Automatic Racing eager to get their new Vantage GT4 out at Daytona

Automatic Racing eager to get their new Vantage GT4 out at Daytona


Florida based Automatic Racing are presently preparing their latest racing acquisition in time for next weekend's opening round of IMSA's Michelin Pilot Challenge from Daytona Motor Speedway.

Having had two of their normally aspirated Aston Martin Racing V8 Vantage GT4's at the official Roar before the Twenty-four test at the circuit two weeks ago, we then learned post test that the team will also receive the first customer version of the new turbo charged Vantage GT4 as a third team entry into the four hour BMW Endurance Challenge season opener.


Having just received the first customer chassis from the Banbury workshop, that leaves little time for the team to familiarise themselves with the new car nor the (as yet) unannounced drivers much time to learn its handling characteristics.



Photo credits - Automatic Racing
Wednesday, January 16, 2019 | Read more...
One last blast up the Mountain for R-Motorsport and their V12 Vantage GT3's

One last blast up the Mountain for R-Motorsport and their V12 Vantage GT3's


With just two weeks before the 2019 Bathurst 12Hr event down and over in Australia, Swiss based R-Motorsport have finally confirmed their two car driver line ups in what should be their final outing in the Aston Martin Racing V12 Vantage GT3 as a full works supported race car.

When the team did announce they intention to return to the Mountain in 2019 early last year, they had originally wanted to contest the Pro-Pro and Pro-Am classes with the new 2019 turbo charged V8 Vantage GT3 but unfortunately race Balance of Performance rules demanded a 'year old' car so plans immediately switched back to the venerable V12.


With the team already having at least one of the new iteration of AMR GT3 cars in their possession after its inaugural race at the Gulf 12Hrs in Abu Dhabi last month, what more of a fitting way could there be to see out the tenure of one of the most competitive race and championship winning GT3 machines than by taking them back to one of the most challenging circuits in the world for a full on assault on the GT3 class.


Unsurprisingly, their Class A Pro-Pro entry is made up of three drivers who raced for the Arden Motorsport prepared cars in the last year Blancpain GT Series and some who have gone on to support the team in other one off events like the 24H Series in both Barcelona and Austin, Texas.

For that car the team have today confirmed Jake Dennis, Marvin Kirchhofer and Mathieu Vaxivierre.

In the sister Pro-Am car entry sees Team Principles Florian Kamelger and Andreas Baenziger return with long term customer driver Peter Leemhuis alongside latest team signing Matt Parry.


With the team having skipped the 2018 event, it will be great to see an AMR Vantage GT3 back on track - the first since the ill-fated Miedecke Stone AMR attempt of 2017 that ended so dramatically with their car hard into the wall at turn 1 and with the driver suffering from the effects of carbon monoxide.

R-Motorsport did also attend the 2017 event but only with the AML factory supplied Vantage GT8 and a Vantage GT4 for its then guest drivers.


We don't however, expect this to be the last time that you will see on of R-Motorsport's V12 Vantage race cars out on track somewhere around the world in 2019 either!

Full press release from the team available HERE

Race proceedings begin on January 31st.

Photo credits - R-Motorsport/Bathurst12hr


Tuesday, January 15, 2019 | Read more...
Al Harthy using his new Vantage GT3 to great effect back home

Al Harthy using his new Vantage GT3 to great effect back home


Health services around the world are always in constant need of the generosity of others to donate blood to help those in time of medical need so it was great to see Omani racer Ahmad Al Harthy use his brand new V8 Vantage GT3 to great effect on a recent promotional campaign back home.

With the assistance of his Oman Racing Team sponsors, Al Harthy has been promoting his country's national campaign to heighten the awareness of blood donation (as well as other promotional campaigns for his sponsors) with the enticement of his latest race car - one that was received from the Aston Martin Racing factory just in time to compete at last months Gulf 12hrs event with AMR factory drivers Jonny Adam and Darren Turner.


