Blancpain GT kicks off at Monza with three Vantage GT3's

Blancpain GT kicks off at Monza with three Vantage GT3's


What is there not to look forward to this weekend but the start of the greatest GT3 series in Europe as the Blancpain GT Series Endurance Cup takes to the tracks for the first competitive time this year at Monza.

Amongst the usual large 54 car grid we are blessed this season with seeing three Aston Martin Racing Partner team entries from both returning Pro-Am Champion's, Oman Racing as well as the fruition of many months of preparatory work from Swiss based R-Motorsport with their two new Pro car entries.


Although returning to the series, the TF Sport prepared Oman Racing Team #97 entry returns with not just another driver line up but is also now entered into the new Silver Cup class for 2018. Ahmad Al Harthy has said a 'drivers goodbye' to last years co driver and fellow champion Jonny Adam (although the AMR factory driver is retained by the team for his professional input) and will this year be joined by fellow Silver ranked drivers Charlie Eastwood and Euan McKay - each with previous and existing driving duties with the team.

New to the SRO championship sees R-Motorsport step up not just in series but also in class of car being raced with two Arden Motorsport prepared V12 Vantage GT3's being entered into the tough and ultra competitive Pro class which fields a 'sell out' 24 car entry. 

The two cars are also two of the newest examples of the fast and reliable GT3 platforms from the Prodrive factory.


Jumping into Pro class with both eyes wide open, R-Motorsport list a driver line up that is extremely capable of taking the race to the series main protagonists in their 'other' GT3 platforms. The #76 car features drivers Maxime Martin, Alex Brundle and Martin Kirchhofer whilst the sister #62 car includes Nicki Thiim, Jake Dennis and Mathieu Vaxiviere, each coming with their own individual skill set, racing knowledge but above all - determination to succeed. 

R-Motorpsort spent three days testing at Monza after the series official test at Paul Ricard last month whilst Oman Racing have only had a couple of single test days in-between series events, last out at Silverstone in the wet last week.


Track action for these three cars starts Saturday morning with Free Practice before Pre Qualifying in the afternoon before Qualifying itself on Sunday morning ahead of the three hour race itself in the afternoon.

Photo credits - TF Sport / R-Motorsport / BES






Thursday, April 19, 2018 | Read more...
GT Cup kicks off this weekend at Donington

GT Cup kicks off this weekend at Donington


In the midst of a busy consecutive racing weekend for racers Chris Murphy and Adam Hatfield, this weekend sees them both trading opposing cars at the opening rounds of the Britcar Endurance Championship at Rockingham for the same car at the opening rounds of the GT Cup Championship at Donington.

This weekend will see the duo's first race out together whilst sharing one of Murphy's Whitebridge Motorsport prepared Aston Martin Racing V8 Vantage GT4.


Joining then in the Championship again will be the JMH prepared Hudmotorsport Aston Martin Racing V12 Vantage GT3 with Nigel Hudson and Adam Wilcox again behind the wheel. With their nemesis from last year, Graham Davidson now having moved up to British GT the duo will be hoping to progress from the still colossal trophy haul but a runners up position of last season to win the championship outright in what has been suggested as Hudson's last season!

Both cars were testing at the circuit today ready for the three race programme over the National circuit on Saturday and Sunday.

Photo credits - Hatfield / S Jackman

Thursday, April 19, 2018 | Read more...
Bruising opener for CMRT Eurasia in Sepang

Bruising opener for CMRT Eurasia in Sepang


Having made a late driver announcement just ahead of the first round of the 2018 Blancpain GT Asia season, reigning GT3 Am Champions CMRT Eurasia could consider themselves unlucky with just a single podium from the weekend's racing.

With last years championship winning drivers, James Cai and Kenneth Lim otherwise detained on other business it was left to stand in drivers Adrian D'Silva and Sangwhi Rick Yoon to carry the mantle in Asia for the Aston Martin Racing marque.

Short on winter testing, the #68 AMR V12 Vantage GT3 used the available Thursday Paid Test day to get used to both the car and circuit and for much of the time resided mid table in the 29 car field, slowly improving lap times as they went.


Leaving some of their best laps to the two Qualifying sessions for each of the two races over the weekend,  Am driver and last year Audi racer Yoon claimed class pole for Race 1 and D'Silva P3 for Sunday's Pro starting race. 

Unfortunately, before the first lap of race 1 had even been completed their race was effectively over for the Eurasia crew as heavy damage sustained from a spinning Audi forced immediate repairs under a Safety Car before the car temporarily returned to track before stopping again soon after.


