TF Sport announce an all-French European Le Mans entry for 2023

TF Sport announce an all-French European Le Mans entry for 2023




2023 will see TF Sport’s first all-French line-up as Arnold Robin, Maxime Robin and Valentin Hasse Clot make their European Le Mans Series debut, in the LMGTE class aboard TF’s Aston Martin Vantage GTE.

After making their GT3 debut at the beginning of 2022 and finishing fourth in the Fanatec GT World Challenge Europe Endurance Cup Gold class standings, the sibling duo now team up with AMR Factory driver Hasse Clot, in a bid for the LMGTE class title.

Although Hasse Clot is no stranger to the British marque, Valentin will join Arnold and Maxime in making their race debut in the Vantage GTE machinery, the livery of which will be revealed at a later date.

Tom Ferrier, TF Sport Managing Director - “We enjoyed multiple pole, podium and victory successes with the Vantage GTE in 2022, and I have no doubt that our new French trio will be able to battle for similar results. Arnold and Maxime had a solid first year in GT racing and with Valentin’s experience, it’s set to be a strong season for them.”


Arnold Robin, TF Sport Bronze Driver - “After a first year full of success in GT, next year we will do the ELMS in GTE with TF Sport and Aston Martin. It's a new challenge for us but we have the best conditions to achieve good results. We can count on TF's experience at this level of competition and our line up should be among the fastest. We can't wait to start the season and thank all our partners for allowing us to live this new adventure”

Maxime Robin, TF Sport Silver Driver - “After an exceptional 2022 season, 2023 promises to be even more beautiful! Joining Aston Martin and racing for TF Sport in ELMS will be a real challenge. We know that we have a good team to go to the podium in ELMS, so we will work as hard as possible to be there. Thanks to our partners for allowing us to make this season possible and thanks to Aston Martin and TF Sport for their confidence. See you soon to discover the decoration of our car for 2023.”

Valentin Hasse Clot, TF Sport Gold Driver - “After an established four-year relationship with Aston Martin Racing, the transition to the GTE category was a real objective for me. Reaching this level with TF Sport, the reigning World Endurance Championship winning team, is a huge privilege. I can only thank the Robins for their trust in this project. Arnold and Maxime have evolved a lot in recent years, I'm sure we have an overall package that will allow us to aim for the best positions. Our close ties, and therefore our team spirit, only reinforces our ambitions.”

The first round of the 2023 European Le Mans Series takes place at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya, Spain, on April 23.

Source material - TF Sport
Friday, December 09, 2022 | Read more...
Team TGM fully align to Aston Martin with their 2023 IMSA programme

Team TGM fully align to Aston Martin with their 2023 IMSA programme

 


Team TGM will move their entire racing program to Aston Martin for 2023 with its IMSA Michelin Pilot Challenge campaign joining its previously announced Rolex 24 at Daytona assault with the British brand.

Last month the team announced its partnership with Aston Martin and TF Racing for the upcoming 2023 Rolex 24-Hour race at Daytona. The team’s two-car 2023 full-season effort in IMSA Michelin Pilot Challenge will now feature Aston Martin Vantage GT4 race cars in the GS category.

“We’ve seen the success of the Aston Martin program throughout the past few years and are very impressed with their development of the Vantage GT4 and consistent results,” said team owner and driver Ted Giovanis.

“Aston Martin vehicles won both the IMSA Michelin Pilot GS and the WeatherTech GTD championships in 2022. They also won and took runner-up in the driver and team FIA Endurance GTE Am championships.

“Most impressively, Aston Martin won the 2022 running of the world-famous 24 Hours of Le Mans. To say they have been stalwarts in sportscar racing worldwide would be an understatement. Their outstanding results over the past few years, with multiple championships, have been exciting to watch. Everyone at Team TGM is looking forward to embarking on this new partnership with the marque.”Additionally, the championship-winning team will renew their driver lineup from 2022 with team owner, Ted Giovanis sharing the No. 64 Aston Martin with Owen Trinkler and brothers Hugh and Matt Plumb co-driving in the No. 46 Team TGM Vantage. With the similar livery on the two cars, the No. 64 will sport distinctive orange wing ends and rearview mirrors, with the No. 46 car in blue in these areas.

