New Vantage GT3 ready to race with D'Station AMR in Super Taikyu

New Vantage GT3 ready to race with D'Station AMR in Super Taikyu


Its back to track action this weekend for the #777 ST-X class D'Station Racing Aston Martin Racing V8 Vantage GT3 in the fourth round of the Pirelli Super Taikyu Series from the Autopolis circuit on the southern most island of Japan.

Having skipped the third round from Fuji duets their European commitments, the Japanese team enjoyed a successful start to their new Aston Martin Racing relationship with a win at Suzuka and a further podium next time out at Sugo, each time with the help of AMR factory driver Darren Turner alongside team regulars Satoshi Hoshino and Tsubasa Kondo.


Joining Hoshino and Kondo will for this round be joined by team favourite from their parallel Super GT GT300 season in Tomonobu Fujii.

What is is that the team have issued photographs of their #777 car liveried over the factory base white finish. We know that at the last round of both the Super Taikyu and Super GT, both cars had been wrapped in their usual metallic green finish but these photographs and texts from the team now confirm that they now have a third Vantage GT3 chassis within their possession. That new car had its first shakedown with the team last week at Fuji with Fujii behind the wheel.


The new Vantage GT3 does look good in white anyway!

Testing and Free Practice for the meeting starts tomorrow ahead of Sundays five hour endurance race.

Photo credits - D'Station Racing AMR


Thursday, July 18, 2019 | Read more...
Three AMR's at Lime Rock Parks Michelin Pilot Challenge

Three AMR's at Lime Rock Parks Michelin Pilot Challenge


Florida based Automatic Racing shall this weekend be fielding three Aston Martin Racing V8 Vantage GT4's at the Lime Rock Park round of IMSA's Michelin Pilot Challenge season.

Whilst the #99 Stoner Care liveried car shall remain the 2016 specification Vantage GT4 for drivers Kris Wilson and Gary Ferrara, the other two #97 and #09 cars will be the two 2019 specification cars that have raced for the team before with the latest chassis only joining them at the previous round at Canadian Tyre Motorsport Park.


The newer chassis' will be driven by Rob Eckin Jnr and Tom Long in the #97 Invisible Glass liveried car and by Ari Balogh and Greg Liefooghe in the principally white #09 car. The latter was the duo who were doing so well at CTMSP before an error at the final stop (spinning the rear wheels whilst the car was on the jacks) removed any chance of a debut podium


This car has been provided to the team by the new Aston Martin Racing agent for North America in CSJ Motorsport.

Photo credits - IMSA / CSJ Motorsport / Automatic






Wednesday, July 17, 2019 | Read more...
Change of car within Academy for Spa British GT

Change of car within Academy for Spa British GT


Matt Nichol-Jones' Academy Motorsport team have now confirmed that following Fiona James' start line accident in the second race of the GT4 European Series at Zandvoort last weekend, they will be unable to field their #61 Aston Martin Racing V8 Vantage GT4 for the British GT round from Spa Francorchamps this weekend.

James was caught up in the aftermath of a totally unnecessary incident caused by the stupid action of a single driver swerving his Mercedes GT4 from one side of the grid to the other as the 30 plus grid hit the green light to start Sundays second race of the penultimate round of the European Series.


Fortunately she and the other five drivers were otherwise uninjured in the incident although her silver silver and yellow Walero livered Vantage GT4 had the drivers side front wheel ripped from its mounts as the car was pushed into the armco barrier as the carnage coming back across track.

This news obviously left the team's British GT drivers Micah Stanley and Ben Hurst without a car for the forthcoming British GT round from Spa Francorchamps. Happily, the ever resourceful Nichol-Jones has 'found' them a new car (albeit a McLaren 570s GT4) for the duo to race this weekend.


It would have been pitiful had these two young guns had missed out on the Spa experience through no fault of their own having already endured a rotten transition into GT racing for much the same reason. These events may even change their luck in Belgium!!

Photo credit - GT4 European Series / Academy
Wednesday, July 17, 2019 | Read more...
WEC's Prologue next up in this busy fortnight (part 2) UPDATED

WEC's Prologue next up in this busy fortnight (part 2) UPDATED


The second event in this fortnight sequence at GT action heaven will be the return of the World Endurance Championship and their Official Test (Prologue) from the Circuit de Catalunya, Barcelona next Tuesday and Wednesday.