After late night repairs, Race 2 did prove to be rewarding for both the drivers and the team for their efforts as they managed to avoid any early race drama to claim a worthy P2 in class. 

“Yesterday I hated motorsport,” stated team principal Mark Goddard. “Today I loved it again and it’s a great end to the weekend. To get the class pole with Rick was fantastic, a very special achievement and get P2 in class today was as good as we could have expected.

“So, there are many positives. We know the Aston Martin is very strong following Saturday’s incident, the team worked very hard to repair it and got very little sleep and yet everything came together with a strong result.”


Round two of the Blancpain GT Asia Championship takes place in just four weeks time from the Chang International Circuit in Thailand.

Photo credits - Blancpain GT


Monday, April 16, 2018 | Read more...
Job well done for Aston Martin Racing at N24 Qualifying Race

Job well done for Aston Martin Racing at N24 Qualifying Race


After their year sabbatical from the ADAC 24H race in the top flight GT3 (SP9) class last year, Aston Martin Racing returned to the infamous Nordschleife circuit at the weekend for the preparatory work towards a full works assault on the toughest GT race in the world later in May.

Arriving with their slightly modified V12 Vantage GT3 for yesterdays six hour qualifying race, the beautifully liveried Sterling Green and lime #007 would allow WEC drivers Darren Turner, Marco Sorensen, Nicki Thiim and most recent recruit Maxime Martin to drive this iteration of GT3 in its last factory entered 24 hour race come the race in May.


Progress was steady for the #007 car finishing 20th overall (19th in class) at the end of the Free Practice session on Saturday with a best lap time of just over 8:27:00. That improved significantly over the two Qualifying sessions (Saturday afternoon and Saturday night) as the team pushed to deliver a new best overall time of 8:17:675 to 'qualify' for the Qualifying Races' Top 30 Qualifying!

Taking things 'steady' for Sunday's Top 30 shoot out (nearly 17 seconds down on the pole setting Audi kind of steady) placed the car at the front of the grid in P8 ready for the near late morning start of the race with Martin taking the start for the team.


With the emphasis being on getting the car home in a good top 15 position rather than fighting for any accolades from the Qualifying Race itself, the #007 would ultimately finish its six hour return to the Green Hell in 5th place overall (4th in class), on the lead lap and just twenty five seconds down to the race winning Mercedes AND having competed for a top three position for a large part of the race as well.

For the team, that was the most important factor taken from the weekend, that the venerable V12 Vantage could still have the potential of upsetting the German manufacturers on their home turf should circumstance (and a large slice of luck) go their way in May.


For Aston Martin Racing President David King and the team, the next step is the top step!

The ADAC 24H race takes place over the 10-14 May.

Photo credits - Frozenspeed / ADAC / AMR

Monday, April 16, 2018 | Read more...
Gray and Miedecke struggle at weather affected race at The Bend

Gray and Miedecke struggle at weather affected race at The Bend


Having gloried at the first round of the Australian GT Championship earlier this month with three top step podiums as well as a third, it was back down to earth for the #67 Aston Martin Racing V8 Vantage GT4 crew as they embarked on their first round of the Endurance Championship.

Racing at Australia's newest motor racing circuit at The Bend Motorsport Park near Adelaide, the driving crew would always be slightly on the back foot compared to their GT4 class opposition as the weather made a dramatic impact upon race proceedings.

Have had a full day of testing at the circuit on Thursday under what appeared to near 'normal' Australian weather, the first of Friday's Free Practice would descended into chaos as a sizeable rain storm deposited an extra-ordinary amount of rain upon the circuit forcing many to curtail they practice and setup plans. For the #67 crew that amounted to just two laps ahead of Saturday's Qualifying.


The two Qualifying sessions were also affected by weather - this time with strong warmer winds lifting the surrounding light soils to create dust storms that would lead to undriveable conditions forcing the race organisers to revise their race and timetable strategy.

Originally a two part race over both Saturday and Sunday, it was decided to race an increased race duration but over a shortened track variation as further strong winds were again being predicted. 

Despite all of this, #67 crew Jeremy Gray and Andrew Miedecke still managed to qualify just behind their GT championship protagonists Justin McMillan and Glenn Wood in their KTM X-Bow but their lack of track time and familiarity (especially with the now revised track formation the led to a near 2.0km reduction in lap length) the #67 crew would finish the 2hr 40min race some ten seconds behind the X-Bow after a 5 second penalty (reason unknown) had been applied.