“We have what is arguably the best driver lineup in the Michelin Pilot Challenge paddock, so why mess with it?” said Giovanis.

“Although very competitive, this team is more like family, and we feel we have the right combination of driver talent and experience to win another championship in 2023.

“We tend to excel in the endurance format and will be looking to start very strong at Daytona in January when we have one of just two 4-hour races in 2023 (the other at Indianapolis in September).“

The IMSA Rolex 24 at Daytona is scheduled for January 28-29, 2023.

Source material - Team TGM
Thursday, December 08, 2022 | Read more...
The latest AMR kid on the block down in South Africa

The latest AMR kid on the block down in South Africa

 


A turbo charged version of the Aston Martin Racing Vantage GT3 has just hit the shores of South Africa in time for the final round of the domestic South Africa GT Series this weekend.

Nothing new in a new iteration AMR competing within that country of course as that accolade went to the Garage 59 team when they competed within the Kyalami 9hrs Intercontinental GT event at Kyalami few years ago, but this news will see the platform move into their domestic GT theatre for the first time.


Listed as racing under the Into Africa racing banner, this Stradale Motorsport support car will be driven by SAGT owner and prominent promotor of South African motorsport racing driver Xolile Letlaka for the final round of the series at the Killarney Motorsport Park this weekend amongst a fourteen car grid.

No stranger to modern GT platforms having raced at the last Kyalami 9Hrs within a Lamborghini Huracan GT3 Evo, his latest acquisition has only just arrived within the country so there has been no time for any prior testing.


The provenance of this Aston Martin is yet to be determined, whether it is a new platform or not only time will tell but Letlaka will be in good hands at Stradale with the team having raced a V12 AMR Vantage GT3 within the series a few years ago.

Photo credits - Team
Tuesday, December 06, 2022 | Read more...
Testing times ahead

Testing times ahead

 


And long may that be the case as several Aston Martin Racing powered teams have continued to pound the tracks of Europe this week ahead of the start of their 2023 season, which for some is just a couple of months away.

Over in Portimao this week, you will find the Bullitt Racing AMR team continue with testing with their AMR Vantage GT3 ahead of a recently confirmed entry into the Asian Le Mans Series which starts in Dubai in February.


With no driver names stated within that confirmation, it may not be safe to suggest that team boss Stephen Pattrick will compete within that series but he has apparently retained the driver mentoring services and racing skills of factory driver Valentin Hasse-Clot after this pairing (along with the help from Theo Nouet along the way of course) came so close to challenging for the overall GT3 crown by the end of their Michelin Le Mans Cup Series endeavours this year. Their third ALMS driver has yet to be identified and there appears to be other drivers taking the opportunity to test with the team as well!

Then just across the border into Spain, has seen the GPA Racing team put one of their Aston Martin Racing Vantage GT4’s through its paces with perspective clients ahead of any potential return for them into their domestic FFSA GT4 or European GT4 Series next season.


Then sharing the Catalunya circuit with them and others this week will be the Aston Martin Racing team themselves, pounding the circuit with their factory drivers Marco Sorenson, Charlie Eastwood and Ross Gunn in what we believe to be developmental testing for their now aging Vantage GT3 platform ahead of that possibility of an ‘evo’ version.

This isn’t the first test of this nature that the squad have undertaken with the Beechdean AMR liveried car as a test bed as both Gunn and Maxime Martin undertook something similar at Motorland Aragon earlier last month before the Belgian parted company with the squad before his return to BMW.


Again, all at AMR have remained tight lipped about this evolutionary version of the trusted Vantage with testing being conducted on what we believe to be solely internal – non-visible components before moving onto anything else this is visible externally later on.

This will also be good seat time for many as both Gunn and Eastwood (at least) are due to compete at the start of the IMSA Weathertech Sportscar Championship and its Daytona 24 opener in January albeit in different team equipment to this week.


Looks like 2023 has already begun.

