third AMR driver in recent times to receive such an accolade behind Ross Wylie in 2014 and Ross Gunn in 2016.

The purpose of the programme is to allow for networking within the BRDC as well as direct training and mentoring in disciplines such as fitness, career guidance, PR and sponsorship skills and media, etc.

We will see Eastwood race with the TF Sport team in both their V8 Vantage GTE entered into the GTE Am Side of the World Endurance Championship (and Le Mans) as well as aboard the Oman Racing V12 Vantage GT3 entered into the Blancpain GT Series Silver Cup.

Photo credits - BRDC

Wednesday, March 14, 2018 |
James joins Academy in GT4  European Series

James joins Academy in GT4 European Series

Soon after testing with the crew at the collective Aston Martin Racing test at Portimao last weekend, Dutch Supercar Challenge racer Fiona James has confirmed that she will be joining Academy Motorsport in one of their V8 Vantage GT4 for the 2018 GT4 European series.

Founder and owner of the race underwear company Walero, James has been racing since 2006 in a number of series and cars most recently her Praga in the Dutch run Supercar Challenge but now she faces her toughest challenge yet as she joins team boss Matt Nichol-Jones in the European series that starts in just three weeks time.

"I'm really excited to be racing with Matt in the GT4 Aston Martin Vantage, & am looking forwards to progressing with his help. It's a big step up to be racing in European GT4 but I'm really looking forwards to the challenge!" said James as she broke the news

It will be a busy three weeks for the Worcester team having had two cars confirmed in both the British GT Champion and the GT4 European Series, events which run just a week apart. 

The driver line for the teams second car will be announced in due course.

Photo credits - Supercar Challenge

Wednesday, March 14, 2018 |
Blancpain GT Official Test at Paul Ricard

Blancpain GT Official Test at Paul Ricard

Three of Prodrive's finest Aston Martin Racing V12 Vantage GT3's will be on parade tomorrow at the start of the annual two day Blancpain GT Series Official Test form the Paul Ricard Circuit in southern France.

Returning to the series having won the Pro-Am Championship last year is the TF Sport prepared Oman Racing Team Vantage of Ahmad Al Harthy along with new drivers Euan McKay and Charlie Eastwood. They will be competing in the new Silver Cup class for 2018.

We believe that former TF Sport resident Pro driver, Jonny Adam will also be on hand again at the test to help dial the team in for what will be (as always) a highly competitive series.

Joining them in the series for the first time as a full season entrant will be two V12 Vantage GT3's from the Swiss based R-Motorsport team who will be running both cars in the Pro Class.

Confirming their driver arrangements for the first time (for the test at least) we see that Nicki Thiim joins forces with Jake Dennis and Mathieu Vaxiviere in the #62 car whilst Alex Brundle and Maxime Martin join the teams newest recruit in Marvin KirchHoefer in the #76 car who was only confirmed late last week.

Not much has been seen of these two grey and blue liveried cars form the St Gallen stable since their announcement over the winter other than pictures from their first private test from Monteblanco at the turn of the year and then the series Balance of Performance test from Ricard just last week.

The test is set to run over two lots of four and three hour sessions over each of tomorrow and Wednesday so hopefully the series will post some more shots and videos of these three (please)?

Photo credits - R-Motorsport / TF Sport

Monday, March 12, 2018 |
TF Sport competition time..............

TF Sport competition time..............

With the start of the British GT Championship at Oulton Park just under three weeks away, we have this fine looking TF Sport team shirt on offer as the prize in a seriously difficult competition!

Simply follow us @The__Advantage on Twitter and retweet this post using the hashtag #TFSportComp to have your name go into our metaphorical hat to have a chance of winning this Ralph Lauren team wear shirt.

As with many things in life - you do have a choice in size and colour just so long as it is grey marl in a size XL! Its a great item to take along to the British GT paddock over the Easter weekend to kick start your attempt at the TF Sport Autograph Competition.

Just for info, the shirt measures approximately as a 46" chest, arm length of 20" and a length down the back of 30".

