AMR collective test ends in Portimao

Saturday, March 10, 2018

Three days of intensive testing for about twenty or so Aston Martin Racing customer teams came to an end from the Algarve International Circuit in Portimao, Portugal today.

The idea was of course for them to complete copious amounts of dry, warmer weather testing (as opposed to that what would normally be available to them back home) and all under the watchful eye of the Prodrive factory and supplier technicians but unfortunately for them all, the weather in Portugal wasn't quite playing ball.

Two days of periodic torrential rainfall affected everyone's plans to a point of them having to sit out large parts of Thursday and Friday in the hope that the rain would clear, which it typically did on the final day of the test today!!

Usually this collective test is used by the factory World Endurance Championship squad to finalise their race plans and preparations ahead of the season opener which is usually at Silverstone in early April.

With extensive testing of the teams new V8 Vantage GTE having already been untaken it was strange to find out that there was minimal WEC related activity at the test with just Ross Gunn driving the new GTE Test car along with Mathias Lauda.

Although WEC factory drivers Darren Turner and Jonny Adam were at the test, they were only there for the first two days for the benefit of their British GT customer teams - Beechdean AMR and Optimum Motorsport respectively.

We understand that AMR's WEC drivers have all attended a corporate event today with the team and their new Partners Tag Heuer which was the main reason why both Sorensen and Thiim were permitted to skip British GT Media day on Thursday.

The bulk of the testing field was however made of V8 Vantage GT4's with teams participating including Whitebridge Motorsport, EDF Motorsport, 22GT and Academy Motorsport. Whilst some of these were teams returning to the annual event for the umpteenth time, others like Team Brit were new to the event and the marque so will have been keen to learn as much as they possibly could have.

Whilst some of these teams were testing for a specific series/championship, others were looking purely at a specific support event later in the year at Le Mans - hopefully more news on that in due course.

With the circuit also having been used by Aston Martin Lagonda immediately before the AMR Collective test, there was still a number of the new Vantage road cars and Vulcans about using the circuit alongside the GT3, GT4, DBRS9, GTE race cars.

News and information coming out from the test has again been annoyingly slow, but at the end of the day privacy is partly what these teams pay for so thats only to be expected. Final details of things like the liveries for the Beechdean AMR and Optimum British GT campaigns have still yet to be applied whilst Academy Motorsport's GT4 European Series driver line ups is also yet to be released.

They say that patience is a virtue!

Photos via social media accounts of respective teams

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