Photo credits – Teams / Social media
Tuesday, December 06, 2022 | Read more...
D'Station Racing confirm another two car AMR entry into their domestic Super Taikyu Series

D'Station Racing confirm another two car AMR entry into their domestic Super Taikyu Series

 


Following on from their earlier Asian Le Mans Series confirmation, the Japanese based D’Station Racing team have today confirmed another two-car entry into next season within their domestic Super Taikyu Series.

Having raced this year with an Aston Martin Racing Vantage GT3 and well as converting to the Vantage GT8R from the Vantage GT4 platform in time for this year, the team have confirmed a continuation of their 2022 drive line up aboard both cars.


Racing in at least four of the available seven rounds and where their international commitments allow (from that we again take that to be another World Endurance Championship commitment), the team have confirmed that team boss Satoshi Hoshino, Tomonobu Fujii and Tsubasa Kondo will drive the teams #777 GT3 ST-X classed car whilst Max Orido, Kenji Hama, Jake Parsons and Tatsuya Hoshino will again share their #47 Vantage GT8R. 


That quartet only narrowly missed out on securing the ST-1 Class title at the final round due to a need for an untimely splash of fuel during the final ten minutes of the final race whilst leading the class.

Photo credits - Team
Monday, December 05, 2022 | Read more...
Top of the GT4 Class for the Century Aston Martin Racing GT4 in Kuwait

Top of the GT4 Class for the Century Aston Martin Racing GT4 in Kuwait

 


Shamefully having to catch up again with the weekends news again leads us straight into offering our congratulations to the Century Motorsport team and crew for their tremendous class pole through to class win at the inaugural 24H Series Kuwait 12hrs event at the weekend.

Racing their distinctive black, orange and gold liveried Aston Martin Racing Vantage GT4 usually seen within the GT Cup and British GT paddocks of late saw their gentleman driver David Holloway return to the desert for another extended race format event having competed previously within the Gulf 12hrs event.


Competing again with driver coach Bradley Ellis and fellow GT Cup racer Adam Hatfield, the #429 car again ran a strong Qualifying run to claim the GT4 class Pole Position ahead of the Friday race, beating their BMW M4 ran team stablemate car to the front row of their three-car grid.


Here, we do have to admit that personal circumstance again kept us from the screen in support, but the #429 Aston came back through to lead the class with just two hours of the race remaining to claim a much-deserved class win under the floodlit Kuwait Motor Town Circuit. What lies in store for this crew and car within the 2023 season (if anything) is still subject to confirmation.

Well done to them.

Photo credits – 24H Series
Monday, December 05, 2022 | Read more...
A mighty FIVE Aston Martin Racing Vantage GT3s due at the Asian Le Mans Series in 2023 (Updated)

A mighty FIVE Aston Martin Racing Vantage GT3s due at the Asian Le Mans Series in 2023 (Updated)


It has been another mighty few days for various Aston Martin Racing powered teams this week as entry confirmations have been landing in their in-boxes ahead of next year’s Asian Le Mans Series.

We have already warmly received the news that the D’Station Racing team from Japan will again be making that long trip to the Middle East for the quick fire, four round series together again with their long-standing friends at TF Sport.


That news was backed up yesterday with the news that the recently announced Viper Niza team from Malaysia will also be joining the fray with their new AMR Vantage GT3 and that that news again has been bolstered by the fact that both Bullitt Racing and a further TF Sport entry have been confirmed, bringing the GT3 class grid up to twenty-four cars with five of them being Aston Martin’s.

Although with all news obviously gratefully received, some of these announcements have still left the detail of driver crews blank with only TF Sport confirming the return of John Hartshorne, Henrique Chaves and Jonny Adam to the list to carry on from where they all left off within the Asian Le Mans Series and European Le Mans Series of this season gone.


The Spanish based Bullitt Racing team have released no names but it’s probably safe to consider that team boss Stephen Pattrick will be amongst them with Valentin Hasse-Clot posting a cheeky little post upon social media to say he may be saying something as well which may well not be too far off the mark either!

Likewise with the Viper Niza team, we expect team boss Douglas Khoo to be amongst their drivers again as that team complete their AMR transition next weekend at the final round of the Thailand Super Series from the Chang International Circuit alongside their AMR Vantage GT4 supported car. That leaves just the second TF Sport entered car with no names and whilst we could probably make some educated guesses – it is sometimes best simply to wait for the official team confirmation.

