A busy January beckons

Sunday, January 03, 2021

Well, we have made it through to another year of motor racing albeit with a few but significant casualties along the way over the ‘closed’ season.

Nowadays of course, modern motor racing leaves little gap within the calendar year for any significant period of downtime as only next weekend sees the start of the 2021 calendar with a COVID-19 revised date and venue for the Gulf 12hrs – this year from the Bahrain International Circuit rather than from its customary Yas Marina Circuit in Abu Dhabi.

No formal entry from any Aston Martin Racing Partner or Customer team has yet been confirmed for this event although the full entry list has yet to be revealed by the race organisers. There was talk in the latter parts of last year of the French AGS Events Racing Team fielding a brand-new Vantage GT8R into this and the 24H Series Dubai 24hr events so we will have to wait and see on that front.

Over in Dubai, the PROsport Racing Vantage GT4 of Rodrique Gillion and Nico Verdonck remain the sole AMR listing so far within that event that kicks off in just under two weeks time. As previously published, we understand that this duo will be joined in the race cockpit by the teams first DTM Trophy signee of 2021 in Patrik Matthiesen as well as the third placed GT4 European Series racer Stéphane Lémeret.

As this entry list continues to develop, we can also see that part of TF Sport’s Asian Le Mans Series AMR Vantage GT3 line up of John Hartshorne and Ollie Hancock also feature, this time in a Mercedes AMG GT4 as they also get in some valuable track time together ahead of the ACO Series that kicks off in Abu Dhabi next month.

January also sees the opening round of the IMSA Weathertech Sportscar Championship and supporting Michelin Pilot Challenge Series from the Daytona International Speedway in Florida. Featuring their customary ‘Roar before the 24’ test at the circuit just a week before the main event this year, we will have to wait another three weeks before that takes commences on the 24th January before a race weekend the week later.

It’s also been extremely quiet in terms of news on this front, we know that the Notlad Racing AMR Vantage GT4 of Matt Dalton and Pat Gallagher will be dipping a toe into selected rounds of the IMSA rules Championship for the first time this season and that Volt Racing will also be returning for their first full season with their bright yellow AMR Vantage GT4 - but that is about it. 

Within the Weathertech Sportscar Championship we have already had the sensational news of TF Sport extending their racing repertoire into North America with a Vantage GTD entry into the Rolex 24 at Daytona for drivers Ben Keating, Max Root, Charlie Eastwood and Richard Westbrook.

We also expect to see back the Heart of Racing AMR GTD this season but news from these guys has been sparce since the conclusion of their racing endeavours in New Zealand. We do however also expect to see further AMR factory driver assistance towards the team at both Daytona (Rolex 24) and certainly the other endurance rounds of the IMSA calendar moving forward.It’s going to be a busy few weeks as all of this sorts itself out!

We do also have Salih Yoluc entering the world stage in an LMP2 car at the Rolex as well, so not an Aston we know but still worth a cheer!

Photo credits - IMSA / 24H Series
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