Terms and conditions 

This prize is for posting to a UK address only 
Winner chosen at random on Saturday 24th March so that delivery can be in time for the start of the first round at Oulton Park on the 31st March. 
Our decision is final - no alternative will be offered and neither will the garment be ironed prior to dispatch!

Monday, March 12, 2018 |
Team Brit offering a go in a race car!!

Team Brit offering a go in a race car!!

Want to win a spin round the track in one of cars? Fancy yourself as the next Team BRIT rookie driver? 
Team BRIT wants to actively encourage more people with disabilities to get involved in motorsports. 
We have teamed up with LimbPower to give one lucky person the chance to drive one of our Fun Cup cars around the track and meet our team of drivers. You'll be able to use our specially designed hand controls on our steering wheel - the most advanced in the world! 
If you are living with a disability and would like to enter, all you need to do is email us and in no more than 200 words, explain why you want to win the chance to drive with Team BRIT. Maybe you have always fancied yourself as the next Lewis Hamilton? Or you have consistently proved you can compete in other sports? Maybe you’ve been trying to find a physical activity where you can compete against able bodied competitors?
Not this race car unfortunately!
Just explain exactly why you want to drive with Team BRIT!! The best answer will be chosen by us and announced on social media. All entries need to be sent to sally@teambrit.co.uk no later than midnight GMT on 2nd April 2018. 
You must have a valid driving licence and be able to drive a car with adaptive hand controls. 
Full Terms and Conditions
1. You must be able to drive a car with adapted hand controls. Using foot pedals is not necessary and you can enter if you are unable to use car foot pedals. 
2. Applicants must be 18 years old or over. 
3. You must hold a valid UK driving licence
4. Your entry must be received no later than midnight on 2nd April 2018. 
5. Written entries will only be considered if sent by email to sally@teambrit.co.uk
6. This prize is not eligible for any exchange or alternative. 
7. Any entries over 200 words will not be eligible. 
8. The competition is open to UK residents only. 
9. You will be responsible for your own transportation to the track, however we will try to ensure you have access to a venue which is nearest and most convenient for you depending on our final schedule of planned track days. 
10. The winners will be judged by Team BRIT and decision is final. 
11. We do reserve the right to cancel such events at short notice 
12. The winner will be notified by email and/or DM on Twitter/Facebook and/or letter within 28 days of the closing date. If the winner cannot be contacted or do not claim the prize within 14 days of notification, we reserve the right to withdraw the prize from the winner and pick a replacement winner.
13. The winner agrees to the use of his/her name and image in any publicity material, as well as their entry. Any personal data relating to the winner or any other entrants will be used solely in accordance with current [UK] data protection legislation and will not be disclosed to a third party without the entrant’s prior consent.
14. By entering this competition, an entrant is indicating his/her agreement to be bound by these terms and conditions.
15. Only one entry per person. 
16. No responsibility can be accepted for entries not received for whatever reason.
17. By entering this competition, an entrant is indicating his/her agreement to be bound by these terms and conditions.
18. The promoter of the competition is Team BRIT, in partnership with LimbPower. 

Monday, March 12, 2018 |
AMR collective test ends in Portimao

AMR collective test ends in Portimao

Three days of intensive testing for about twenty or so Aston Martin Racing customer teams came to an end from the Algarve International Circuit in Portimao, Portugal today.

The idea was of course for them to complete copious amounts of dry, warmer weather testing (as opposed to that what would normally be available to them back home) and all under the watchful eye of the Prodrive factory and supplier technicians but unfortunately for them all, the weather in Portugal wasn't quite playing ball.

Two days of periodic torrential rainfall affected everyone's plans to a point of them having to sit out large parts of Thursday and Friday in the hope that the rain would clear, which it typically did on the final day of the test today!!

Usually this collective test is used by the factory World Endurance Championship squad to finalise their race plans and preparations ahead of the season opener which is usually at Silverstone in early April.

With extensive testing of the teams new V8 Vantage GTE having already been untaken it was strange to find out that there was minimal WEC related activity at the test with just Ross Gunn driving the new GTE Test car along with Mathias Lauda.