UPDATE - TF Sport have now confirmed that their second car relates to a partnership between them and the Asian based Evisu Racing team. Further details will be confirmed in due time.


The Asian Le Mans Series will again run a four-race format – two four-hour races at the Dubai Autodrome over the weekend of the 12th and 13th February before moving just across the border to the Yas Marina Circuit in Abu Dhabi for rounds three and four over the weekend of the 18th and 19th February.

A complete entry list is expected closer to the start of the new season.

Photo credits – Teams / Andrew Lofthouse 
Friday, December 02, 2022 | Read more...
Three Aston Martins for WRL finale from CoTA this weekend

Three Aston Martins for WRL finale from CoTA this weekend

 


Two eight-hour races from the Circuit of the Americas this weekend sees out the World Racing League Series for the year with three Aston Martin Racing Vantage GT4’s competing amongst the now traditional sell-out grid.

Having started at Nola Motorsport Park way back in February, a massive one hundred and fifty-eight hours of racing has already taken place within the series even before the capacity grid of ninety cars get to the CoTA circuit.


Again, competing their the older normally aspirated version of the Vantage GT4 sees the Automatic Racing team this time enter two cars with another from the Prosport Competition team. Neither team have been full season entrants – either by design or misfortune so this weekend’s events will simply be for personal and collective pride.

Each of the three Aston’s will compete again within the Series GTO class with the #43 Prosport car running with the crew of Mark Doran, Dwayne Moses, Sam Owen and Sean Gibbons.


Usually only running one car in the series to support their IMSA Michelin Pilot Challenge Series endeavours sees the Florida based team enter two cars – one for their IMSA runners of Rob Ecklin an Ramin Abdolvahabi and another for Steven Davison and Brandon Kidd with team boss David Russell filling in if required (apparently).


At least four hours of track time is available to the teams on Friday before the final two eight hours races are ran over both Saturday and Sunday.

Photo credits - Teams
Tuesday, November 29, 2022 | Read more...
Prosport Racing elevate Ortmann and Sasse into the heady heights of GT3 racing in the NLS next season

Prosport Racing elevate Ortmann and Sasse into the heady heights of GT3 racing in the NLS next season


The latest slice of Prosport Racing 2023 news was confirmed by the German based team today as they announced that they will be promoting their GT4 champions up into the heady heights of the GT3 class for next season.

Possibly still tending heavy heads of their own from the SRO Award night in London over the weekend, saw the Christoph Esser team confirm that their ADAC GT4 Germany Champions Mike David Ortmann and Hugo Sasse will now be taking the step up into the GT3 (SP9) class for the 2023 Nurburgring Langstrecken Series (VLN Series) within one of the teams available Aston Martin Racing Vantage GT3’s.

Primarily racing as a duo, additional hands will however be required within the car for the longer rounds of the series and namely the ADAC TotalEnergies 24H event which will run next year towards the end of May.

With Sasse only just collecting his Nordschleife Permit at the conclusion to the 2022 NLS season, this will of course be a big step forward for the young German pair who worked so well together in both the GT4 Germany and GT4 European Series.

This news is again only a small slice of available news due to come from the team after they sourced additional AMR machinery in time for an expected expanded racing commitment next season both in GT3 and GT4.

Photo credits – Teams / ADAC GT4 Germany

Monday, November 28, 2022 | Read more...
Great news from D'Station Racing today soothes yesterdays disappointment

Great news from D'Station Racing today soothes yesterdays disappointment

 


It appears that our earlier surmising that the D’Station Racing Aston Martin Racing powered team were about to confirm a return to the Asian Le Mans Series next year were indeed correct as the Japanese announced earlier today.

Not only were they confirming their return to the ACO rules series, but they also confirmed the retentions of the technical services of Tom Ferrier’s TF Sport crew as well as their World Endurance Championship silver co-driver, Charlie Fagg to partner Satoshi Hoshino and Tomonobu Fujii aboard the teams #77 AMR Vantage GT3.


