Congratulations to Tom Canning for securing the 2019 AMR Academy top prize

Congratulations to Tom Canning for securing the 2019 AMR Academy top prize

Just short of a full calendar year since making his GT audition on the world stage at the Gulf 12Hr from the Yas Marina Circuit in Abu Dhabi in a new era of turbo charged Vantage race cars , today saw Aston Martin Racing finally declare Tom Canning as the winner of their Aston Martin Racing Drivers Academy intake of 2019.

Following in the near footsteps of the Academy's 2015 winner Ross Gunn, Canning was also successful in an AMR Vantage GT4 winning the British GT GT4 Championship this year alongside co-driver and GT debutant Ash Hand in the #97 TF Sport car before being named as Gunn's successor in todays announcement.

This years Academy process was another year long process of constant measurement and elevation for the twenty three drivers (all aged between 17 and 25) who originally entered the process at the start of the season. Todays announcement would have been the result of lots of hard personal input, personal performance evaluation (both on and off track), data crunching, media abilities together with a large dose of personal opinion from the three Academy judges concerned.

Speaking with Canning as he and Hand enjoyed further prizes from their GT4 Championship winnings by testing a TF Sport AMR Vantage GT3 at Snetterton a few weeks ago, he explained just how rigorous the process had been was as well as (co-incidentally) starting something that his new role will demand of him by introducing and coaching fresh driver candidates as they sampled the new Vantage GT4 for the first time as they evaluated their own plans for next season at the same event.

What will come as a significant help for the seventeen year old will be the financial assistance now being given to him from the factory for his next season of racing having told me just how much of his family's disposable income had already been invested into this season's efforts.

As well as the financial side he will now benefit from the factory's continued driver coaching and development opportunities that Gunn has so far exclusively enjoyed, things that have finally allowed him to step up to the top step with a full season World Endurance Championship commitment this year with Paul Dalla Lana and Darren Turner as well as fitness and simulator time and a snazzy TAG Heuer watch!

“To be chosen to be a part of the Aston Martin Racing Academy was a privilege and I have definitely benefited from all of their support during 2019,” said Canning, who took this year’s British GT4 title alongside TF Sport co-driver fellow Academy class-mate Ash Hand, having won at Spa and collected three second places along the way. “Simulator training, coaching at all of the rounds, fitness and media training have all helped me develop as a driver, enabling me to win British GT4. I am excited to become part of the AMR family and look forward to my new role and working closer with the team in 2020 and getting back in the Aston Martin Vantage. Thank you to AMR for the opportunity.”

Aston Martin Racing President David King said: “Tom is clearly a very promising talent, and this shone through in all aspects of his academy training. He approached the programme with maturity and focus and his attitude to the programme was exemplary. He was eager to learn at every opportunity and was frequently found in the engineering office at this year’s Silverstone round of the FIA World Endurance Championship! That he combined all this with a consummate campaign in the British GT Championship shows that he fully deserves the opportunity to become part of the Aston Martin Racing family.”

It will be interesting in the short to immediate term to see whether or not Canning also gets a drive in an AMR Vantage GTE at the Bahrain Rookie test after the next round of the WEC next month (like Gunn was lucky enough to have when he won the top prize) and just how the change in driver ranking from Silver to Gold for both Gunn and Charlie Eastwood for next season will have on his new career path within Aston Martin Racing and their customer teams.

Whatever happens - congratulations Tom for this accolade, thanks for all your help this year and wishing you all the best for next.

In the meantime, should you fit within that age group and be signed up to race anywhere in the world with an AMR Partner or Customer team in a recognisable Series/Championship then you may want to get in touch with AMR about next years Academy intake.  

The Aston Martin Racing Driver Academy, which provides the first step in a multi-year journey to becoming a factory driver, will return in 2020. And, while the full scope of next year’s initiative is still to be confirmed, applications will open from 1 December, 2019. Applicants who have signed agreements for racing in an Aston Martin in 2020 are welcome to submit CVs with covering letters to

Photo credits - AMR / British GT 

Thursday, November 21, 2019 |
Out with the old and in with the new over in Asia

Out with the old and in with the new over in Asia

Thats very much the case for Japanese Aston Martin Racing Partner team, D'Station Racing AMR having just concluded their national Super GT and Super Taikyu Series commitments to find themselves over in mainland China this weekend for the opening round of the 2019-20 Asian Le Mans Series.

