Let 2016 commence……….

Friday, February 19, 2016


Well if today's official announcements from Aston Martin and Aston Martin Racing weren't enough to make your jaw drop in anticipation for the 2016 season then nothing will. Even if some of the announcements from Gaydon this afternoon were 'to be expected' - others were just inspiring and April cannot come soon enough.

If we start from what we knew before today was that AMR would be fielding just two GTE Pro and a single GTE Am car in both the World Endurance Championship and at Le Mans for 2016. Previously nominated were Richie Stanaway, Nikki Thiim and Paul Dalla-Lana in each of the respective cars and it was those announcements that lead many of us to 'malfunction' whilst trying to place driver A with driver B but what about driver C, etc.

That became very clear today and the wizards at AMR have come up with three driver line ups who are all very capable of taking their respective class all the way to a championship win.

Confirmed today were:-

#97 GTE Pro - Richie Stanaway + Fernando Rees + Jonny Adam

#95 GTE Pro Young Driver AMR - Nikki Thiim + Marco Sorensen + Darren Turner

#98 GTE Am - Paul Dalla Lana + Pedro Lamy + Mathias Lauda

If that wasn't enough we were then shown the new, mean and distinctive looking 'Stirling Green' colour scheme confirmed the end of the Gulf Oils relationship for the team and the beginning of many new ones. 

The biggest of those was the official confirmation that AMR and Dunlop had entered into a full technical partnership across its factory GTE and GT3 efforts - a new relationship that will see the newest GTE developed rubber placed on the AMR cars that would compete within the WEC, LM24, ELMS and the Nurburgring 24. We understand that the premature release of this information by the ACO/FIA at their Paris briefings lead to some 'upset' within Dunlop as that wasn't their news to release.

Continued tyre development in conjunction with Dunlop is already 'on the go' with a car being sent to Paul Ricard to test alongside other Dunlop convertees like Rebellion in LMP.

French company Total also take over the mantel from Gulf in terms of energy and oil partners for the team - an early indication of this came earlier in the year when the #98 GTD (GT3) car of Dalla-Lana, Lamy and Lauda was unveiled for the Rolex24 - now that has been confirmed for the whole team.

Whilst it is unfortunate to loose talented drivers like Alex MacDowall and Christoffer Nygaard from #TeamAMR we do have to look at the fact that the Beechdean ELMS GTE entry still has up to two driving seats as yet unannounced - we know that MacDowall has driven with Andrew Howard on may occasions (including the last ELMS event of 2015) so we may see his return there.

The factory have also today confirmed a two car SP9 effort for the 2016 Nurburging 24 event later this year with new team sponsor IQ Option having their own livery scheme for that flagship GT3 event.

Swapping the driver line ups again for this event will see Richie Stanaway, Jonny Adam, Fernando Rees, Mathias Lauda in the #006 and Nicki Thiim, Marco Sørensen, Darren Turner, Pedro Lamy in the #007.

Prior to the teams first official WEC duties at The Prologue at the Paul Ricard circuit at the end of March the team will now load up for their annual pilgrimage down to Spain for some warmer weather testing with their other Partner teams down in Valencia.

Photo credits - Aston Martin Racing

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