Astonishingly as it may seem having only completed the last race of the previous Championship season at Le Mans back in mid June, we now (and the teams) have to hit the track running as this new 'winter' package kicks into life proper after it transition of last year.


Breaking the long traditional of the WEC so far, season 8's Prologue will change both venue and indeed country with this months event being held in Barcelona for the first time. Like all Prologues to date, the test provides the team's with their first opportunities of the new season to 'brush away' the metaphorical cobwebs (or in this years case having let the engines cool down) and ready themselves for the eight race season that lays before them - a season that starts in late August at Silverstone and runs right through to the conclusion of the season at Le Mans in June 2020.

At least one car of each variant are mandated to attend together with drivers who may have never raced in etc. Championship before. As things stand today with entries for the 2019-20 WEC full season we believe that most, if not all of the Aston Martin Racing cars and drivers will be the same as last year with the exception of both indicated GTE Am cars now being the 2019 AMR V8 Vantage GTE model rather than the older, normally aspirated model that saw its international swan song at Le Mans in June.


As per the entry list for the Prologue, Aston Martin Racing will be providing one such factory supported GTE Pro car for its line up of four indicated drivers - being Nicki Thiim, Marco Sorensen, Maxime Martin and Alex Lynn. That's all we know at the moment and nothing more should or can be read into that regarding the identity of any third driver required per car for the longer races throughout the season. For information, both remaining factory OEM's in Porsche and Ferrari are sending both of their cars but have only listed a single driver per car.

It was Eastwood who kindly posted photos of the new TF Sport GTE car being shaken down last week prior to being delivered to the team this week.


Two - four hour test sessions per day will be available to the teams over the Tuesday and Wednesday - on morning/afternoon and the other late afternoon/evening.

UPDATE

In the ever changing environment of motor racing, the entry list aboard these three Aston Martin Racing GTE's has again changed.

GTE PRO -

No change

GTE Am -

Jonny Adam's name in now place of both Charlie Eastwood and Salih Yoluc aboard the #90 TF Sport car with the later two on racing duty at Spa 24 and now choosing to sit out the Prologue

#98 AMR prepared car - Paul Dalla Lana is now joined by Darren Turner, Ross Gunn, Mathieu Vaxivierre and Mathias Lauda

TF Sport have also since declared that their full season driver line up will again be Salih Yoluc + Charlie Eastwood + Jonny Adam emulating the large percentage of last season where that trio raced together.

Entry into the event is free.

Photo credits - WEC (title banner) - C Eastwood (new AMR)









Tuesday, July 16, 2019 | Read more...
A busy fortnight of motorsport to look forward to (Part 1)

A busy fortnight of motorsport to look forward to (Part 1)


It will soon be time to pull up a comfortable chair, get some of your favourite snacks to hand together with a few examples of your favourite beverage as we approach the start of a completely bonkers period from motor racing in Europe over the next couple of weeks.

First up this weekend and marking the start to the SRO's Speed Week is the fifth round of the British GT Championship at its annual pilgrimage to the home of motor racing in Belgium at the Circuit de Spa Francorchamps.


Nearly a month has passed since the last round of the British national GT Championship from Donington Park and this time around there are forty one cars waiting to have a bash around the most challenging of circuits that Europe can offer for Sunday's two hour race.

There are a few changes - firstly, the British GT race is running as the main event on Sunday 21st July rather than in support of the Fun Cup 24hr race (that was held last weekend), Sunday's race will now be live streamed for the first time via the usual SRO social media outlets and we have a few more interlopers amongst the grid to boot.


Beechdean AMR are of course missing from this event as Andrew Howard and Ross Gunn will be racing at the Le Mans Cup event in Barcelona on the same weekend but their place in the #TeamAMR grid has been taken up by the brand new M2 Competition AMR Vantage GT3 car of former Australian GT owner and now just racer Tony Quinn who in turn will be supported by AMR factory driver Darren Turner.


The remaining three AMR Vantage GT3 crews from TF Sport and Optimum Motorsport remain the same but given the recent wins in BGT and GT Open for Messrs. Adam, Davidson and Wilkinson respectively, you will be assured that both of those cars will be fancying their chances. That leaves Mark Farmer and Nicki Thiim who can hopefully rekindle something special between themselves over a cool beer and portion of the customary frites and mayonnaise having had something of a difficult experience together again this season.