With one of their trio of Aston Martin Racing V8 Vantage GT3's now having arrived at the Shanghai International Circuit still sporting the technical decals of the Pirelli Super Taikyu Series, works begins now for the team and their technical support from the Prodrive factory to ready the car for the start of track proceedings for the opening four hours of racing that begins on Friday with the drivers not to arrive until the day before.

The D'Station Racing AMR car with drivers Satoshi Hoshino, Tomonobu Fujii and Ross Gunn joins 25 other full season entries and competes in a GT3 grid of 9 cars - all contesting for one of four automatic invitations awarded at the end of the series for next years 24Hours of Le Mans.

Last season we off course had the Red River Sport with TF Sport entry of Bonomy Grimes and Jonny Mowlem with the older normally aspirated V12 Vantage, a pair who have now moved up into the World Endurance Championship with AF Corse in the GTE Am class and it is the same ambition of this Japanese duo to meet and and this time race against Gunn and his #98 AMR crew at the Circuit de La Sarthe next year.

This race comes at the end of an intense period of racing support from some of the guys from Prodrive for its Asian based teams, support that started off at the finale of the Super GT Series last month, saw the end of both the Super Taikyu and China GT Championships over the next two weeks as well as the Macau GP only last weekend. For Gunn, he has also just finished two races at Shanghai, both in China GT and the WEC where he returned home with another GTE Am class podium finish.

This solo AMR car competes in the GT field of nine that comprises of four Ferrari 488's, three BMW M6's and a solo Lamborghini Huracan Eve.

What is interesting is that Gunn was entered into this series (as well as the WEC) as a Silver rank driver as per his ranking last years FIA Driver lists but the new 2020 list (published today) shows him now rated as a Gold!

Photo credits - D'Station / TF Sport / AMR

Tuesday, November 19, 2019 |
Three Aston Martins see out the ICGTC in Kyalami

Three Aston Martins see out the ICGTC in Kyalami

The fifth and final round of the 2019 Intercontinental GT Challenge takes place this weekend from the Kyalami race track in South Africa with three examples of the new Aston Martin Racing V98 Vantage GT3 making their way down for Sunday's nine hour spectatcular.

The #188 Garage 59 Pro-Am entry of Alex West, Chris Goodwin and Come Ledogar make their way southwards for this weekend event having worked hard to recover their racing situation by the end of the last round at Suzuka where weather conditions had heavily impacted upon the grids preparations to finally claim a P2 finish in class by the close of that events ten hours of racing.

Joining them at the season's finale are also two examples from Swiss based R-Motorsport fleet featuring AMR's with three of the teams mainstream Blancpain GT Series Endurance Cup drivers teaming up with two lesser experienced GT drivers and well as a GT debutant.

Having raced together in the Blancpain GT World Challenge Europe Series sees Marvin Kirchhofer reunite with Ricky Collard in the #62 car and they are joined this time by fellow team World Challenge racer and Silver Cup runner up Hugo de Sadeleer.

In the sister #76 car, drivers Maxime Martin and Jake Dennis are joined by Aston Martin Autosport BRDC Young Driver of the Year nominee and F3 racer Enaam Ahmed for what is thought to be his first racing experience within a top flight GT car following his appraisal laps for the BRDC Award around Silverstone in one of Garage 59's AMR Vantage GT3's last month.

Track action starts this Thursday with up to four hours of Private testing ahead of a further ninety minutes of night testing to see out the day. Friday sees both Pre Qualifying and Qualifying ahead of of the rolling start for the 9 hour race beginning at 13:00hrs local.

Qualifying and the race itself will all be streamed live via the IGTC social media channels.

Photo credits - Blancpain / Garage 59 / R-Motorsport

The Kyalami 9 Hour last
took place in 1982 as part of the FIA World Sportscar Championship and was won by Jacky Ickx and Jochen Mass. After a 37-year hiatus the race is back! Situated on the outskirts of Johannesburg, Kyalami is famed for being the home of the South African Grand Prix with the last F1 race taking place there in 1993. Now completely refurbished, Kyalami boasts an FIA Grade 2, 4.522km race track.

Last time out in the Intercontinental GT Challenge at Suzuka in Japan, Garage 59 took second place in the Pro-Am class. The #188 Garage 59 Aston Martin Vantage GT3 will run in the Pro-Am class again at Kyalami in the hands of Alexander West, Chris Goodwin and Côme Ledogar.

