No Garage 59 Aston Martin's at Intercontinental GT Challenge finale

Friday, December 04, 2020


Today final saw a Provisional entry list issued for next weekend’s final round of the 2020 Intercontinental GT Challenge from Kyalami in South Africa but alas, there is nobody to cheer for from our own side of things!

Having started way back in late January at the opening round from Bathurst Australia, this truly international GT3 Series has obviously been yet another series blighted, reduced in numbers and delayed in time by the ongoing global pandemic to such a degree that next weekend we will see just twelve cars entered, with some racing for the final time as a factory concern and no Aston Martin’s!

If you cast our mind back to Liqui-Moly 12 Hours of Bathurst at the start of 2020, four new generation Aston Martin Racing V8 Vantage GT3’s competed amongst an entry list of over forty cars – two each from both the Swiss based R-Motorsport team and two from the UK based Garage 59 team and all looked good for another competitive year of international GT3 racing.

Then COVID-19 bit and bit hard.

With the original race calendar quickly become unachievable in terms of international travel, the governing SRO sanctioned International GT Challenge Series came up with their ‘back to racing’ plan in the summer for the resumption of the Series from Indianapolis Motor Speedway in early October, quickly followed by their banner event at Spa Francorchamps before rounding the year off much later than intended in South Africa.

For us Aston Martin Racing fans, that second placed finish for the #159 Garage 59 Silver Cup entry of Andrew Watson, Roman de Angelis and Oliver Hart in Australia had already become all but a distant memory as neither of the Garage 59 cars made the trip over to the USA for this IGTC resumption in racing and the Swiss team had already mothballed their 2020 plans earlier in the year. The Garage 59 team decided not to travel because of that date being perilously close to the Spa 24 event just two weeks later.

The Spa 24 would be successful for the #188 Garage 59 crew of Alex West, Chris Goodwin, Jonny Adam and Maxime Martin this time as they scooped a much-deserved Pro-Am Class win.

From what we understand from those at the Garage 59 team, their decision not to travel to South Africa came at a time when the global pandemic situation was creating more uncertainty than not for them to commit to the costs and time associated with such an event within an undefined level of COVID risk too. Today news from the series that the event will also be held from behind closed doors due to their own local CV-19 situation helps to vindicate that decision as a sound, simple business decision to best save valuable funds and resources for another day.

A sad situation for all concerned, but a simple reflection of the global climate in the racing arena at the moment. That obviously doesn’t detract from the fact that it should be a hugely competitive event with the Manufacturers and Driver’s title still up for grabs!!

Good luck to all those who have travelled.

Photo credits - IGTC / Garage 59 
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