In GT4 we should have the usual choice of seven AMR Vantage GT4's from TF Sport, Optimum and Academy Motorsport. The latter will have been busy mending and re-fettling their two cars after the latest round of the GT4 European Series from Zandvoort whilst the two TF Sport cars have enjoyed a recent test day at the circuit earlier last week.


In the Championship stakes, a further podium from Ash Hand and Tom Canning in their #97 car at Donington has brought them back into contention in the Silver Cup Class whereas a good points haul for both Mike Robinson and Patrik Matthiesen has finally ignited their first season together. For the remaining Patrick Kibble/Josh Price, Micah Stanley/Ben Hurst, Alex Toth-Jones/Will Moore and Connor O'Brien/Jack Butel partnerships - all will be hoping to rid themselves of the terrible misfortune and bad luck that has so far blighted their season with there still be time to make a Championship impact between them!


The remaining GT4 meanwhile of Beechdean AMR's Kelvin Fletcher and Martin Plowman continue to excel together in the Pro-Am Championship which they presently lead by twenty points with three races (6 hours of track time) to go!


The #47 TF Sport GT3 car of Davidson and Adam is the only AMR to have an extended pit stop success penalty of 20 seconds applied due to their race win last time out at Donington.

Timetable

Saturday 20 July

09:00 – 10:00: Free Practice 1
11:20 – 12:20: Free Practice 2
15:10 – 15:20: Qualifying – GT3 Am
15:27 – 15:37: Qualifying – GT3 Pro
15:44 – 15:54: Qualifying – GT4 Am
16:01 – 16:11: Qualifying – GT4 Pro

Sunday 21 July

09:00 – 09:10: Warm-up
12:30 – 14:30: Race

Photo credits - Steve Jackman / Jacob Ebrey



Tuesday, July 16, 2019 | Read more...
A just reward for Optimum on GT Open return

A just reward for Optimum on GT Open return


It was a significant return by Optimum Motorsport to the International GT Open Series this weekend from the Red Bull Ring, Austria having taken the decision to skip the previous round of the season at Spa Francorchamps to consolidate their Championship efforts within the British GT Championship with the long distance travel being made more than worthwhile for the Wakefield based team.

Having had to fully refresh their #96 Aston Martin Racing V8 Vantage GT3 after their brief fuel line fire at the fourth round of the British GT Championship at Donington Park, the crew would arrive in Austria with an alternative AMR factory guiding hand and co driver than last in Jonny Adam.


Having a three times British GT Champion and Le Mans race winner in the form of Adam must have instilled the utmost of confidence into the still relatively inexperienced Wilkinson as pre race track times decreased significantly as the lap times were posted and as the team ventured into only their second race since stepping up to the higher Pro class.

With the Series running a two race, alternative starting driver format across the weekend it was the turn of Wilkinson to set the Qualifying time for Race 1 which he did with a P8 - just 0.612 seconds off pole ready for Saturday's 70 minute race.


With the twenty three other GT3 cars thundering uphill along the start staring to Turn 1 Wilkinson kept his car clear of any unnecessary bumping and bashing on the opening lap of the race to consolidate his P7 position overall (P4 in Pro) which was improved on still further when the #10 car ahead was given a drive through for a starting procedure violation. Despite continued pressure from the Manns Filter Mercedes AMG behind, Wilkinson pitted his car at the 30 minutes race distance from P6.

At the end of the 14 minute pit window, Adam would continue from the position Wilkinson left off in P6 and getting his head down soon arrived onto the tail of cars battling for third overall. Despite getting close to the car behind it soon became apparent that the #96 car didn't have the power nor grip to get around any of the cars ahead and by the flag Adam had settled for what they had with a P6.


Sunday' sixty minute Race 2 was a completely different bag with Adam having earlier Qualified the #96 car onto overall pole position with a time only just over one second faster than Wilkinson's time from Q1 yesterday. This was the 200th race for the Series and Adam had already stated that he had come for a podium and that would be his obvious target from the off.