Photo credits - Australian GT





Sunday, April 15, 2018 | Read more...
Change of tack for AMR at N24 Qualifying Race?

Change of tack for AMR at N24 Qualifying Race?



This #007 Aston Martin Racing V12 Vantage GT3 takes pride of place in front of those who will fettle her as she commences her final 24 hour race preparations as a factory based entity ahead off tomorrows ADAC 24N Qualifying race from the infamous Nordschleife.

The full AMR factory driver line up within that car of Darren Turner, Nicki Thiim, Marco Sorensen and Maxime Martin has been no secret for the last few weeks or so as David King (President of Aston Martin Racing) keeps chases his ambition of claiming the outright win in May's main event.


“Aston Martin returns to the Nürburgring proud of its past achievements on a circuit famous for its challenging and daunting nature. We’ve not yet achieved our long-held ambition of winning this great race outright. We think it is most important to bring the charismatic the V12 Vantage GT3 back for its factory swansong in a major 24-hour event and it’s a mark of the car’s pedigree that seven years after it first raced it remains a competitive proposition" he added.

What is puzzling however, is the second Aston Martin entry suddenly employing the services of the remaining two AMR factory drivers as well as the already announced Peter Cate and Jamie Chadwick? 

At out visit to Prodrive last month, David King was very specific to say that (outside the single factory supported GT3 effort) all remaining Aston Martin/Aston Martin Racing participation in both the VLN Series and N24 itself would be strictly customer based - so something has changed and very recently at that!


Indeed, the events entry list for tomorrows Qualification Race (dated 11/4/18) still states a differing driver line up in the #28 AMR Performance Centre SP8 entry to the one now being reported that now includes both Alex Lynn and Jonny Adam!


Both cars will be very identifiable, each adorned in the Sterling Green and lime colours scheme of last years World Endurance Championship cars 

Photo credits - AMR / VLN


Friday, April 13, 2018 | Read more...
Multiple AMR GT4's at Britcar opener

Multiple AMR GT4's at Britcar opener


Three Aston Martin Racing V8 Vantage GT4's will line up this weekend for the opening round of the 2018 Britcar Endurance Championship from Rockingham.

Latest news coming from the Championship is that former AMR Rookie driver of the Year Chris Murphy has finally sold a drive in his second Whitebridge Motorsport prepared car meaning a two car, single driver entry for both himself and new recruit Barry McMahon. For what will be McMahon's third Britcar season, his decision to join Murphy came after testing with the team at the AMR Collective test over in Portimao last month.


Joining them for what will be their first full Britcar season together will be the EDF Motorsport prepared entry of Australian Mal Sandford with his co-driver Ben Seyfried who return to the championship having 'dipped a toe' into the final two rounds last year.

The only differences between the two teams are that the EDF car (above) is entered in the Endurance class whilst the two Whitebridge cars are entered into the Sprint class. That means that all three cars will race together in the 50minute race earlier on Saturday whilst in the latter 2 hour race, the EDF car will run for the duration and the Whitebridge cars will only run for another 50minutes of that two hours!


We could also be looking at another three cars destined for the Aston Martin Racing Festival at Le Mans in June.




Thursday, April 12, 2018 | Read more...
Two new Vantage GT4's for China GT

Two new Vantage GT4's for China GT


Two of Prodrive's latest creations are now due to be flown over to China in time for China GT's Official test at Beijing's Goldenport Circuit in just two weeks time.

Inspected and signed off at the factory by China Equity AMR's Stanley Yang this week, these two cars will go onto race in the China GT Series for what will only be the the second year in that series for GT4's which saw four AMR cars compete for both China Equity AMR and ZEA FEA Racing.


We have already seen that the team has shaken down two of their existing Vantage GT4 platforms in Sepang, Malaysia in readiness for the new season and hopefully we will get to see an official entry list at the test gets nearer although we do already know that both Ross Gunn ad Jack Mitchell will each be racing a full season with the team.


This LINK will show you what the growing Chinese GT scene is all about as the team look to better last years P3 overall position for Yang and also look to fulfil a desire to attend the Aston Martin Racing Festival at Le Mans in June!

Photo credits - China GT / Social media








Wednesday, April 11, 2018 | Read more...
CMRT Eurasia return to Blancpain GT Asia

CMRT Eurasia return to Blancpain GT Asia


Long time coming, but it appears that reigning Blancpain GT Asia GT Am Champions are indeed returning to the championship as it kicks off for its second year in Sepang, Malaysia this weekend.

