Here's to a quiet winter!

Tuesday, October 23, 2018

With those of us in Northern Europe, this weekend shall see that dreaded point in the calendar where we loose summer time and face the reality of longer nights, lower temperatures and traditionally many months without any racing to look forward to!

Fortunately, with after many traditional series and championships around the world having already completed their races for 2018, the growth of motor racing around the world has allowed for some bespoke events to crop up and embed themselves into a now almost continual diary of racing action for as long as we are prepared to stay up late to watch it that is!

This weekend sees the return of the Intercontinental GT Challenge from the Laguna Seca Raceway in California for the second running of the SRO sanctioned California 8 Hours event.

Returning for their second stab at the event is Florida based team, Automatic Racing who return with their #99 Aston Martin Racing V8 Vantage GT4 with a three driver line up of Charles Espenlaub, Charlie Puttman and Eric Lux who will all be hoping to avenge their fate of last year when they crashed out on just the third lap.

Continuing the SRO theme, the end of November sees the Bahrain GT Festival, a new event that incorporates three events for both GT3, GT4 and Classic cars over the weekend of 30th November to 1st December.

No entry list is yet available for these races but we know at least one Aston Martin should be present in the paddock..

Before that in mid November, the Creventic 24H Series move across the Atlantic again for their second visit to the Circuit of the Americas and another one of their infamous 24 hour races.

Having first sampled the series in Barcelona earlier this year, Swiss based R-Motorsport return with one of their V12 Vantage GT3's with team bosses Andreas Baenziger and Florian Kamelger already confirmed as being half of their driver line up.

Unfortunately, another AMR V12 Vantage GT3 due to be at the event won't be with the team boss citing prior business engagements as the cause.

The UK based Speedworks team are still due to return with their AMR V8 Vantage GT4 as well as were two GT4 cars from Automatic Racing but the latter do seem to have disappeared from the entry list already!

The Asian Le Mans Series is a new one for us AMR fans as Red River Sport take one of TF Sports V12 Vantage GT3's over to Asia for the four round series over the European winter. Drivers Johnny Mowlem, Bonney Brimes and Ivor Dunbar look to take their next steps in the ACO family of events as they look to progress to Le Mans in the next year or so and have wisely selected the V12 Vantage as their weapon of choice!

The Gulf 12hrs takes us towards Christmas with their annual event in Abu Dhabi over the 13-15th December. Again, no entry list has been published but we believe there to be at least one (maybe two) Aston Martins should be there again this year.

Then over the New Year and into 2019 of course brings us both the opening round of the new IMSA season from Daytona with their 24hour event closely followed by the 12 Hours of Bathurst which is now part of the Intercontinental GT Challenge series. With just ninety or so days left to Daytona, we are hoping for some kind of announcement from Aston Martin Racing as to whether or not they have found anyone to run a customer programme for them in the USA in either GTLM, GTD or indeed both.

With Paul Dalla Lana having purchased one of the factory's new turbo charged GTE cars, the Canadian will be keen to run the his newest car in competitive action in Florida as he and co drivers Pedro Lamy and Mathias Lauda get ready for the reconvening of the World Endurance Championship Super-season from Sebring just a few weeks later before they make a swap to the new chassis for the beginning of the 2019-2020 WEC season in September.

And finally - Bathurst, a completely bonkers circuit being raced on by the fastest GT3 and GT4 cars that money can offer. We saw earlier this year how R-Motorsport had wanted to run one or two of their brand new turbo charged Vantage GT3 cars at next years event. That has be thwarted by a balance of performance regulation for the event that requires a year old car so we still wait to see if they will race one of their older generation V12 Vantage GT3 cars there or not.

Whatever happens, this kind of motor sport will keep even the most demanding of fans happy whilst giving us a final opportunity to bid farewell to the V12 and V8 Vantage GT3 and GT4 cars before we welcome their latest iteration son track for 2019!

Photo credits - AMR / TF Sport / Creventic / IMSA / SRO / FFSA

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