Time to get North America racing again

Time to get North America racing again


After too many weeks of isolation and lock down to care to remember, this weekend sees the planned restart of the North American IMSA Weathertech Sportscar Championship take place from the scene of the series opening gambit into 2020 season way back in January at the Daytona International Speedway in Florida.

Sadly, the ongoing COVID-19 state of play within the continental United States has left some teams no option but to sit things out with the start of the revised calendar this weekend (maybe more) with one of those teams absent from Daytona being the Heart of Racing team and their Seattle Children's Hospital fundraising Aston Martin Racing V8 Vantage GTD (GT3) that drivers Roman de Angelis and Alex Riberas were due to drive.


After their disappointment at the Rolex 24 in January where the #23 car suffered race ending damage during the night after a bizarre incident near pit in, the team have placed the continued safety of the team personnel above all of their desire to return to the racetrack.

Whilst we hope that they decide to make a return at the next round at Sebring in just a couple of weeks time, that is yet to be confirmed particularly as many counties within the State of Florida continuing to experience dramatic rises in their CV-19  infection rate.


For the IMSA supporting Michelin Pilot Challenge Series, we will have to wait until the weekend of the 17-18th July at Sebring to see the colourful collection of the four expected full season Aston Martin Racing V8 Vantage GT4's return to the track.

Then next weekend we have the SRO sanctioned GT4 America Series restart their 2020 calendar at the picturesque Virginia International Raceway after their last round was dramatically cancelled with cars on track during Free Practice at St Petersburg.


No entry list has yet been confirmed but we do expect to see most of the seven teams that enter an AMR Vantage GT4 in both the Series Sprint and Sprint X races to attend. Most teams in this series haven't raced since the opening rounds from the Circuit from the Americas back in early March where both the Flying Lizard AMR of Micheal Dinan and Rearden Racing AMR of Paul Terry diced things out over both races for the top step of the Sprint podium.


Whilst we will obviously miss the bigger Vantage GTD from the IMSA proceedings this weekend, we can't wait to see the many AMR Vantage GT4's get back to business at both Sebring and VIR over the next couple of weeks.


Whilst IMSA at Daytona will be restricting public access to low numbers of residents of Florida only and the GT4 America Series at VIR will have no public access permitted - its a start so let's get back to racing!!

Photo credits - IMSA / GT4 America


Friday, July 03, 2020 | Read more...
FFSA GT4 conclude Nogaro test

FFSA GT4 conclude Nogaro test


Today saw the conclusion the SRO sanctioned FFSA GT4 Series' two day Official test from the Nogaro circuit in south-west France with French team AGS Events Racing fielding their four brand new Aston Martin Racing V8 Vantage GT4's that will be entered into that and the parallel GT4 European Series.

Clear blue skies, warm track temperatures and great looking liveries made for a very picturesque test from what we could see thanks to the shots generously provided by the series.




Run over two sessions per day but bearing in mind that collective tests like these never really show the true levels of performance, that its probably going to be something of a three way battle between the Mercedes, BMW and Aston Martin runners if the last two days of running can be believed. We also realise that that statement will probably be blown out of the water at the first round!!!




Obviously, and as reported earlier this week, the Valentin Hasse-Clot/Theo Nouet AGS Events GT4 car present at this weeks test will only compete in the GT4 European Series which starts its revised 2020 season in Milano in just under four weeks time and should be (by all accounts) not the only AMR Vantage GT4 there present in that series. Their car claimed the fourth fastest lap time after the 14 hours of available testing.




The FFSA GT4 Series meanwhile starts their season proper again at Nogaro in the middle of August and should field at least the three AGS Events Racing cars that tested this week.

Photo credits - FFSA GT4
Wednesday, July 01, 2020 | Read more...
Two yellow cars to brighten your day with......!

Two yellow cars to brighten your day with......!


After the sad news earlier this week with the immediate withdrawal of both of TF Sport's Aston Martin Racing Vantage GT3's from this years British GT Championship, here's a quick look at both of the team's remaining Vantage GT4's testing this week under the Leicestershire sunshine at Donington.



With this weeks test being at least the team's fourth such test with these drivers, Mondays news of the withdrawal of their two GT3 cars didn't really come as too much of a shock really considering both GT3 cars had only been out once (at Silverstone) since the resumption of testing after the COVID-19 lockdown and then only with team Pro drivers Jonny Adam and Charlie Eastwood behind the wheel.