Whilst Al Harthy has the ability to race around some of the best race tracks the world can offer its also reassuring to witness that he also flinches at the sight of a needle being place into his arm! 🙂

Great work - well done!

Monday, January 14, 2019 | Read more...
Holloway and Johnson swap to the latest AMR GT4 for 2019 GT Cup

Holloway and Johnson swap to the latest AMR GT4 for 2019 GT Cup


One lot of news coming from last weekend's Autosport Show was confirmation of the first 2019 specification Aston Martin Racing V8 Vantage GT4 to run within the national GT Cup Championship.

Championship returnees David Holloway and Piers Johnson confirmed at the weekend that they would be swapping their Ginetta G55 GT4 car for a brand new turbo charged Vantage GT4 to spearhead their 2019 assault on primarily the GTH Class title but also the Overall title just like what Whitebridge AMR drivers Chris Murphy and Adam Hatfield achieved in 2018.


We understand that their new car will again be prepared for by them by Nathan Freke's Century Motorsport team (same as who the duo raced with in their Ginetta last year) for this year's revised seven event - 28 race format. We understand that the team expect to receive their car just before the start of the season in mid April such is the present demand for the latest line of AMR race cars.

Reigning Champion Chris Murphy has already confirmed that he will also return to defend his crown but this time as a solo driver aboard one of his Whitebridge AMR's Vantage GT4's. We do not presently know whether he will also be upgrading to the latest AMR platform or not.

Photo credits - AMR / GT Cup


Monday, January 14, 2019 | Read more...
Still could have been worse for Red River Sport in Thailand

Still could have been worse for Red River Sport in Thailand


Some would say that it couldn't get much worse than a DNF in a short race series such as the Asian Le Mans Series, but without some quick thinking behind the wheel of the car Red River Sport earlier today they could have been looking at a destroyed car with one round still remaining.

The third round of four of the 2018-19 Asian Le Mans Series was always just another step along the path to their ultimate goal of the 24 house of Le Mans for the mentor/students driver line up that makes the Red River Sport entry. Gentleman driver Ivor Dunbar was still playing 'catch up' to his co driver Bonamy Grimes having missed the opening round of the season in Shanghai whilst both continued to be mentored by their resident professional driver Johnny Mowlem.


Competing in the GT3 class alongside full factory drivers is perhaps a 'big ask' for someone like Grimes but that he did in Qualifying on Saturday having their allotted fifteen minutes to himself finishing just 2.5 seconds down to Alessandro Pier Guidi on pole in the Spirit of Race Ferrari 488.

Team mate Ivor Dunbar would start the 4Hours of Buriram race for the opening stint to submit initially consistent to then improving lap times before he handed over to Mowlem at the end of the first hour.

Unseen by us on camera, Mowlem emerged from pit lane and into a situation of decreasing power steering efficiency as the power steering pump within his Aston Martin Racing V12 Vantage GT3 began to fail. A close shave with fellow TF Sport racer (in the WEC that is) Salih Yoluc could have proved costly for all as Yoluc contested class position with a fellow LMP2 car with Mowlem the GT meat in the sandwich.


Worse was to come however for Mowlem as approaching the hard braking area for the hairpin at turn 3 he found the brake pedal travelling all the way down to the floor - no brakes!! Instinctively, the extremely experience professional immediately placed his car into a spin in order to remove as much momentum from the car as it passed through the gravel trap before it hit the barrier. Such was his skill was that the final tap with the tyre wall was literally a tap - no significant crash damage.

Having been extracted from the gravel trap under a Full Course Yellow Mowlem managed to limp the car back to the pit where it was soon retired from the race on the grounds of safety.


For Grimes, he did not get to race in Thailand but at least Mowlem saved the car to race again at the final round of the season at Sepang in Malaysia at the end of February. The team however, need to establish the course of both the brake and power steering failure and effect repairs made all the more difficult with the restricted availability of spares in what is for them a continual fly away series.