In the same series this year, Hoshino and Fujii were partnered by Tom Gamble so today’s announcement will add that little bit of continuity for the squad as we also expect them to confirm their WEC programme over the next few weeks on top of an already busy domestic and Asian theatre commitment in 2023.

Again, the Asian Le Mans Series remains at the Dubai Autodrome for two back-to-back four-hour rounds over the weekend of the 11th and 12th February before moving just across the border to the Yas Marina Circuit in Abu Dhabi for the two concluding rounds over the weekend after.


For TF Sport, we will wait with somewhat baited breathe to see if they will be in attendance with more than one AMR powered crew again like they did this year.


This news comes the day after the team only just failed to secure the ST-1 Class Championship win at the final round of the Super Taikyu Series from Suzuka. Needing to beat the #2 KTM by more than 3.5 points, things were looking good for the #47 Vantage GT8R crew of Max Orido, Kenji Hama and Jake Parsons for much of the five hour race until fuel levels forced them to pit for a splash and dash inside the final ten minutes.


That was all that was needed by the #2 crew to retake the class lead from the #47 crew and therefore claim the class win and the Championship.

Photo credits – Team / A Lofthouse
Monday, November 28, 2022 | Read more...
Just one AMR Vantage competing within a solo 24H Series event this winter

Just one AMR Vantage competing within a solo 24H Series event this winter

 


With both the Gulf 12Hrs and 24H Series putting up four events between them within the Middle Eastern racing theatre throughout both December and early January next year, its somewhat sad to see that only one Aston Martin Racing powered team has made that long journey for any of those events.

Having competed in both the British GT Championship and GT Cup Series in recent seasons back home, Century Motorsport has again paved the way back east for gentleman driver David Holloway to go racing with his AMR Vantage GT4 in the forthcoming and inaugural 24H Series event in Kuwait after his last continental adventure with them at the rescheduled Gulf 12hrs event at the start of the year.


With business commitments then keeping Holloway away from the racetrack for much of the year, long standing co-driver Bradley Ellis has been kept busy within many a paddock this season as he guided (for example) the paring of Josh Miller and Jamie Day to their British GT GT4 Silver Cup success with the R-Racing team with their Aston Martin.

These two join forces with fellow GT Cup racer Adam Hatfield for the twelve hours of Kuwait, track action begins around the Kuwait Motor Town Circuit this Wednesday with the first of two private testing sessions before the race itself that will run from noon until midnight this Friday.


Whilst this will obviously be exciting for all at Century this week, this news is perhaps the beginning of a stark realisation that the AMR Vantage GT3 and GT4 platform is now upon something of a downward spiral in terms of competitiveness and with news of a possible ‘Evo kit’ remaining the biggest, darkest secret of all time, its perhaps unsurprising to see some teams/drivers usually directly associated with an Aston realign themselves to other brands over the winter in their never ending quest to remain competitive.

It has been noted that the Heart of Racing 24H Series Dubai 24Hr entry has been listed with an SPS prepared Mercedes AMG GT3 this time around (instead of their AMR Vantage GT4 of last year) as the AMG now appears to be the car of choice for Gray Newell moving forward in 2023!!


Albeit a differing venue and event, the goal for the Century team this week will be to beat their Gulf 12hr class pole position and P2 finish in class by the end of the Kuwait 12hr in what is scheduled to be a twenty car entry for the gold and black liveried #429 car.

Good luck to them!

Photo credits - Gulf 12Hr
Sunday, November 27, 2022 | Read more...
GMB Motorsport test out their AMR Vantage GTE in Spain ahead of their step up to the ELMS

GMB Motorsport test out their AMR Vantage GTE in Spain ahead of their step up to the ELMS

 


Less than two weeks after the public announcement of their Aston Martin Racing Vantage GTE powered European Le Mans and 24 Hours of Le Mans plans for 2023 had the Danish GMB Motorsport team out in Spain testing their latest racing hardware.

Having won the GT3 Le Mans Cup Series with a Honda NSX saw the Casper Elgaard lead team confirm a transition to the AMR brand in time for the final year of GTE racing within ACO rules series for their GT3 winning crew.