“The Kyalami 9 Hour is a great opportunity to race at a real classic international track,” said Goodwin. “Although the circuit itself has been modernised, reprofiled and even changed direction since the old days, it still retains its character with unusual corners and a massive elevation change. It will be a long race in the expected hot and maybe damp conditions and I’m sure the pace will be equally hot too.

“Racing in Pro-Am with Côme and Alex again, we certainly hope to go one better than our second place in the previous IGTC race at Suzuka,” he continued. “It is also the last race of the season in which Alex and I have raced three different Aston Martins in three Championships with podiums or wins in each. I hope we can finish what has been a great season on a high.”
Monday, November 18, 2019 |
Final lap joy and heartache for BSEM at Macau GP

Final lap joy and heartache for BSEM at Macau GP

Without any Aston Martin Racing GT3 customer team participation again in this years 66th running of the Macau Grand Prix, brand honours were left to the Chinese based BSEM team and their two AMR Vantage GT4's in the supporting Sun-city Group Greater Bay Area GT Cup race today.

Run for drivers with a strict amateur racing licence, David Pun was the highest placed AMR with a P4 start aboard his #19 Evisu liveried car just ahead of Alex Chang in his brand new #39 car in P4.

Running a bizarre second formation lap ahead of this mornings twelve lap race, both AMR runners made short thrift of the Ginetta GT4 car just ahead of them on the starting grid to move up a position each as the pace setting Mercedes GT4's made off around the twisty street circuit of Macau.

As the Mercedes pulled a gap to the chasing Pun, Chang soon came under some intense pressure from the KTM X-Bow behind as he battled for fourth for the next two laps. Fortunately for Chang, contact at turn 22 between one of the Lotus's and another Ginetta brought out the first Safety Car to recover the stranded Lotus as the Ginetta crabbed itself into pit lane.

Loosing three laps to that delay it at least gave Chang a break from the relentless onslaught from the X-bow and helped him save his tyres for the mad dash to the end upon the imminent restart and sure enough, as soon as the race went back to green it looked like the X-Bow had taken the position going into Lisboa had it not been for the fact that Chang's positioning on track actually prevented him from turning into the ninety degree right and had to make for the escape road instead.

With the KTM out of the way, that allowed Chang to chase down Pun who was running a 'quiet' race still in P3 as the two leading Mercedes clearly had too much speed for him to catch yet alone pass.

Just as the leaders entered into their final lap of the race however, disaster struck the #19 car of Pun as he understeered out of the final corner and into the tyre wall protected barrier on the outside of the circuit, spinning him around and ripping off the outside front wheel in the process. He was out on the spot but fortunately otherwise OK.

Lucky to avoid Pun's spinning car, Chang had the pace and skill to hold off the now closer attentions of the Ginetta that had originally started the race in P3 to eventually take the final step of the podium in his first competitive race in the new Vantage GT4!

Great job by him and another well deserved auditioning podium for a Vantage GT4 driver.

Our attentions now turn to South Africa for the final round of the Intercontinental GT Challenge from Kyalami next weekend.

Photo credits - Evisu Racing / Macau GP

Sunday, November 17, 2019 |
V8's and V12's on the banking at the HSR Classic from Daytona

V8's and V12's on the banking at the HSR Classic from Daytona

What more could be more of a spectacle than watching normally aspirated versions of the iconic Aston Martin Racing V8 and V12 Vantages race around the steep banking of the Daytona International Speedway circuit this weekend as part of the annual IMSA HSR Classic 24Hrs.

Amongst a massive assembly of GT's and prototypes of all descriptions are two examples of the V12 Vantage GT4 and two of the V8 Vantage in both GT4 and N24 iterations.

The #27 GT Racing car seen on teh banking from last years event is here again to see if drivers Marc and LP Montour can win another prize in their former PFL Motorsport car from the 2016 British GT Championship whilst Britec Motorsport have made the trip over from Germany in their #007 Bilsten "Billy" car with drivers Marco Werner and Oliver Matheiu.

Representing the GT4 classes are two cars from the locally based Automatic Racing team with team boss David Russell pairing up with racing coach Ben Albano in their #99 GT4 - we presume that that is the blue Stoner Car Care car from the Michelin Pilot Challenge that retired from mainstream IMSA series racing at Road Atlanta a couple of weeks ago.