CMRT Eurasia return with their Aston Martin Racing V12 Vantage GT3 that last years drivers Kenneth Lim and James Cai both drove to secure their championship at the final round last year albeit having missed out one round completely but with a change in drivers.


Former Nexus AMR Racing driver Adrian D'Silva returns to the marque after six years away from an AMR with his two most recent racing years being in the Asian Le Mans Series in both LMP3 and GT3 machinery. Joining him will be former KCMG Audi Blancpain GT Asia driver Sanghwi Rick Yoon.


Having said that, we have been informed that both Lim and Cai shall return to the team later after the third round in the season (non motor racing commitments being cited) but as yet we don't know whether it will be as well as or instead of the new drivers announced above.

Whilst private testing for the GT Asia entry is available at the Sepang International Circuit from Wednesday 11th April but official Free Practice doesn't start until Friday before two qualifying sessions and race 1 on Saturday with race 2 on Sunday.

Photo credits - CMRT Eurasia / SRO


Wednesday, April 11, 2018 | Read more...
Team Brit recruit Tom Jackson as driver coach

Team Brit recruit Tom Jackson as driver coach


With news of support seemingly coming in daily now, we missed last weeks announcement from Team Brit that they now have a Le Mans class winner join them in their quest to become the first disabled team to compete the Circuit de La Sarthe and in their new GT racing programme in general.

Tom Jackson, won both of last year Road to Le Mans support races on the full circuit alongside Ahmad Al Harthy and his TF Sport prepared Oman Racing V12 Vantage GT3 now joins the team to help coach their many drivers as they prepare themselves for their attendance at the Aston Martin Racing Festival support event in France this June.


Jackson first met members of the team at his local Brands Hatch circuit as Damon Hill was showing the gathered media the teams V8 Vantage GT4's specialist driver adaptations.

"The unity of this team, is on another level' said Jackson. "As soon as I walked into the pit garage to meet the team the professionalism and friendliness won me over. What they are trying to achieve and with the mentality and moral the whole team has is inspirational. So I can’t wait to get working and help the team reach their goals and prove people wrong”


Team BRIT Founder Dave Player, “We are extremely grateful to Tom for giving up his time to help our drivers. Moving to GT racing will be a big step forward for us but also a huge challenge, so the help of experts such as Tom is crucial. We look forward to working with him this year.”

The AMR Festival will culminate with a 45 minute race on the full ACO circuit on the morning of the 24hour race itself.

Photo credits - Kingsize / ACO



Monday, April 09, 2018 | Read more...
VLN complete - now the ADAC N24 Qualifying race for Aston's GT8

VLN complete - now the ADAC N24 Qualifying race for Aston's GT8



Aston Martin's Vantage GT8 survived another round of the VLN Series yesterday and earned itself another class podium to boot for its efforts.

Heinz Jurgen Kroner was this time accompanied by previous VLN driver acquaintances in Tony Richard and David Thilenius around the infamous Nordschleife circuit to earn themselves third position SP8 class finishing two laps behind the class winning Ferrari in Saturday's four hour race.


Returning the car to the local AMR Performance Centre in one piece at least allows the team simple routine works to prepare the car for its next outing around the circuit for this weekend coming for the ADAC N24 Qualifying race.


Peter Cate returns to the car he won the SP8 class in last year at the N24 alongside co drivers Darren Turner, Nicki Thiim and Markus Lungstrass. He will share the car at the 2018 event with F3 racer and former GT4 Champion Jamie Chadwick and saloon racer and motor journalist Jens Dralle.


For the other Aston Martin runner at the VLN yesterday, it was yet more disappointment as the Avia Racing V8 Vantage GT4 fable dto finish the four hour race for the second time this season when the #188 car completed just 9 of the SP10 winning cars 25 lap total.



Photo credits - VLN / Social Media



Sunday, April 08, 2018 | Read more...
A closer look at Aston Martin Racing's 2018 N24 challenger

A closer look at Aston Martin Racing's 2018 N24 challenger


Thanks to the attentiveness of (hopefully) our latest contributor Steve Jackman we would like to share with you his stunning images of the V12 Vantage GT3 that Aston Martin Racing will compete in at next weekends N24 Qualifying race before the main event later in May.


This shakedown run at Silverstone last week was conducted by one of the teams latest recruits in Maxime Martin the day after the washout that was the opening round of the British GT Championship at Oulton Park, so he should have been conversant with the typical English Easter weather!