Although WEC factory drivers Darren Turner and Jonny Adam were at the test, they were only there for the first two days for the benefit of their British GT customer teams - Beechdean AMR and Optimum Motorsport respectively.

We understand that AMR's WEC drivers have all attended a corporate event today with the team and their new Partners Tag Heuer which was the main reason why both Sorensen and Thiim were permitted to skip British GT Media day on Thursday.

The bulk of the testing field was however made of V8 Vantage GT4's with teams participating including Whitebridge Motorsport, EDF Motorsport, 22GT and Academy Motorsport. Whilst some of these were teams returning to the annual event for the umpteenth time, others like Team Brit were new to the event and the marque so will have been keen to learn as much as they possibly could have.

Whilst some of these teams were testing for a specific series/championship, others were looking purely at a specific support event later in the year at Le Mans - hopefully more news on that in due course.

With the circuit also having been used by Aston Martin Lagonda immediately before the AMR Collective test, there was still a number of the new Vantage road cars and Vulcans about using the circuit alongside the GT3, GT4, DBRS9, GTE race cars.

News and information coming out from the test has again been annoyingly slow, but at the end of the day privacy is partly what these teams pay for so thats only to be expected. Final details of things like the liveries for the Beechdean AMR and Optimum British GT campaigns have still yet to be applied whilst Academy Motorsport's GT4 European Series driver line ups is also yet to be released.

They say that patience is a virtue!

Photos via social media accounts of respective teams

Saturday, March 10, 2018 |
British GT Media Day notes

British GT Media Day notes

Despite a confirmed full season entry of thirty six GT cars, Thursday's British GT Championship Media Day left for an emptier paddock than usual as an untimely diary clash led to the non-attendance of nearly half of the Aston Martin Racing entry.

2018 sees the return of Tom Ferrier, his TF Sport team and his two AMR V12 Vantage GT3 entries from gentlemen drivers Derek Johnston and Mark Farmer. Having unsuccessfully defended their GT3 title of 2016, they will be this year without regular Pro drivers Jonny Adam and Jon Barnes as the #17 and #11 cars will run a distinctly AMR driver line up as WEC factory drivers Marco Sorensen and Nicki Thiim join the party.

With the Danes sadly absent from the Media Day event due to factory commitments in Europe this weekend, driving duties and paddock chat were left down to Johnston, Farmer and a very excited expectant father in Ferrier to do.

"The offer of the two Danes was a no brainer" said Ferrier "and they're freckin fast as well" seemed to be the quote that stuck in our head!

On the track, the team sat out for most of the first session not wanting to risk anything around the cold and very wet Grand Prix circuit. Farmer claimed early season bragging rights by being the fastest of the pair throughout the day before aviation restrictions forced him to leave the circuit early to fly home in the remaining daylight - a strange excuse for the boss indeed!!

A very bullish Johnston was full of himself throughout the day, clearly looking forward to as season with Sorensen. Even a late and somewhat heavy 'off' in the final session wasn't enough to dampen his spirits after being spun around into the tyre wall by a slower GT4.

Media Day represented itself as the final day of testing for the TF Sport team ahead of the series opener at Oulton Park at the end of the month. Sorensen did apparently grab some last minute testing with the team at Oulton on Wednesday although the team didn't really want to elaborate too much on that. The damage to Johnston's car was enough to make it an insurance claim but many of the damaged parts had reached the end of the life and were due to be replaced anyway before the start of the season.

The only other Aston Martin Racing car at the track were series and AMR debutants Jetstream Motorsport and their #47 former Oman Racing V12 Vantage GT3. Donington was the first significant running of the car for this team having stepped up from a McLaren MP4-12C that they ran with great success in the GT Cup Champion last year.

Gentleman driver Graham Davidson looked at times like a rabbit staring in the oncoming headlights as he took everything in as well as meeting his new, AMR appointed WEC factory driver Maxime Martin for the first time in a race suit.