Despite being pushed, and pushed hard by the #59 McLaren 720s on the opening lap Adam managed to hold track position on that opening lap before he was able to steadily improve the gap to the cars behind as the laps went by - 0.6 seconds on lap one to 1.8 seconds on lap six to 3.0 seconds by lap nine.

Staying out just beyond the halfway point, Adam would make his pitstop with a 6.3 second lead to the still chasing #59 McLaren but Wilkinson would have to concentrate on the road ahead rather than looking in his mirrors if he was to maintain that gap to the end some twenty five minutes away.


Tantalisingly, the gap between the #96 and #58 steadily dropped per lap - 6.3 - 5.1 - 2.6 seconds the timing screen was saying but at least by then the young man from Leeds had 'found his Mojo' to steadily maintain that gap as the final minutes passed by eventually crossing the line 1.3 seconds ahead to claim their first ever overall race win in the Series.

"Unbelievable" Wilkinson said having taken off his helmet in Parc Ferme " First win after 1.5 years of racing in the Series!" with an embrace with his father which proved just what that race was worth to the family.

What was nice was that with Optimum winning the 200th race in the Series at the Red Bull Ring, the duo was reminded that the Series 100th race winner was also an AMR Vantage GT3!


The team and drivers will now make the short distance across to Spa Francorchamps for the fifth round of the British GT Championship where of course they will now feature in opposing cars with Wilkinson rejoining BGT team mate Bradley Ellis and Adam joining back to Graham Davidson in their TF Sport prepared Vantage GT3.

Photo credits - GT Open






Monday, July 15, 2019 | Read more...
Double podium delight for R-Motorsport at Zandvoort

Double podium delight for R-Motorsport at Zandvoort


It was double class podium delight this weekend for R-Motorsport's Silver Cup duo of Hugo de Sadeleer and Aaro Vainio at the third round of the Blancpain GT World Challenge Europe Series from Zandvoort, The Netherlands.

Having had what could have been considered as a great meeting last time out at Misano when the #62 Aston Martin Racing Vantage GT3 secured a P4 in race 1 before going some better by converting that into a P2 podium finish in race 2, then Zandvoort will have been their 'Christmas come early' meeting with two worthy top step class finishes for the Finnish/Swiss combo.

Arriving in Holland to some very mixed weather conditions, all very opposite to the heatwave that they had just contested with in Italy, Zandvoort started off with early possibilities for the team as their two AMR Vantage's Qualified P5 and P9 for the #76 car of Ricky Collard and Marvin Kirchhofer and De Sadeleer and Vainio respectively.


Race one got off to the expected door to door hustle and bustle on the opening lap but that sadly culminated in a multi car accident on the opening lap that forced a Safety Car - losing the race nearly ten minutes of its allotted one hour of running. As the top three cars broke away on the restart, Collard in his #76 was quickly becoming the bottleneck as the rest of the field tried to pass the young Brit but without much success.

At the opening of the pit window, most of the top ten runners pitted - including the #76 car but the sister #62 carried on for a further lap.


By the time the stops had all been completed the positions of the two grey AMR's had changed with the #76 of Kirchhofer in P7 overall with the sister #62 car of Vainio just behind in P8 but running P2 in the Silver Cup class. The tightness of the track and comparative speeds of modern GT3's proved again difficult for any car to overtake but pressure from the #76 forced the then Sliver Cup leading Mercedes AMG to miss its braking point sending them straight into the gravel trap allowing the #62 to also pass the #76 for position to for it to claim P6 overall and P1 in Silver Cup. The #76 would finish race one in P7 - still valuable points for the team.

For Sundays race the starting positions had again been quantified in Saturday Qualifying with Pro #76 car again starting ahead of the Silver Cup #62 car in P9 and P13 respectively for Kirchhofer and De Sadeleer.


The start of the race was delayed as an Audi became stranded on the first formation lap requiring the Safety Car led pack to go around once again. Another seemingly long hold as the pack approached the line finally first appeared as if it would cause the same carnage as the GT4 European Series suffered in its second race of the weekend but at least that wasn't to be.

Some signs of rain falling around parts of the coastal circuit must have thrown caution into the minds of the starting drivers as the racing, although fast and frantic, was extremely orderly and risk adverse. For this race, the Vantage GT3 didn't appear to be quite on the pace and certainly was nowhere near able to meet the pace of the leading cars to quickly fall over twenty seconds back.