Next weekends Qualifying race will involve ninety other cars as well as all nominated AMR drivers Darren Turner, Marco Sorensen, Nicki Thiim as well as Martin aboard this car. A top 15 position in the Qualifying race will also give those a place in the Top 30 Qualifying run at the main race weekend.


Obvious differences to a mainstream Vantage GT3 include the new front wheel arch louvres, additional front peripheral lighting, more upright and taller rear spoiler brackets (higher than the pre 2016 V8 Vantage GTE) and by running on Michelins - not since the Bilstein (Billie) liveried V12 Vantage GT3 days has a factory GT3 entry ran on those at the Nordschleife.

Photo credits - by kind permission and © of Steve Jackman (Eat My Pixels)






Sunday, April 08, 2018 | Read more...
Miedecke Snr to join Gray at next round of Australian GT

Miedecke Snr to join Gray at next round of Australian GT



The second round of the Australian GT Championship sees Jeremy Gray reunited with his old driver coach, Andrew Miedecke when the series hits the country's newest racetrack at The Bend Motorsport Park in South Australia next weekend.

Having opened his GT4 racing account last early year alongside Miedecke in the New South Wales Motor Racing Championships in the car that Miedecke supplied him via Academy Motorsport in the UK, the part time saloon/ part time GT4 driver came away from the opening round with three class wins and a third to lead the fledgling GT4 championship.


Having been a regular entry alongside son George in the Australian GT Endurance championship a couple of seasons ago, the Miedecke's have unfortunately been diverted from their racing desires in order to concentrate on their family businesses that pays so its good to see one or the other back at any racetrack doing what they love.

Whereas the first round was a series of short sprint races, the second round equates to a 500km enduro across the two days of racing - hence the two driver requirement with the second race blending into an evening finish.


Friday, April 13

15:35 – Practice (60mins)
Saturday, April 14
12:30 – Driver A Qualifying (30mins)
13:15 – Driver B Qualifying (30mins)
17:00 – Race Part 1 (24 laps)
Sunday, April 15
10:40 – Race Part 2 (44 laps)

Photo credits - Australian GT / Miedecke Stone Motorsport
Saturday, April 07, 2018 | Read more...
Thats a wrap - next stop Spa Francorchamps

Thats a wrap - next stop Spa Francorchamps


After nearly nearly ten thousand collective laps from the thirty five car field later, the 2018 World Endurance Championship Prologue has finally come to an end this afternoon also signifying the end of the teams winter test programme and the start of the forthcoming Super-season.

With each and every team running to their own pre determined agenda, the chances of learning anything significant from the lap times around the Paul Ricard circuit is slim - the determining of who's fast and who's faster will come in three weeks time in Qualifying at the opening round of the season at the six hours of Spa.


For the two new Aston Martin Racing Vantage GTE's, this weekends test also sees the the new Vantage GTE loose its development status and officially become a race car with the cars Balance of Performance having already been set for Spa, final specification of their confidential Michelin tyres tested and the crew and drivers tested at least four events of twenty four hours or more racking in an incredible 27,000 kms in the process.

Team Principle Paul Howarth wanted one last resiliance test for the new car and team before the new season - Aston Martin Racing reported today that he felt that they had achieved that!


The differences in the running between the #97 GTE Pro car and the #95 GTE Pro car was phenomenal with the latter having participated in the 30 hour continuous test and the former not - 852 laps between the six pro drivers in the #95 whilst the #97 completed a modest 235 although the #97 did clock the faster times than its stablemate. Comparison of AMR as well as series newcomers BMW following testing performances previously displayed by Ford in seasons prior maybe wouldn't be far off the mark!

For the team, the Prologue was also the final opportunity to hone their new pitstop skills after the winter rule change that unfortunately does away with the regimented process of fuel, drivers and then tyres after which penalties will be awarded for any infractions.


The main reason for the championship to choose a circuit like La Castellet for its official test is of course its similarity with the layout of Le Mans, two long straights intersected with chicanes, some long sweeping bends as well as more technical slower corners. This years new night testing availability has also allowed the GTE cars to acclimatise themselves with their new white headlights, with the road based cars now longer needing to display a yellow light after another winter rule change.


After today, it will be homeward for the cars and crews of the five AMR cars that tested at the Prologue and into their last strip down, clean and rebuild in time for the first Free Practice session at Spa on Thursday 3rd May. For many of the drivers however, they will be destined for another race track somewhere for what they do best!!

Spa is where we personally shall next see these cars - cant wait!!

Photo credits - WEC / AMR


Saturday, April 07, 2018 | Read more...