Ahmad Al Harthy was unable to travel in and out of the UK without first serving any long period of self isolation as well as calendar clashes and then Graham Davidson was rightly concentrating on his businesses back home in Scotland. That sadly left 2019 AMR Driver Academy winner and GT4 Champion Tom Canning without a drive.



For the GT4 driver pairings Connor O'Brien/Patrick Kibble and Jamie Caroline/Dan Vaughan, they had each seen at least two days of testing at each of the Snetterton, Oulton Park and Silverstone circuits before this week's test at Donington since Media Day at Snetterton back in March as team boss Tom Ferrier looks to retain the GT4 crown won by Canning and Ashley Hand last year.



All eyes within the team now firmly focus towards the opening double header in the national Championship at Oulton Park at the beginning of August as (hopefully) there will be more known in regards to public access into the circuit for that round by then.


Many thanks again to Steve Jackman at Eat my Pixels for these images.


Wednesday, July 01, 2020 | Read more...
Testing done - now just three weeks till start of revised Super GT Series

Testing done - now just three weeks till start of revised Super GT Series


A further two days of Official Testing was successfully completed by the Pacific Racing Team and D'Station Racing AMR from Fuji Speedway at the weekend as the series looks again at restarting their 2020 season in just under three weeks time.

Again competing in their familiar green liveried Aston Martin Racing V8 Vantage GT3, all driving duties had to be left to Tomonobu Fujii over the two day - four session test with co-driver Nicki Thiim unable to travel to Japan due to the ongoing COVID-19 situation - a repeat of the situation that team found themselves in at the previous Official Test at Okayama back in March.


No stranger to the car having raced it in the series last year with JP de Oliviera nor the cars new Michelin tyres having raced on them in last seasons Asian Le Mans Series  saw the Fujii and #9 car move up the timing screens from the lower half in the dry of Saturday through to mid table in the wet of Sunday. The #9 car was one of five GT300 entries to only test with a single driver - mainly down to the co-driver being unable to travel.

The first round of the multi revised 2020 calendar is due to kick off at the Fuji Speedway over the weekend of the 17/18th July.


We will keep our fingers crossed for the Series and will wait to see how things pan out for the team. We know not if there is a plan B to cover Thiim if he still cannot travel by then.

Photo credits - Super GT / D'Station Racing


Monday, June 29, 2020 | Read more...
Four AMR Vantage GT4's confirmed for FFSA GT4 Official Test

Four AMR Vantage GT4's confirmed for FFSA GT4 Official Test


Tomorrow sees the first of a two day Official Test for the French FFSA GT4 Championship at the Nogaro circuit in south-west France for which the AGS Events Racing team will be fielding their four new brightly liveried Aston Martin Racing V8 Vantage GT4's.

Like most race series worldwide, the SRO sanctioned FFSA GT4 now operates to a heavily revised timetable and will now feature a five event season that will operate between late August at the Nogaro circuit through to early November at Ledenon.


AGS Events had up to the start of the COVID-19 pandemic confirmed a four car driver line up in the Pro-Am and Am only series but todays test attendance confirmation from the series leaves one of those pairings in doubt with the position amongst the thirty car entry now been taken by today's GT4 European Series line up of Valentin Hasse-Clot and Theo Nouet.



Joining these two will be team regulars of Mike Parisy/Nicolas Gomer, Christophe Carriere/Didier Dumaine and Julian Lambert/Gilles Vannelet/David Fischer with both Vannelet/Gomer also confirmed for the GT4 European Series.

Photo credits - AGS Events Racing

Monday, June 29, 2020 | Read more...
Hasse-Clot confirms GT4 European Series season with AGS Racing Events

Hasse-Clot confirms GT4 European Series season with AGS Racing Events


With what someone close to our #TeamAMR hearts has today described as a "weird old world at the moment" sees young Frenchman Valentin Hasse-Clot become the latest driver to confirm an addition to his 2020 programme of racing.

Just two weeks behind their previous driver squad announcement sees French team AGS Racing Events confirm Hasse-Clot and Theo Nouet as their latest recruits for their 2020 GT4 European Series of racing in their pair of new Aston Martin Racing V8 Vantage GT4 machinery. They join drivers Gilles Vannelet and Nicolas Gomer already confirmed for a revised series that starts in just over three weeks time at Imola, Italy.

First reported on Endurance-Info, Hasse-Clot has now confirmed these details with us as he undertakes his first lot of pre season testing at Silverstone today and again tomorrow at Nogaro with the FFSA GT4 series Official test with AGS Events Racing as the team will again run parallel programmes in both GT4 series.