Whilst that hurt the Pro #76 car it was fortunately not the same for the #62 Silver Cup car as the impeding pit stop would allow them to leapfrog five cars in the pack (but more important over the then class leading Audi) to move up to P9 and P1 in Silver Cup. The #76 car meanwhile would lose twelve places after its stop!!

By the chequered flag, The #62 would cement its position on track to claim their second class win of the weekend with their P8 finish whilst Collard would recover to a P18 finish - massively disappointing for them.


Next stop in the Championship is at the Nurburgring at the end of August - meanwhile for R-Motorsport there is the small issue of the Total Spa 24!!

Photo credits - Blancpain GT 




Sunday, July 14, 2019 | Read more...
More excitement in GT4 European Series - not always of the right sort though......

More excitement in GT4 European Series - not always of the right sort though......


Some more gruelling and sometimes painful and expensive races at the penultimate round of the GT4 European Series from Zandvoort were the outcome of their endeavours as just Academy Motorsport and Street Art Racing represented the Aston Martin Racing brand this weekend.

With PROsport Performance deciding to sit out the round in order to bring their AMR Vantage GT4 machinery back up to its expected tip-top condition and Generation AMR SuperRacing already looking ahead to challenges new for 2020, things fell to the two Silver Cup, one Pro-Am and one Am class runners from the British and Belgium teams to hold the flag.


Track and weather conditions at the Dutch coastal circuit were in stark contrast to the heat of Misano with both Free Practice sessions and Qualifying being ran on a cold/wet surface made slipperier with sand and gravel being taken onto the track surface by cars leaving/rejoining the track.

On Saturday, air temperature was struggling to break the 20deg C mark for the start of Race 1 where the #07 Street Art Racing car of Julian Darras was the highest of the four AMR's in P12, the #61 Academy of Tom Wood not far behind in P15 followed by its sister #62 car of Will Moore P19 and Clement Seyler bring up the rear in an uncharacteristic P28.

The first lap around the extremely tight and twisty was with its expected amount of rubbing as the pack slowly established it sequence of order around the racing line with no car really improving or losing out on the their starting position.


Things very quickly however, went wrong for the #61 Walero sponsored car of Wood as some side to side contact with a Mercedes snapped the steering linkage on that side of his Vantage GT4 causing him to become beached in the following gravel trap sending him into early retirement. The performances of the other three AMR's seemed 'sluggish' compared to that of the leading X-Bows, BMW's and Audi leaving little for any of the remaining AMR cars to improve with what they had available to them at the time.

After the pitstop window had cycled through, a change of driver did appear to rejuvenate the trio of AMR's as Julian Darras and Matt Cowley both improved their positions from P14 and P22 to P11 and P12 respectively before an unfortunate spin for Darras towards the end would sent his white car tumbling to P18 at the chequered flag though. Despite all of this, that result would still be a top 10 finish in the Silver Cup for both Moore and Cowley and another P3 podium for Seyler/Bachmann in the Am class.


Race two on Sunday followed must the same route as the first meteorologically - periods of rain followed by sunshine with at least a blustery on shore breeze to help the drying process.

Again the Qualifying process had been sorted amongst the wet/dry track conditions of Saturday with the #07 Street Art Racing car again taking the lead AMR role with Darras starting from P3. Cowley's #62 Academy was P11 whilst Fiona James would see her first racing action of the weekend from P24 in her Pro-Am entry whilst Pascal Bachmann brought up the rear for the AMR runners in P26.


Even before many of the cars had even crossed the start line to take the start of the race, disaster struck the mid pack of the grid as an over excited Mercedes driver violently changed the course of his GT4 from one side of the grid to the other. The trouble was that his lack of 'vision' meant for an obvious collision with the car to his right which in turn collected four other cars as carnage was sent spewing across the track.

With the race immediately red flagged, a total of six former pristine GT4 cars lay battered and bruised with structural components of their cars having been ripped off in the multiple contacts with each other and the barrier. Fortunately, nobody was injured although (when interviewed just after) Fiona James looked obviously shaken by the experience.


Once the debris had been cleared, the grid would be reformed to start (this time) behind the Safety Car for a two lap formation before again being let loose with 59 minutes still remaining on the clock.