Utilising the technical abilities of AMR factory driver, former World Endurance Championship GTE Pro winner and country-man Nicki Thiim together with the technical services of others from the Prodrive crew, saw the team conduct a multi-car, multi-series, multi-driver two-day test at the exclusive Circuit Mike G Guadix racetrack in southern Spain this week.

There, the team reported that designated drivers Kasper H Jensen, Gustav Birch and Jens Reno Moller all completed laps during the test with their what we understand to be a brand-new car, as well as getting further coaching input from Thiim away from the racetrack in advance of that.


The European Le Mans Series kicks off at the official Prologue test at the Circuit de Catalunya in Barcelona on the 20th April with the opening round of the season just three days later.

Photo credits - Team
Friday, November 25, 2022 | Read more...
Van Der Steur Racing seek drivers for their AMR GT4 IMSA based programme in 2023

Van Der Steur Racing seek drivers for their AMR GT4 IMSA based programme in 2023


Whilst we already know of some established Aston Martin Racing powered teams moving on and up the ‘racing ladder’ with another brand next season, it’s great to read that their void may well be filled with another AMR powered runner.

Utilising the ability of the internet last night, we strolled across another advert upon the Racecarsdirect.com website we found that the Van Der Steur Racing team in the USA has put the word out that they are looking for potential drivers to fill the seats within their soon to be expected AMR Vantage GT4.

More akin to racing Hyundai’s within the IMSA Michelin Pilot Challenge, this advert signals (we understand from others) a long-held desire to move up the IMSA class system to run a GT4 in which has been listed as either the Michelin Pilot Challenge Series and/or the new IMSA Sportscar Challenge.

Whilst we are all aware of the Michelin Pilot Challenge of late with Volt Racing’s Alan Brynjolfsson and Trent Hindman finally securing the overall crown at the final round of the season a month ago, this Sportscar Challenge Series is a replacement for the Prototype Challenge Series with the redefined series allowing GT4 based cars to run alongside the LMP3 based cars for the first time.

With the opening round to the IMSA sanctioned series at the Rolex 24 event at Daytona just under two months away, time is obviously now of the essence with all enquiries asked to contact the team at +1 (410) 877-4088 or at chris.deely@efcusa.com in the first instance.

Full details of the listing can be found here at https://racecarsdirect.com/Advert/Details/132987/imsa-gt4-tcr-drives-available

Photo credits – Teams / Racecarsdirect



Thursday, November 24, 2022 | Read more...
D'Station Racing Vantage GT8R crew to battle it out for class honours at finale of the Super Taikyu Series this weekend

D'Station Racing Vantage GT8R crew to battle it out for class honours at finale of the Super Taikyu Series this weekend

 


Like we have said before, there are not too many races left in the calendar before we see out 2022 but one of those events is the final round of the Super Taikyu Series from Suzuka, Japan this weekend.

Again, featuring amongst the traditionally large multi-class grid for this final five-hour affair will be the two D’Station Racing Aston Martin Racing Vantage GT8R and GT3.


Stating the Vantage GT8R first is because the Max Orido, Kenji Hama and Jake Parsons driven #47 car is currently placed second within their ST-1 class Championship, just three and a half points behind the #2 Sintium Apple KTM X-Bow with this final round to go after having claimed the top step of the class podium at the previous two rounds.


Having had the ST-1 class sit out the last round (as each lower class is scheduled to do once during the season) left just the team’s #777 AMR Vantage GT3 of Satoshi Hoshino, Tomonobu Fujii and Tsubasa Kondo to fly the AMR flag at Okayama just over five weeks ago where that crew Qualified and finished third both overall and in the ST-X class. Having skipped the opening three rounds because of their international duties – this series for that crew is simply for race mileage and experience.

Should the #47 car scoop the overall class prize at the weekend, that will continue the teams fine form within their domestic series having won the ST-X class in 2021 as well as numerous GT3 and GT4 runners up in class finishes since taking on board the then latest AMR machinery.


For the international viewer, race coverage will be available via the series YouTube channel on Sunday.

Photo credits - Team
Wednesday, November 23, 2022 | Read more...