We understand that there is also some additional news to come out following this GT4 European commitment today but that is their news to release so we will rightly await for that information with bated breath.

Photo credits - AGS Events Racing
Monday, June 29, 2020 | Read more...
Sad news out of TF Sport today

Sad news out of TF Sport today


Today, Sussex based TF Sport have confirmed a reduction in their 2020 British GT Championship campaign with the withdrawal of both their Aston Martin Racing V8 Vantage GT3 entries.

Citing on-going issues arising from the continued COVID-19 situation, this news sees the pairings of Jonny Adam/Ahmad Al Harthy as well as Graham Davidson/Tom Canning sadly miss out of the split defence of their 2019 titles, a return to the Championship for Omani racer Al Harthy and the fruition of his 2019 AMR Academy prize for Canning.


Travel restrictions for Al Harthy have so far prevented any return to the UK since Media Day whilst Davidson is rightly concentrating on his business affairs back in Scotland. They are also calendar clashes for Adam between his British GT and World Endurance Championship commitments.

This news still leaves the team with their two AMT V8 Vantage GT4's to campaign their title defence with and have been testing as far as possible over the last few weeks.

Sad news indeed.
Monday, June 29, 2020 | Read more...
Puncture thwarts PROsport Racing at VLN return

Puncture thwarts PROsport Racing at VLN return


Saturdays opening round of the revised Nurburgring Langstecken (formerly VLN) Series from the infamous 24km Nordschelife circuit in the Eifel mountains ended up being one of disappointed for the #176 PROsport Racing Aston Martin Racing Vantage GT4 crew.

Featuring a pair of returning customer drivers, this season stepping up from the VT3 and V5 classes of last year in one of the teams Porsche Caymans to the latest GT4 creation from AMR, as well as 'resident' team driver coach in Belgian Nico Verdonck.


Competing in the SP10 class for SRO homologated GT4 cars amongst a starting field of over 140 cars for this opening round, it was the duty of Verdonck to set the cars Qualifying position for the car in the tricky damp and windy conditions of Saturday morning, placing the car P6 in class and P34 overall.

Also starting the race for the team, Verdonck lifted the #176 car up to P3 by the time of the cars first full service stop, a stop that was made using the new paddock area created behind the usual garages for the teams to change tyres and drivers with cars then progressing to the pit lane for refuelling - very much like how the 24H Series sometimes operate.


Being their first race in the AMR Vantage GT4, it wasn't too surprising to see Belgian Guido Dumarey drop down the order during his stint of seven laps before he too pitted to swap over to the Swiss based Alex Walker for the race to the flag.

Walkers stint unfortunately came to a premature end when, still on his out lap onto the older Nordschleife circuit, he picked up a puncture that left him unable to get the car back to the pits without wasting an indeterminable amount of time or more importantly, risking probably significant damage to the car and himself. The car was retired out on circuit on lap 15 - thirteen laps behind the class winning BMW M4 GT4.

We will have to wait to see if the car returns for the second round of the series in two weeks time.

Photo credits - Verdonck / NLS


Saturday, June 27, 2020 | Read more...
Further offical test days for D'Station Racing AMR in Super GT this weekend

Further offical test days for D'Station Racing AMR in Super GT this weekend


Having already conducted a two day official test for the Japanese Super GT Series at the Okayama Circuit back in mid March, the green liveried Pacific D'Station Racing Aston Martin Racing V8 Vantage GT3 returns to the track for a further two days of testing as the series tries to re-establish its 2020 season.

With a whole bunch of new for 2020, the team have already announced their new title sponsorship for the forthcoming season, a new driver line up that would incorporate AMR works driver Nicki Thiim alongside home grown racer Tomonobu Fujii as well as a swap to Michelin tyres for their GT300 race car


This weekends two day test will again be affected by travel restrictions arising from the worldwide Covid-19 situation with Thiim again missing out on the test as well technical personnel from Prodrive who would usually be on site with their Partner team in these situations not being able to travel without having to self isolate for two weeks on their return to the UK.

The revised season is due to kick off in earnest with two opening round at the Fuji circuit starting 18/19th July

Photo credits - D'Station Racing


Friday, June 26, 2020 | Read more...
Prosport Racing enters AMR GT4 into opening round of NLS

Prosport Racing enters AMR GT4 into opening round of NLS

 

After the official series test only last week, this weekend sees the first competitive round of the newly renames Nurburgring Langstrecken Serie (nee VLN Series) from the beautiful but treacherous Nurburgring and Nordschleife circuits.