Joining them is old team hand Steven Davison in an N24 car. Davison was last seen by us at Le Mans in 2016 when he and Steven Phillips shared one of Academy Motorsports GT4's in the Aston Martin Racing Festival.

Although listed as a 24Hr race, the event runs in a similar format to teh Le Mans Classic with lots of smaller, individual races through the 24hr period of Saturday to Sunday.

Photo credits - ADAC / IMSA / GT Racing

Friday, November 15, 2019 |
A brilliant Christmas present - a brilliant charitable fundraiser!

A brilliant Christmas present - a brilliant charitable fundraiser!

Remember the black and yellow Aston Martin Racing V12 Vantage GT3 that raced in VLN, British GT and the Blancpain GT Series and was fondly known as Bumblebee?

That was the car that Paul Wilson raced with Stuart Leonard (and others) as these two accomplished Caterham drivers moved up (very successfully) to after their transition from the National club sport scene and into mainstream European GT racing during 2014 and 2015.

We make no apologies for replugging this offer currently being listed on Ebay by Gary Parravani of Xynamic Motorsport photography fame as he seeks to raise funds for the Daisy's Dream charity that helped Paul's young family after his untimely loss to cancer in 2017

Gary is offering literally a 'once in a lifetime offer' to bid for a A2 sized calendar that he has created for 2020 and has made available to Paul's family to raise critical funds for this deserved bereavement support. Further information can be found her at

Only two of these calendars exist - the other will undoubtedly be on the wall of Gary's office!!

Bidding is progressing but as with every deserving charity - every penny counts. It would make for a cracking Christmas present for any discerning motorsport fan as shots of this size normally retail at over £20 each so this is a bit of a bargain!!

Further details on the current bid value can be found HERE

Photo credits - Xynamic / Blancpain
Wednesday, November 13, 2019 |
Two AMR GT4's compete at Macau Grand Prix GT Cup

Two AMR GT4's compete at Macau Grand Prix GT Cup

This weekend sees the 66th running of the Macau Grand Prix around the extremely tight and twisty street circuit near Zhuhai in south-eastern China and features two Aston Martin Racing V8 Vantage GT4's competing in the supporting Suncity Group Greater Bay Area GT Cup race.

With the continued backing and support of both the regionally based BSEM AMR team and their Prodrive partners, gentleman driver David Pun returns with a one car for himself with another for returning customer racer Alex Chang.

David Pun raced a full season in the China GT Championship this year, initially with Yves Volte in the older, normally aspirated V8 Vantage GT4 before progressing to the new turbo charged iteration of race car once one had cleared customs from the Prodrive factory. He then went on to claim both pole positions and race podiums (including wins) with the assistance of AMR factory driver Ross Gunn later in the Championship. His #19 car will feature the prominent logo's of his Japanese Evisu clothing business on this and four other race cars featuring at the event.

His race car also exists in a very cool 1/43 die cast format.

Chang also returns to the team having raced with them last year in one of BSEM's normally aspirated Vantages in the Macau Racing Festival that is raced mid season where he also enjoyed podium success.

Track action for these guys begins on Thursday with the first of the Free Practice sessions before Qualifying on Saturday. Their twelve lap race begins early on Sunday morning at 09:35hrs (local).

Photo credits - David Pun / Social media

Tuesday, November 12, 2019 |
No AMR cars at CoTA for 24H Series return but some familiar names

No AMR cars at CoTA for 24H Series return but some familiar names

Whilst the #620 Aston Martin Racing V12 Vantage from Swiss based team R-Motorsport was the sole AMR representative at last years event, it sadly now appears that there will now be no AMR customer team representation at this weekends 24H Series 2019 season finale from the Circuit of The Americas despite some early intentions.

We know that Shaun Goff at Optimum Motorsport had originally pencilled in for one of his AMR Vantage GT4's to be available and had indeed tested with numerous potential drivers before finally electing not to travel to the States in favour of the Gulf 12Hr next month instead citing obvious commercial reasons why.

That leaves us AMR fans with just a small handful of familiar names to support as they compete this weekend in the split 24 hour race format from Austin in Texas.

Whilst Kris Wilson (more familiar to us at Automatic Racing in their Michelin Pilot Challenge AMR Vantage entry) now competes in the #433 Winward Racing Mercedes GT4, most of the recognisable names feature in the Stuart Hall lead #107 Cupra TCR car of Chris Kemp, David Tinn and Tom Black  - all regulars within the Aston Martin Owners Clubs Championship as well as British GT and other series.

