Another busy weekend in store with Team AMR (Part 1) UPDATED

Tuesday, August 18, 2020

This weekend coming sees another extremely busy race schedule for many of Aston Martin Racing Partner teams around the world as up to twelve AMR Vantage GT3 and GT4 look look set to hit the track running, including the opening round of the season for another COVID-19 affected series.

Over in Japan, the Super GT Series moves over to Suzuka for their third round of the season having raced the opening two rounds at Fuji. Yet again, AMR factory driver Nicki Thiim will be absent from the #9 Pacific D'Station Racing AMR Vantage GT3 and for the third time in succession, his seat will be taken by the Japan domiciled Italian racer Kei Cozzolino as he prepares himself for his own site to Le Mans 24hr in four weeks time.

The last round from Fuji two weeks ago did see Cozzolini and Tomonobu Fujii secure what looked to be another P10 finish in the GT300 class but a 40 second post race penalty for what we believe to be for driving standards dropped the green liveried Vantage down to P19 in the end. The car will still have to race this weekend with a 3kg of  'success ballast" despite the penalty!

Next up, we have the IMSA Weathertech Sportscar Championship reconvene at the picturesque Virginia International Raceway for their fifth round of the season (and their fourth event after their own temporary sustain of racing activities du etc COVID-19.

Having skipped the Series return to racing at both Daytona and Sebring, the Heart of Racing team had hoped to bounce back with a positive return of their own last time out in the Championship at Road America but a leak within the cars internal fuel cell could not be rectified at the circuit and the car had to be withdrawn immediately prior to the race despite the best of efforts overnight from the crew.

The team will arrive at VIR having conducted a successful shakedown test this week at Road Atlanta.

We note that the #23 AMR Vantage GTD is again down to be driven by AMR Drivers Academy candidate Roman de Angelis alongside Team Principle Ian James again, so we are guessing that Alex Riberas remains 'indisposed' again somewhere in the world!!

Sharing VIR with the bigger GT Le Mans and GTD entries of the Weathertech Sportscar Championship is again the Michelin Pilot Challenge who return for their fourth round of the season for the smaller but just as exciting GT4 machinery.

Nate Stacey in the #60 Kohr Motorsport AMR Vantage GT4 is rapidly becoming the young sensation of the year as the twenty year AMR Drivers Academy candidate old comes on leaps and bounds under the watchful eye of his co-driver Kyle Marcelli. Last time out at Road America, Stacey placed the #60 on pole and ran a commanding stint before their gap was only overrun by the strategy of another before the race ended under caution with the crew claiming their second P2 finish of the season.

They will be joined by the two Automatic Racing AMR Vantage GT4's - the #09 car of Rob Ecklin Jnr and Ramin Abdolvahabi as they look to make amends to their early exit from Road America thanks to a inexcusable move by one of the AutoBahn Audi's that ended up their race very early due to damage.

They in turn will be joined by two returning faces into the team as Charles Espenlaub and Charlie Putman return to the Florida based team for the first time since 2017 and their first racing exploits in the new turbo charged Vantage GT4. Whats happened with the usual occupiers of the #99 car (Kris Wilson and Gary Ferrera) we don't yet know.

Sadly, it appears that the Cameron Racing AMR Vantage GT4 continues to be absent from the procedings due to the owner/drivers personal preferences with the ongoing CV-19 situation in the USA - hopefully he will be able to make a return to racing soon.


Photo credits - D'Station Racing / Super GT / IMSA / HoRT

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