Two become three for Aston Martin Racing teams in World Endurance Championship Season 9 (Updated)

Thursday, January 21, 2021

Some reassuring news was confirmed by the World Endurance Championship earlier today when they revealed their entry list for their forthcoming Series 9 of the Championship that starts at the Prologue from Sebring, Florida in just little over fifty day’s time.

Still, with the confirmation of the Aston Martin Racing factory earlier withdrawal of both of their Vantage GTE’s from the top Pro class still resonating in our ears, this announcement could have made for some very gloomy news for us AMR fans as we looked ahead to the new season.

With the factory squad not entering any Pro car under their own name with which to defend their 2020 crown but instead making most (if not all) of their resources available to their global Partner teams, the news of this week has confirmed not one, not two but three AMR Vantage GTE’s for the highly competitive GTE Am class instead.

2020 Le Mans winner Salih Yoluc has moved on from GTE racing for the new year but two highly acclaimed teams/driver crews have already been confirmed as running under the banner of the TF Sport name within the WEC and that news has been further bolstered by the confirmation today that Paul Dalla Lana will indeed be returning to the Championship with another AMR factory prepared customer Vantage GTE programme.

The Canadian businessman’s name was the sole name upon todays official confirmation leaving him free to pick from the plethora of factory drivers waiting under contract in the wings for a competitive drive – a drive that really must take the Gentleman driver to the GTE Am and Le Mans 24hr top step this time around in order to satisfy his appetite for racing success.

He joins the two cars from TF Sport announced earlier this week in which the Sussex based team has managed to recruit the incredible driver talents (and custom) of Gentleman driver Ben Keating beyond that of this month’s IMSA Rolex 24 from Daytona and he is joined aboard his beautifully blue liveried #33 car with Dylan Pereira and Felipe Fraga. They in turn will be joined within the TF stable by the #777 car of Japanese team D’Station Racing who confirmed their WEC participation from drivers (and team boss) Satoshi Hoshino, Tomonobu Fujii plus a silver ranked driver TBC.

All in all, whilst we may have lost the top flight efforts of Nicki Thiim/Marco Sorensen and Alex Lynn/Maxime Martin in their factory prepared GTE Pro cars, that was/is always a class that is threatening to dissolve sooner rather than later as the ACO’s LMH/LMDh classes come on stream. Where the racing battles are still at is within GTE Am where market forces place teams and drivers with partners who are strongest in that arena and 2021 is no exception as GTE Am represents the strongest class of this year’s thirty three car grid with thirteen entries all evenly matched between the AMR, Porsche and Ferrari chassis.

Today’s news (considering the global financial climate) is a massive achievement for the WEC and our appreciation can only and should be extended to all those involved will to make this kind of investment in motor racing. We also need to keep an eye out on other ACO rules series for any possible AMR team involvement in those!!

AMR news is never far away these days!!

Update - The WEC have confirmed that the opening round of their Season 9 will now NOT take place at Sebring. Siting the fluidity of the COVID-19 situation and the change in national government stance sees the opening round move back across the Atlantic to Portimao, Portugal on the 4th April 2021.

Photo credits - AMR / TF Sport / WEC

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