Cowley made the most of the restart picking off a couple of quick places to move himself up to P8 whilst Vandenbalck in the #07 car was also looking racey as he hassled for P2. The trouble for Cowley was that he was adjudged to have been in contravention of the Safety Car procedure and that earned him a drive through all but destroying his early promises.

Just before the pit stop window, Darras had found his second wind and was again attacking those in front to recover himself back to his original starting position of P3 before he and the sister #17 car both pitted just two laps after Bachmann had already had to pit for a puncture. Cowley would elect to stay out as long as possible hoping the emptier track would allow him to make up for some time lost.


Then to round things off, the now released #07 car with Jamie Vandenbalck now aboard would be penalised for an unsafe release in the pits and would get a drive through of his own.

At the chequered flag, all three Vantages would finish not too far apart from each other in P15 (#07), P18 (#62) and P19 (#17) but those positions did at least equate to another set of top 10 positions within the Silver Cup for both Street Art Racing and Academy and for the Am #17 entry, this time they actually failed to make it to the podium!


The series now moves onto the Nurburgring in Germany for the final round of the 2019 season. The damage has already been down to those AMR runners in both Silver Cup and Pro-Am but at least Street Art Racing still lead in the Am class and that championship is theirs to lose.

Hopefully we will also see the return of Prosport Performance at their home event at the end of August.

Photo credits - GT4 European Series










Sunday, July 14, 2019 | Read more...
Valkyrie re-defining the road and race car of the future as it hits Silverstone today

Valkyrie re-defining the road and race car of the future as it hits Silverstone today


If there was ever a place to bravely conduct your first public running of your latest collaboration of the highest technological level, then it is at the home of British motor racing at Silverstone and in front of one of their latest audiences of the year on Qualifying Day for the British Formula One Grand Prix!

That is precisely what Aston Martin and their strategic partners, Red Bull Advanced Technologies and AF Racing did this lunch time as their cutting edge Valkyrie hypercar powered it first public laps around the infamous race track marking a significant milestone in the project.


Five years in the making, todays demonstration laps were piloted by Aston Martin's High Performance Test driver Chris Goodwin and this marked the end to months of behind the scenes simulation and digital modelling as the British luxury car maker looks to finalise the build of the strictly exclusive 150 road going examples ahead of their expected release later this year.

Designed with the help of Red Bull Racings Adrian Newey together with the input from Aston Martin Chief Chief Creative Officer Marek Reichmann and team, this concept now reality car boasts an 1100+ bhp normally aspirated V12 from its rear mid engine layout. This car platform will now form the basis of Aston Martin Racings own hypercar entry into the 2020-21 World Endurance Championship.


The road to full production and release of these cars to their lucky owners is still a long one with many parameters and functions yet to be signed off ahead of production. For the race car, that is a little further away still but with little over one calendar year to go until the expected date of next seasons Prologue Official test - time is very much of the essence for all parties involved.


In past few weeks we have read almost a continuous stream of 'bad news events' regarding the WEC moving forward with many teams leaving both the Prototype and GTE classes of late. With Aston Martin Racing committing early to the ACO/WEC's new Hypercar Regulations and together with todays events at Silverstone, we can now all sit a little more comfortable that what David King (President of Aston Martin Racing) says he will deliver - he usually does - and its exciting - and we can't wait!!

Photo credits - Aston Martin
Saturday, July 13, 2019 | Read more...
TF Sport acquire their 2019-20 WEC weapon of choice

TF Sport acquire their 2019-20 WEC weapon of choice


TF Sport Have today taken deliver of their brand new 2019 specification Aston Martin Racing V8 turbo charged Vantage GTE that they will race with in this coming season of the World Endurance Championship.

Seen here being shaken down by AMR Young Driver Charlie Eastwood straight from the Prodrive factory, this car will be driven by him and Salih Yoluc (plus another driver as yet to be confirmed) in the GTE Am Class of the world championship that starts at Silverstone at the end of August.



Unless any private track testing with the car has been arranged in advance, we should see the car and at least part driver drive the car for the first time collectively at the Prologue official test from the Circuit De Catalunya near Barcelona at the end of next week.

The 87th Edition of the 24 Hours of Le Mans in June was the swan song competitive outing for the teams distinctly liveried normally aspirated V8 Vantage GTE in an internationally sanctioned race event.