Its apparently all part of the learning curve!

Photo credits - TF Sport




Sunday, January 13, 2019 | Read more...
AMR stars back at the Autosport Show

AMR stars back at the Autosport Show


Stars from Aston Martin Racing again take centre stage at this year’s Autosport Show from the National Exhibition Centre in Birmingham.

Having attending the first of the Trade Days yesterday you will find this year’s showcase in differing halls to previous years with what can only be described as a reduced format. Despite this, GT racing and the AMR brand are again well represented with an example of the team’s new V8 Vantage GTE (albeit a show car) sitting proud just left of the main Autosport stage in the lower hall.


Joining the varied range of guest speaking on this stage will be AMR factory drivers Darren Turner and Jonny Adam who will discussing everything WEC as well as the large expected presence of the factory’s new Vantage GT3 and GT4 cars within the British GT Championship.

Literally next door to the main stage sits the GT Cup display where you will find one of the V8 Vantage GT4 cars of Chris Murphy and his Whitebridge AMR team. Murphy and his co-driver Adam Hatfield secures not only their GTH Class title this year but also the overall Championship win. A Desmond Smail GT4 from his AMOC days rounds off the static displays.


As far as we are aware, rounding things off for TeamAMR will be factory reserve driver Ross Gunn driving a number of stunning road cars from Aston Martin in the Live Arena. If previous years are anything to go by he will probably be joined by at least one of the others!

Public days for the Autosport Show are on both Saturday and Sunday.

Photo credit - Motorsport Images (stage interview)


Friday, January 11, 2019 | Read more...
Jetstream offer their V12 Vantage GT3 for 'arrive and drive' races

Jetstream offer their V12 Vantage GT3 for 'arrive and drive' races


With its former resident Gentleman driver now preparing to embark upon his second season of British GT racing alongside a new Aston Martin Racing factory driver in a new 2019 specification car, sees Jetstream Motorsport offer his former V12 Vantage GT3 out to anyone wishing to compete within the GT Cup/Britcar National Series.

In 2018, Graham Davidson paired up with AMR factory driver Maxime Martin in something of a last minute deal in which the Scot would be partnered and mentored by the talented Belgium GT racer. To that end, their high point of last season cam when the duo won the Spa Francorchamps round of the season in July.

Now with Davidson now joining forces with fellow Scot Jonny Adam in one of TF Sports brand new turbo charged Vantage GT3's for 2019, his former team looks to make use of his race chariot ahead of any further possible in it from Davidson later in the year.

The advert in Racecarsdirect.com reads...... (LINK to advert)

Arrive and drive packages available for GT Cup, Britcar etc in our up to date Vantage GT3

A well looked after competitive car taking a win at Spa last year in British GT and class win at Le Mans festival.

We also have the ability to run owner drivers with GT3/4 or cup cars.

For more info please email dave@dtbmotorsport.co.uk


After all, the V12 is still very much a race and Championship winner - ask Jonny Adam and Flick Haigh!!
Thursday, January 10, 2019 | Read more...
Newbridge looking for 2nd driver for GT4 European Series

Newbridge looking for 2nd driver for GT4 European Series



Drive Opportunity available for European GT4 Series!

Newbridge Motorsport has a drive available along side a Silver driver in our Aston Martin GT4 for a full season campaign in the European GT4 series in 2019.

You can join us on this journey by sending us your driving CV.

Send to: racing@newbridgemotorsport.com

Additionally please contact us with your individual race requirements and gain the competitive advantage with Newbridge Motorsport in 2019.


Wednesday, January 09, 2019 | Read more...
Red River Sport back at Asian Le Mans Series

Red River Sport back at Asian Le Mans Series


The third round of four of the 2018-19 Asian Le Mans Series takes place this weekend from the Chang International Circuit in Buriram, Thailand with the Red River Sport by TF Sport Aston Martin Racing crew looking to increase their Championship position after a disappointing race last time out.