A series made up of rounds managed by individual racing clubs, this weekend sees the Ardenauer ADAC Rundstrcken Trophy take to the near 22km track for the opening four hours of racing in this post Covid-19 revised calendar of eight races.


Amongst the initial entry of nearly 150 cars across the many permissible classes that the Series allows sees the German based Prosport Racing make a return to the circuit with one of their Aston Martin racing V8 Vantage GT4's that they have returned to competitive racing in the Creventic 24H Series earlier this month.

Competing in the SP10 class for SRO homologated GT4 machinery, Belgian racer Nico Verdonck supports fellow countryman Guido Dumarey as well as Swiss racer Alexander Walker in the #176 car.


Like all other racing series that have already started, this series will be heavily affected by the requirements of social distancing and personal hygiene requirements to combat the spread of the CV19 virus amongst the paddock.

Race starts at noon (local).

Photo credits - Prosport / 24H Series
Wednesday, June 24, 2020 | Read more...
Yoluc returns to GT Open Series with TF Sport

Yoluc returns to GT Open Series with TF Sport


F anyone who had been paying attention to the social media channels of the International GT Open Series would have realised that over the last couple of weeks there was Aston Martin Racing related news in the offering.

That news has today been official confirmed by both team and Series and makes for some great news especially after something of the disappointment in our last AMR Partner team post from North America and comes in the form of Salih Yoluc and TF Sport now confirming their return to the European GT3 series after something of a four year break.


Having last competed in the series with one of Tom Ferrier's V12 AMR Vantage GT3's back in 2016 with his then partner/driver coach Euan Hankey, Yoluc soon progressed up into ACO rules racing with the then GT3 Le Mans Cup Series and ultimately into the World Endurance Championship over the consequitive years after. Yoluc has today confirmed that this year he be partnered by current WEC team mate Charlie Eastwood for another full season entry for the already heavily Covid-19 revised calendar in his V8 turbo charged Vantage GT3.

With their WEC racing duties now few and far between, the amended GT Open calendar has allowed for a new dual racing season for the Turkish and Irish duo as Yoluc continues to push for personal improvement in his racing commitments as they this time around he races within the Series full Pro class.


This news also comes as good news for Ferrier's team and for the Series in general as troubled times loom in the not so distant future for many of their racing competitors as society struggles to recover from the latest world pandemic.

“I am very happy to be coming back to the GT Open championship, it has grown so much since I last competed in 2016. Charlie and I have shared many successes in the last couple of years, so I’m really looking forward to being out on the grid once again” said Yoluc in the teams press release today.


What is assumed here is that the team will utilise the constructive benefits of their AMR Vantage GTE chassis that they use in the WEC to convert it back into GT3 specification for their new GT Open endeavours. This work can be completed by only a handful of mechanics within a few hours (trackside if necessary) - their GTE car was purchased from the Prodrive factory as a GT3 and then upgraded to GTE specification after sale after all.

Photo credits - TF Sport

Tuesday, June 23, 2020 | Read more...
The Heart of Racing To Sit-Out Daytona

The Heart of Racing To Sit-Out Daytona


Disappointing news from the Heart of Racing team today concerning their now non attendance at the resumption of the IMSA Weathertech Sportscar Championship from Daytona early next month with their Aston Martin racing V8 Vantage GTD.

Todays press release reads-

The Heart of Racing team will sit out the first race of the rescheduled 2020 season at Daytona. “As a team, we are very fortunate to not have any external commercial pressures factoring in our decision-making process on when we go back racing. We are racers to the core and want to be out there competing, but we have decided on a conservative approach to going back”, said Ian James, Team Principal. “Our team owners are incredibly supportive and team well-being is priority number one.


“From what I know IMSA are doing everything possible to make sure that the conditions will be safe for all involved and I am sure we will be back in the paddock in the near future.

The Heart of Racing team wishes all teams competing at Daytona, a safe and exciting race weekend.


Source material - Heart of Racing
Tuesday, June 23, 2020 | Read more...
Remembering Allan Simonsen

Remembering Allan Simonsen



Tragically lost on this day seven years ago at the Circuit de La Sarthe, Le Mans

#Gonebutnotforgotten

#RaceOn

#TeamAMR
Monday, June 22, 2020 | Read more...