#Endurance2017 headlines from AMR

Thursday, February 02, 2017

Today's FIA and ACO announcements from the Le Mans circuit certainly delivered us a whole plethora of exciting prospects to look forward to in 2017 with both Aston Martin Racing and its customer teams confirming their participation within the these headline events.

Starting first and foremost in the FIA World Endurance Championship, AMR confirmed that the #95 Young Driver AMR entry of Nicki Thiim and Marco Sorensen will be there to defend their 2016 Drivers and Team championships.

They will be joined by the second GTE Pro #97 factory car entry for Darren Turner who will be joined this year by Jonny Adam - just a slight driver change there compared to last year. The third and final WEC entry with be the return of the #98 GTE Am car of Paul Dalla-Lana, Pedro Lamy and Mathias Lauda but it is still not yet confirmed whether they will be competing in a 2016 specification Vantage as they are permitted to do.

Additionally, the #98 is still being listed as running on Michelins which the car swapped back to after Le Mans - it will be interesting to see if the follow the rest of the squad and run on Dunlops again?

Moving over to the European Le Mans Series it was confirmed that reigning GTE Champions Beechdean AMR will also be on track to defend their crown with team boss heading the driver line up. Whilst the event did not reveal the complete driver line up we do expect the team to confirm that in the very near future.

It was today confirmed that they will be joined in the 2017 European Le Mans Series by 2016 GT3 Le Mans Team Champions TF Sport as they also enter a V8 Vantage GTE into the series with drivers Salih Yoluc, Euan Hankey and Nicki Thiim already becoming a potential championship contender.

TF Sport have also exercised their invitation, as winners in the GT3 LMC series last year to enter this years Le Mans 24hr however Thiim's full season WEC commitments within the #95 car shall see him replaced with non other than AMR returnee Rob Bell - Beechdean AMR also had their LM24 invitation confirmed.

So with this news, Aston Martin Racing shall have five V8 Vantage GTE's thundering around the Le Sarthe circuit in June - what is there to complain about there.

Whilst it is obviously sad not to hear of the inclusion of people like Fernando Rees and Richie Stanaway in these plans we can be hopeful that the available seats within the #95 and #97 cars can be filled with drivers like these two at Le Mans.

With this information now out in the public domain we look forward to further detail being released by the respective teams as many head out to Portimao, Portugal for the annual #TeamAMR winter test in the next couple of weeks.

Of course, pre season testing is already under way with Marco Sorensen still out at the Paul Ricard circuit tyre testing with Dunlop.

Photo credits - Adrenal Media / ACO / AMR

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