With drivers Bonamy Grimes and Johnny Mowlem having taken a total justifiable third place at the opening round of the season in Shanghai in November the second round in Fuji just few weeks later didn't go their way despite their third driver Ivor Dunbar joining them.


What has to be considered is that Johnny Mowlem is driver coaching his two Gentlemen drivers a part of their steep learning desire to compete at Le Mans in a car that they hadn't driven in until just before the start of this winter season and on circuits many have never heard of whilst their GT Class competitors sport full factory drivers amongst fully competent locals.

Before the start of this weekends four hours of Buriram, the #5 car stands in P4 in the GT Class just two points behind the #66 Tianshi Racing car in third so all is still to race for the trio.

The start of the race begins at 11:45Hrs local 

Photo credits - TF Sport




Wednesday, January 09, 2019 | Read more...
Optimum confirm first GT4 line up for British GT

Optimum confirm first GT4 line up for British GT


Straight off the back of TF Sport announcing their four GT4 driver line up for this season's British GT Championship comes a similar confirmation of the first of an expected two GT4 entry from 2018 Champions Optimum Motorsport.

With GT5 graduate Connor O'Brien already having been confirmed with the team a few weeks ago, today finally sees Jerseyman Jack Butel step across from his previous dealings in the LMP3 Cup to be confirmed as the co driver in that car to form another silver-silver pairing.

Todays announcement also sees the first visual indication of any livery on a new 2019 specification V8 Vantage GT4 - and it looks nice!.


Butel is presently out with the Optimum team over in Dubai in preparation for this weekends 24H Series 24 Hour race with the team's Ginetta G55 GT4 as he gets valuable winter seat time as he converts his style of driving back to a less area dependant GT car from that of a prototype. By the sounds of it, Butel (like many of the others) has only had limited seat car aboard the new turbo charged car at the now infamous Oulton Park collective test last year and he (like all the others) is eagerly anticipating the start of pre season testing once the AMR factory have delivered the first batch of cars to their customer teams.

Losing the capacity to compute just how many new variant Aston Martin Racing Vantages there will be at the opening round of the British GT Championship from Oulton Park in April - one thing for sure is that it will be a heck of a season!

Photo credits - Optimum / Jack Butel


Wednesday, January 09, 2019 | Read more...
Biggest commitment ever from TF Sport into British GT

Biggest commitment ever from TF Sport into British GT


It appears that there is presently no end to the good news that is coming out of the Aston Martin Racing stable with Tom Ferrier's TF Sport today announcing a fresh quartet of young Silver ranked drivers wanting to take the step up into GT racing in the British GT Championship.

With a brand new turbo charged car, a top flight team and access into the AMR Young Driver Academy all on offer seems too good an opportunity for drivers Tom Canning, Rory Collingbourne, Patrick Kibble and Josh Price as they all step up to racing two Vantage GT4 cars that the Surrey based team will now present to the grid at Oulton Park in April.

Canning

Kibble

All except Canning step over to the SRO sanctioned championship from the BTCC TOCA package with Collingbourne having his last race experience in the Porsche Carrera Cup, Price with BMR's Subaru Academy team and Kibble in the Ginetta Juniors Championship.

Collingbourne

Price

“We need to hit the ground running on our return to GT4 competition this year,” said TF Sport Director Tom Ferrier. “We have a clear objective and that is to win races and be in the position to challenge for the title with both cars. We’re delighted to have these four young drivers on board with TF Sport for the 2019 season.”

Canning already has racing experience within the new Vantage GT4 having competed at the recent Gulf 12Hrs event in Abu Dhabi yet seat time for the others will be precious until such time as the AMR factory can supply what is already a huge demand for their new 2019 iteration Vantage race cars.

For the team, 2019 will also be a doubling in efforts as they now have four cars to prepare and maintain for British GT alone in both its GT3 and GT4 classes.