Photo credit - TF Sport / C Eastwood social media
Friday, July 12, 2019 | Read more...
Bits and pieces from this week for #TeamAMR

Bits and pieces from this week for #TeamAMR


Using the powers of elimination over what has or has not been disclosed already and that both events take place over the same weekend yet hundreds of miles apart - it appears that Beechdean AMR have elected to participate in the Barcelona round of the Michelin Le Mans Cup series over that of the next round of the British GT Championship from Spa over the weekend of the 19/20th July.

With the Le Mans Cup first to publish their entry list today of 29 cars for the fourth round out of six for the season from the Circuit de Catalunya in Spain, the appearance of the #99 Beechdean AMR Aston Martin Racing V8 Vantage GT3 of Andrew Howard and Ross Gunn on that list kind of seals the fate that the colourful red, white and blue car will not be racing at the fifth round of the British GT Championship on their annual excursion to Belgium after all?


Or of course, they could be doing both in which case that makes for an incredibly busy weekend of motorsport plus an overnight 800 mile drive between circuits to boot but .............!?!?


The round at Barcelona follows on from the two races at the Road to Le Mans from the Circuit de La Sarthe where the #99 crew finished with a DNF in Race 1 (having been taken out of the race by a chasing competitor for position on the final lap) and a P2 podium position in race 2. As a result of that, the team presently lie P4 in the GT3 class table - forty points behind the leading crew but with over fifty points still available from the remaining two races.


Missing from this weekends penultimate round of the GT4 European Series from Zandvoort in the Netherlands sees the Generation AMR SuperRacing team to resurface again at the third round of the sister GT4 South European Series also from the Circuit de Catalunya near Barcelona over the weekend of 30th Aug/1st September.

Having 'christened' their new 2019 specification AMR Vantage GT4 at the British GT Championship round at Silverstone and the GT4 European Series round at Misano over the last four weeks, the team now takes a temporary step back with its AMR racing programme for drivers Matt George and James Holder.


“We will be racing at Barcelona to evaluate the series for next season. We are competing in the GT4 European Series this season, but we started with an old car, so we are not in the title hunt. We're weighting our options for 2020. Last year we were very successful on this circuit in the Championnat de France FFSA GT – GT4 France weekend. It is a good place to get to grips with the championship as we already have a good acknowledge of the car and the track” commented George.

The team do have a tendency to pick and choose race venues across series in order of preference for what Bronze driver Holder gets out of his expenditure in motor racing and this season is no different.


Finally, and if you didn't already know is that Optimum Motorsports Ollie Wilkinson returns to the International GT Open Series this weekend with his AMR V8 Vantage GT3 for their fourth round of the season from the Red Bull Ring in Austria.

Having skipped the series previous round from Spa Francorchamps to concentrate on their Silver Cup efforts within the British GT Championship, the young driver from Leeds pairs up with his third co-driver/coach of the year so in the form of AMR factory driver Jonny Adam.


Having started with Bradley Ellis in round 1 before swapping to Darren Turner for round 2, the team are making every effort to get him differing racing experiences from different drivers within his two chosen series in the 2019 season both at home in the BGT and in Europe with the GT Open.

The team have already tested at the Red Bull Ring this year (under the watchful eye of Turner) so it is hopeful that the extremely successful driver coach in Mr Adam will form into a pair of great results at the weekend to emulate or better the podium success that he and Turner enjoyed at Hockenheim.


UPDATE.

One race this weekend that we did overlook is the return of the VLN Series to the Nordschleife and Nurburgring GP circuit having concluded their short intermission that covers the running of the ADAC Total 24H event a few weeks ago.


Having already obtained their full Nordschleife Permit earlier this year, the fourth running of the VLN Series sees Garage 59 co-owner and Blancpain GT Racer Alex West return to the infamous Green Hell track for some more laps despite having spent most of the week there with a Ferrari Clienti event their in an FXXK hypercar.

This weekend, he returns with something a little slower as he rejoins the #150 AMR Performance Centre support Aston Martin Vantage GT4 that runs in the SP8 class. He is joined for this four hour race by Erik Manning.


Photo credits - GT4 European / Optimum / GT Open / AMR / Garage 59

Thursday, July 11, 2019 | Read more...