Its a pity about no Aston's but its good luck to these guys none the less!

Photo Credits - 24H Series

Tuesday, November 12, 2019 |
D'Station Racing AMR runners up in Pirelli Super Taikyu Series

D'Station Racing AMR runners up in Pirelli Super Taikyu Series

With drivers Satoshi Hoshino and Tomonobu Fujii having already qualified the teams #777 Aston Martin Racing V8 Vantage GT3 on pole position for todays final race of the 2019 Super Taikyu Series, they and third driver Tsubasa Kondo still had to to race a faultless path and rely upon the misfortune of others if they were to ultimately succeed in Okayama today.

Doing everything thing that they could directly influence themselves, the #777 car did indeed run a faultless race to claim a lights to flag win - their second win of the season with the car that Hoshino and Kondo started the season off sharing with AMR Factory driver Darren Turner.

Despite swapping out Turner for their own Super GT racer in Fujii after the Fuji enduro, it would prove to be the teams lack of points by missing that round (due to Hoshino’s Le Mans commitments) that would prove to be decisive in the final outcome of the Series as D'Station Racing AMR had to concede ultimate defeat to the Series defending Champions, the GNET Motor Sports team and their Nissan GT-R GT3 that finished third in todays race. D'Station Racing were reliant upon the #1 car not scoring to have any chance of the ST-X crown.

This comes as great news ahead of the teams freshly announced assault in the Asian Le Mans Series that kicks off in Shanghai, China in just two weeks time. Running with one of the AMR Vantage GT3's, their entry will include team boss Satoshi Hoshino, Tomonobu Fujii and AMR factory driver Ross Gunn. Gunn was at the Shanghai International Circuit this weekend in the World Endurance Championship where he helped his #98 GTE Am car back onto the final step of the podium by the end of their four hour race and despite the car being a distant last after a turn 1/lap 1 contact that lead to the car spinning out.

Game on with that one.............!!!

Photo Credits - D'Station Racing

Sunday, November 10, 2019 |
Aston Martin Racing Vantage wins (and loses out) in Shanghai WEC

Aston Martin Racing Vantage wins (and loses out) in Shanghai WEC

An Aston Martin Vantage GTE won its class for the third time in the 2019/2020 FIA World Endurance Championship season, as the British luxury sportscar brand finished first and third in the GTE Am class of the 4 Hours of Shanghai on Sunday. Meanwhile in GTE Pro, the works #97 Aston Martin of Alex Lynn (GB) and Maxime Martin (BEL) recorded their third successive podium of the season.

This was also the second consecutive victory for Aston Martin Racing’s partner team TF Sport, following their win in Japan last month. In Fuji, the works GTE Pro team had also dominated proceedings with a pole and a win with Denmark’s Nicki Thiim and Marco Sørensen in the #95 car. It was only through pure misfortune that they were prevented from replicating it in China, after another exemplary performance was curtailed by a left-rear puncture when they were leading comfortably. Up until that point, the ‘Dane Train’ had led almost nine consecutive hours of GTE Pro racing, or 85% of the Asian leg of the WEC season.

Having taken the lead at the start, Thiim resisted early pressure before dropping back to second as he managed his tyres. He then pitted before his rivals to hand over to Sørensen, undercutting the leading Porsche. From that point on the duo established a formidable 15s advantage.

Thiim was 22 laps into his 32-lap second stint, with 70 minutes to go, when he was alerted to the tyre problem as he passed the pits. The tyre gave way on the back straight and Thiim controlled the car brilliantly, pitting with minimum time lost. But the debris prompted a Full Course Yellow (FCY) compromising both Pro car strategies. Sørensen recovered to fourth position, one place behind team-mates Maxime Martin (BEL) and Alex Lynn (GB) in the #97, whose ‘Season 8’ podium streak remains intact.

“It’s really hard to take,” said Thiim. “When you pass the pits knowing you have a puncture, when you are in the lead, and when you make it two thirds of the way around the lap before it goes... We’ve been strong all weekend, and the Dane Train was in contention to win again, just as it did this time last year. At least we recovered and scored some good points. Now we go to Bahrain knowing we can win again.”