Stating that he'd only done about 10miles in shakedown before Media day, the differences in machinery and the slippery conditions on track were leading to a very steep learning curve for the Scot but was glad to have factory assistance with his new venture. For Martin, returning to Donington was his first since his Renault Megane days back in 2007 and was clearly looking forward to race against four of his AMR WEC colleagues although sim testing would be filling many of his spare days over the season.

Confirmed upon the entry but not present at the Media Day test were the Beechdean AMR V12 Vantage GT3 of Andrew Howard and Darren Turner, the Optimum Motorsport V12 Vantage GT3 of Flick Haigh and Jonny Adam and the two Academy Motorsport V8 Vantage GT4's of Matt Nichol-Jones/Will Moore and Jan Jonck/Tom Wood. They had all elected to attend the AMR Collective test in Portimao, Portugal all in the hope of some extended dry running conditions over the three day test.

Unfortunately for them, that was not to be as the first two days were affected by some torrential and persistent rain. Despite their AMR WEC factory commitments over the weekend both Turner and Adam did attended two days of the customer test to help their co-drivers respective co-drivers Howard and Haigh get up to speed having swapped platforms from what they raced in 2017.

We were hoping to see the new liveries applied to both of these GT3's but that sadly wasn't to be.

Academy Motorsport meanwhile have a very busy season ahead of them having had two cars confirmed now in both the British GT and the GT4 European Series for 2018. Will Moore has again be confirmed to be as returning to the team in BGT for 2018 whilst former MacMillan GT4 running Jan Jonck pairs up with Ginetta Junior graduate Tom Wood for his first experience of GT racing.

First round of the 2018 British GT Championship kicks off at its traditional Easter weekend venue of Oulton Park in Cheshire. Track action starts on the 31st March, misses out Easter Sunday for racing on the Bank Holiday Monday.

Game on ...............!!

In memory of Henry Hope-Frost


Saturday, March 10, 2018 |
Academy double up in both British and European GT4

Academy double up in both British and European GT4

Good times in GT4 racing are obviously here as the Worcester based Academy Motorsport double their entries in both the British GT and GT4 European Championships for the 2018 campaign.

With final detail of their British GT entries finally confirmed at Donington Park yesterday, the team will field a car for new young guns Jan Jonck and Tom Wood whilst team boss Matt Nichol-Jones will again share a car alongside team returnee Will Moore.

Missing both series Media Day test day's yesterday by virtue of being at the Aston Martin Racing collective test from a rather soggy Portimao circuit in Portugal, the team have also been confirmed tonight as having two entries in the parallel SRO European GT4 Series with an (as yet) un-named driver line up.

The team have also purchased one of the Street Art Racing V8 Vantage GT4's over the winter months which they presently have with them down in Portugal for testing alongside a third car.

Street Art Racing meanwhile were at the series rain soaked test at Zolder yesterday and have a single car entry now confirmed for the European series having run a car in each of the (as then) Northern and Southern Cups. The 2018 GT4 European series will field a capacity grid of 47 cars.

Friday, March 09, 2018 |
Mitchell to join Gunn in China

Mitchell to join Gunn in China

Whilst at the British GT Media Day yesterday we learned that former MacMillan Racing driver Jack Mitchell will indeed be racing in China during 2018.

Have deputised for Aston Martin Racing's Ross Gunn at the final round of the 2017 China GT Championship with the China Equity AMR team, Mitchell obviously made enough of an impression with the team to be asked to return to them alongside Ross Gunn for a full season of racing in 2018.

With the Chinese racing market still expanding, we understand that Prodrive have built a further number of brand new V8 Vantage GT4 cars that will be sent over to China both for China Equity AMR and other. Being a Pro/Am class, both Mitchell and Gunn will compete in separate China Equity AMR cars with as yet un-named co-drivers for the twelve race series.

The first of those long haul flights for them will be towards the end of April in readiness for the series Official Test at the Beijing Goldensport International Circuit with the first round of the championship just three weeks later from Zhuhai.

Photo credits - China GT

Friday, March 09, 2018 |