Its going to be a great year!

Photo credits - AMR / Driver social media




Tuesday, January 08, 2019 | Read more...
Next stop BMW Endurance Challenge for Automatic Racing

Next stop BMW Endurance Challenge for Automatic Racing


Two cars - five drivers was the order of last weekends Roar before the 24 Official Test for Automatic Racing as they prepare to face the opening round of the 2019 Michelin Pilot Challenge season from Daytona Speedway in Florida at the end of the month.

Two 2016 specification Aston Martin Racing V8 Vantage GT4's remain the 'weapon' of choice for this series regulars ahead of whats expected to be a swap over to the new turbo charged Vantage GT4 in time for the next round at Sebring in March.


In its familiar Stoner Care livery, Kris Wilson again joins forces with gentleman driver Gary Ferrera in the #99 car whilst a new trio of Dale Katechis, Ramin Abdolvahabi and Mikel Miller join forces in the #09 at least for the opening four hour endurance race that runs in support of the IMSA Weathertech Sportscar Championship's 24hour opener.

Whilst Automatic remain the only AMR entry into any of the IMSA sanctioned series for at least the start of the 2019 season, there are a number of other drivers competing in other cars who all have a strong AMR association. The most notable are again the Paul Dalla Lana lead squad with World Endurance Championship AMR Vantage GTE Am regulars Mathias Lauda and Pedro Lamy again joining the Canadian businessman in their Spirit of Race prepared Ferrari 488 GTD alongside former AMR GTE driver Daniel Serra.

Photo credits - Automatic Racing






Monday, January 07, 2019 | Read more...
Thiim and Sorensen back behind the wheel - this time for charity

Thiim and Sorensen back behind the wheel - this time for charity


Just a quick shout out to Aston Martin Racing drivers Nicki Thiim and Marco Sorensen who are this weekend racing in another endurance race together.

Rather than competing together in their more customary World Endurance Championship, the two Danes will this time be racing in the virtual world of iRacing around the Spa Francorchamps circuit but this time in the name of the Danish Childhood Cancer Foundation.

Watch them do what they do best from Thiim's Twitch TV feed HERE

With donations from Aston Martin Racing on offer, the teams charitable haul presently stands at nearly $10,000.00 with four hours of the event remaining!

Auction/donation page HERE and HERE

Go and give this guys a hand in raising some more cash!

Photo credit - Aston Martin Racing






Saturday, January 05, 2019 | Read more...
Countdown to Daytona

Countdown to Daytona


With 2019 barely two days old, the clock keeps ticking down to the first racing event of the New Year at Daytona International Speedway for the Roar before the 24 test this weekend before the opening race enduro of the IMSA calendar just two weeks later.

Despite a strong desire from the Aston Martin Racing factory team to have a suitable partner team framework in place ready to support any customer team involvement with IMSA this season, the lack of any such confirmation from the team proves that not all pieces of that jigsaw are yet in position to take the marque forward in the United States, so it is again left to series stalwarts Automatic Racing to fly the AMR flag in the GT4 class.

Having previously ran with some great success in the Continental Tyre Sports Car Challenge, that part of the IMSA package has now of course swapped over to Michelin as a title sponsor and Partner to create the new Michelin Pilot Challenge for the GT4 and TCR classed cars.


Florida based Automatic Racing have again a two car entry for the season ahead and will figure amongst the provisional 40 car entry for the non-mandatory test this weekend with their #09 and #99 numbered entries. So far no driver line ups have been confirmed by the team or series.

For those of us hoping see the team out in the brand new 2019 specification V8 Vantage GT4 we of course have to remember that that new car is not due for final homologation by the AMR factory until early March so it could be that just the 4hours of Daytona will be run in the normally aspirated V8 model before they could swap over (not that we pretend to know that they actually will) into the new car ready for Sebring in mid March.

Photo credits - Automatic Racing
Wednesday, January 02, 2019 | Read more...