It was also a tale of what might have been for the #98 GTE Am squad of Paul Dalla Lana (CDN), Darren Turner (GB) and Ross Gunn (GB), who were once again taken out by a rival Porsche on the first lap, just as they took the lead. This time though there was only minor damage, and the incident triggered a brilliant fight back from Dalla Lana, who came from dead last and 45s back to fourth by the time he pitted and handed over to Turner. The three-time Le Mans winner took the lead mid-stint until his tyres faded in a battle with fellow works driver Jonny Adam (GB) in the TF Sport car. Gunn then brought the car home on the podium, for the second time this season, with a strong drive of his own. TF Sport dominated much of the GTE Am race, once the Porsche that hit Dalla Lana had been penalised, and Salih Yoluc (TUR) delivered a tremendous opening stint before handing over to Adam. Charlie Eastwood (IRL) then took it to the flag, ensuring the trio moved into a three-point championship lead, as did TF Sport.

Aston Martin Racing Managing Director John Gaw added, “This is bittersweet for us. The Aston Martin Vantage GTE won again thanks to another excellent performance by TF Sport. But forces outside our control prevented all three works cars from winning in Shanghai. Nicki and Marco were flawless today and they deserve to be leading the championship tonight, while the FCY couldn’t have come at a worse time for Alex and Max – but at least they maintain their podium streak for the season. Paul produced a brilliant recovery in the Am car and another podium ensures all three cars remain in the hunt in the championship.”

The fourth round of the FIA WEC takes place in Bahrain, 12-14 December.

Source - AMR
Sunday, November 10, 2019 |
Strong performance so far from Aston Martin Racing at Shanghai

Strong performance so far from Aston Martin Racing at Shanghai

Aston Martin Racing Vantage GTEs will start second and third in the GTE Pro class for the 4 Hours of Shanghai, after narrowly missing out on pole position by just 0.018s in the closest qualifying session of the WEC season.

While both cars played starring roles in the fight for the top spot, it was the #95 Aston Martin Vantage GTE, driven by Danish duo Nicki Thiim and Marco Sørensen, that emerged fastest of the British GT cars which were separated by an average of just 0.010s.

Shanghai is always tough on tyres and therefore good management of the three and a half sets of Michelins available for qualifying and the race in GTE Pro is critical. Both crews chose to use just one set each in contrast to some of their rivals. In the end, the ‘Dane Train’, was a mere 0.018s away from taking a second successive pole following the one they recorded in Fuji. Alex Lynn (GB) and Maxime Martin (BEL), will start third in class, but with the smallest margin separating the two crews since they all began racing together in May 2018.

"This is probably one of the toughest tracks to the get qualifying right, when it’s low fuel, new tyres and no second chances…" said Thiim. "As always GTE Pro is intensely tight and I think the top four were covered by two tenths, so we are looking forward to a 4-Hour sprint race tomorrow!”

Sørensen added: I know we wanted to be on pole, but I think the others used two sets of tyres and we didn’t. We still managed a strong pace, and we have a good race car which is the most important thing.”

The #98 GTE Am Aston Martin Racing entry has an enviable record in qualifying for China, having been on pole position at every Shanghai race since 2014. And while the crew of Paul Dalla Lana (CDN), Ross Gunn (GB) and Darren Turner (GB) couldn’t quite secure a sixth consecutive top spot with their new Vantage GTE, they did record their best qualifying result of the season with second in class. The TF Sport version, driven by Salih Yoluc (TUR) and works drivers Jonny Adam (GB) and Charlie Eastwood (IRL), lines up fifth.

Aston Martin Racing Managing Director John Gaw added, “We always want to be on pole position, and today we were very, very close. But it is more important that we put ourselves in the best situation to start the race, and by managing our tyres well we have done this. Shanghai is a tough track on cars and tyres and you can see by the times that it will be close through the field in both classes. We’re in good shape to capitalise, but we must remain vigilant because 4 hours may be a sprint in endurance terms, it’s a still a long race.”

The third round of the FIA WEC at Shanghai, in China, starts at noon local time on 10 November.

Source material - AMR / Adrenal Media
Saturday, November 09, 2019 |
Championship possibilities for D'Station Racing at Super Taikyu finale

Championship possibilities for D'Station Racing at Super Taikyu finale

The sixth and final round of the Pirelli Super Taikyu Series takes place this weekend in the midst of several weeks of intense motor racing participation for Japanese team D'Station Racing AMR.

