A promising start for the weekend

Saturday, August 22, 2020

With now a confirmed eleven Aston Martin Racing V8 Vantage GT3 and GT4 race cars now competing around the world this weekend, early track sessions have already got off to a flying start for some as those Series running a double header race weekend have already ran one Qualifying session today.

For those Series competing in France, they have come away with the best performances so far with Charlie Eastwood this morning securing overall pole for himself and 'birthday boy' Salih Yoluc in their red liveried TF Sport prepared AMR Vantage GT3 that they both running again at  Le Castellet for the second round of the GT Open Series.

Progressing lap times from these guys going through the Private Test and then the three Free Practice sessions has seen them stay in the top four throughout, so an overall Pole position comes as no surprise.

In the supporting GT Cup Open Series we have two AMR GT4's running out of the Team Virage and PROsport Racing stables to also look out for this weekend.

Joining them at the front of their respective grid start for todays first race will be the #161 Am Class AGS Event Racing AMR Vantage GT4 of Didier Dumaine who secured his first class pole at the first round of the FFSA GT4 Series from Nogaro in south western France. The Series has the team racing three AMR Vantage GT4's with clientele who already race with them to great success in the parallel GT4 European Series as well as (new for the series) returning faces like AMR Academy Driver Akhil Rabindra.

Further afield, a strong P10 Qualifying slot for the #23 Heart of Racing AMR Vantage GTD car of Ian James and Roman de Angelis yesterday puts them in good stead for a healthy return to racing in IMSA's Weathertech Sportscar Championship from VIR today. Their last race unfortunately ended before not even began with technical issues before the race meaning that their car had to be withdrawn.

The team will also be very keen to get back to the other part of their racing business plan in fund raising for the Seattle Children's Hospital - a difficult proposition as race fans are still not allowed entry into the VIR circuit at the moment.

We also understand that their regular second driver Alex Riberas indeed remains in New Zealand (due to CV-19 travel issues between New Zealand and the USA) as they wait for the start of their own parallel programme, racing another AMR Vantage GT3 in NewZealand Endurance Series next month.

Supporting the main IMSA package is of course the three AMR Vantage GT4 cars that compete in the Michelin Pilot Challenge Series. A swap around in timing schedules means that this series is now effectively running a day late so Qualifying will be later tonight (Saturday) with the two hour race on Sunday.

Finally, the Pacific D'Station Racing AMR of Tomonobu Fujii and Kei Cozzolino race at the third round of the Japanese Super GT Series at Suzuka.  With the car not matched in performance to that of the Fuji Speedway Circuit where the Series held the opening two rounds of their CV-19 adjusted season, early Free Practice times look promising as the cars go into Qualifying mode later today.

Best of luck to them all.

Photo credits - GT Open / HORT / GT Open Cup / D'Station Racing / CSJ Motorsport / IMSA

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