Looking forward to two AMR Vantage GT3's in the Road to Le Mans double header

Friday, June 07, 2019

Again running in support of the FIA World Endurance Championship and their final round this season at the 24Hours of Le Mans is the Michelin Le Mans Cup feeder series and their now annual 'Road to Le Mans' double header from the Circuit de La Sarthe.

With the event having ran last year without any representation from the Aston Martin Racing stable, the 2019 event sees two new 2019 specification AMR Vantage GT3's being entered - one from full season entry Beechdean AMR and their regular drivers Andrew Howard and Ross Gunn as well as a one off appearance in the series from TF Sport and their drivers Flick Haigh and Tom Gamble.

Being round three out of six for the full season runners, race week (next week) at Le Mans does allow for two - fifty five minute races around the 8.5 mile circuit for what will be a fifty car entry spread across the permitted LMP3 and GT3 format.

At the opening round of the season from Le Castellet in France, the #99 Beechdean AMR car was brought home P5 in class having started from the rear of the pack and having served a length 'stop and hold' penalty for a Safety Car procedure violation. Next time out, the duo went one better by finishing P4 amidst the monsoon like conditions that afflicted the last few minutes of that two hour race at Monza.

For Howard, we calculate that these two races at Le Mans will be his sixth and seventh events having already raced their twice in the full 24 Hours race aboard his Vantage GTE as well as three visits to the circuit in the Aston Martin Racing Festivals races of 2012, 2105 and most latterly 2018 aboard either his GTE or Vantage GT4 platforms. So this should make for his first experience aboard a GT3 next week (? we wait to be corrected).

Ross Gunn meanwhile, also having raced with Howard in the LM24 back in 2017 as well as completing the 'demonstration laps' that was unofficially last years AMR Festival winner aboard the Vantage GTE/GT3 test car. He was also at the circuit last weekend testing with the two AMR Factory WEC entered cars.

Unfortunately and despite having just co-lifted the British GT Championship GT3 Championship prize last year with AMR factory driver Jonny Adam, Flick Haigh hasn't returned to full time motor racing this season (either by her choice or not) but it is great to see her return the Road to Le Mans race week for what we believe to be a one off appearance with the TF Sport team aboard one of their 2019 AMR Vantage GT3's. Having previously raced in the first half of the 2017 Le Mans Cup Series with Pro driver Joe Osbourne in the then Optimum Motorsport prepared Audi R8, Haigh will be joined by the young talented F3 racer and BRDC Autosport Young Driver of the Year winner Tom Gamble for his first experience of the home of endurance racing.

The pair have so far enjoyed two testing sessions together with one of Tom Ferrier's cars at both Anglesey and Spa Francorchamps.

First Free Practice for this large LMP3/GT3 begins on Wednesday evening before FP2 on Thursday morning. Two twenty minute Qualifying session will then be covered over Thursday lunch time before the first race starting at 17:30hrs (local).

With no track action as usual over the Friday, their second and final race of the meeting will start at 11:30hrs (local) on Saturday morning and will be used to excite the gathering crowds ahead of the start of the 24 Hours of Le Mans just two hours later.

For Andrew Howard and his Beechdean AMR crew, first comes the minor distraction of a three hour race at the Silverstone 500 as the British GT Championship hits the home of British motor racing for the third round of their 2019 season this weekend. They will also return home after Le Mans to be immediately ready for the next British GT round straight after at Donington Park - busy busy!!

Photo credits - LMC / Beechdean /Anglesey Circuit / Jacob Ebrey

  • Digg
  • del.icio.us
  • StumbleUpon
  • Yahoo! Buzz
  • Technorati
  • Facebook
  • TwitThis
  • MySpace
  • LinkedIn
  • Live
  • Google
  • Reddit
  • Sphinn
  • Propeller
  • Slashdot
  • Netvibes