Having just wrapped up a rather disappointing inaugural season with their new Aston Martin Racing V8 Vantage GT3 in the Japanese Super GT Series only last weekend, the team still have a mathematical chance of snatching the overall and ST-X Class win (should other results go their way) in the final round of Super Taikyu from Okayama on Sunday.

Again running the driver line up of team boss Satoshi Hoshino, Tomonobu Fujii and Tsubasa Kondo in the teams distinctly green liveried #777 car, they need to finish no worse than second overall and with the two Nissan GT-R teams ahead of them in the Championship not scoring in order for them to make up their 29.5 point deficit to the leaders and claim the top honours.

A no-points score at the third round in Fuji with technical issues is the reason for their lower Championship position after AMR factory driver Darren Turner helped them off to a podium winning start to the new season with their new car.

That may seem like a tall ask but with the 5 strong ST-X class only a small fraction of the sixty car  - eight class strong grid, then anything could happen around the tight and twisty 3.7km Okayama International Circuit.

Just a few weeks ago, this weekend would have been there final race of the 2019 season but for their late entry into the forthcoming 2019-20 Asian Le Mans Series where the team will field one of their AMR Vantage GT3 cars for Hoshino, Fujii and AMR factory driver Ross Gunn. That season kicks off in Shanghai (where Gunn is at the moment in the World Endurance Championship) in just two weeks time.

Photo credits - D'Station Racing

Friday, November 08, 2019 |
AMR ready to repeat previous successes in Shanghai

AMR ready to repeat previous successes in Shanghai

It's back to business for both Aston Martin Racing and Partner team, TF Sport as they both seek to continue their fantastic run of form in Season 8 of the World Endurance Championship over in Shanghai, China as track action begins early tomorrow.

The last round of the Championship proved fruitful for the V8 Vantage GTE crews with an overall first and third in GTE Pro for both the #95 and #97 and a Pole and win in GTE Am for the #90 TF Sport crew after the 6hrs of Fuji so there is still lots of room on those infamous steps for the #98 GTE Am car after their disappointments in Japan.

Shanghai brings lots of good memories back to the factory team as last years race bore the fruits of their labours with their first overall class win for the new turbo charged Vantage GTE in the hands of Nicki Thiim and Marco Sorensen after their first class pole position at the previous round in Japan.

That success has however brought change upon the four AMR's with a slight reduction (1 litre) in fuel capacity for the two GTE Pro cars as part of the WEC's 'Auto-BoP' process as well as a weight increase and fuel capacity reduction (1 litre) for the TF Sport car as part of the GTE Am Class 'success penalty' process. The #98 car of Paul Dalla Lana, Darren Turner and Ross Gunn do not have the weight increase due but do have the same fuel reduction to their lowly finish in Fuji that came about after heavy contact on the opening lap with a Dempsey Proton Porsche. This is the first time the same chassis competing in the same class has been run on a split BoP but will certainly add to the dimension and excitement of the ultra competitive class of twelve cars.

The weather for Shanghai is at present looking encouragingly dry with many AMR drivers publicly claiming outright optimism for the strengths of the Vantage GTE around the 5.4km Shanghai International Circuit.

Ross Gunn has the most recent racing experience of the circuit having raced there only last month in the final round of the China GT Championship with AMR Partner team BSEM and will race there again later this month in the opening round of the 2019-20 Asian Le Mans Series with AMR Partner team D'Station Racing AMR.

Gunn and Maxime Martin have also just completed a two day Michelin Tyre Test after the final round of the Le Mans Cup Series over at Portimao in Portugal having borrowed a converted Beechdean AMR GT3 for the process so hopefully the team will have already experienced the differences in performances that these changes in BoP will present.

For TF Sport, they have had a busy couple of weeks with testing at Snetterton with their GT3 and GT4 cars with both prospective new drivers and as a 'reward' for those who secured top flight accolades in the British GT Championship before moving on last week to the FIA Motorsport Games in Italy where Salih Yoluc unsuccessfully defended his former Nations Cup crown in the GT Cup class.

In other news, its is very much congratulations to Nicki Thiim and his 'significant other half' for announcement an expected addition to #TeamThiim sometime soon!

After a four race at the opening round at Silverstone and a six hour winning streak next time out in fuji, this third round will again be a four hour race before the Championship goes on to see 2019 out in Bahrain in mid December.

The timetable for the event can be found HERE (set in local time GMT +8hrs)

Photo credits - AMR / TF Sport / Social media

Thursday, November 07, 2019 |