Looking ahead to more Aston's at second round of British GT from Silverstone

Tuesday, June 22, 2021

Another exciting weekend of motor racing around the world with Aston Martin Racing Customer and Partner teams again busy in both North America, New Zealand and of course the UK where there we have the British GT Championship running their Blue Ribband event in Northamptonshire with the Silverstone 500.

As with the remnants of another COVID-19 affected season, this weekend makes for only the second round of the Championship after the two-hour round at Brands Hatch back in late May where we enjoyed a P2 podium successful return to the Championship of the Beechdean AMR team with their drivers Andrew Howard and Jonny Adam.

Committing again to another full season together in the red, blue and yellow #7 AMR Vantage GT3, Beechdean were joined then by the Ultimate Speed AMR Vantage GT3 team who unfortunately don’t join us at Silverstone, but we do have the pleasure of welcoming another full season entrant to the grid as well as two Silverstone only entries with some more big AMR names within those cockpits.

Starting with the full season entry, this time we welcome the Newbridge Motorsport AMR Vantage GT4 entry for their drivers Matt Topham and AMR factory driver Darren Turner in their #27 car. Seen testing at Silverstone a few weeks ago in its full livery, Turner has been kept busy this year on the AMR customer development circuit where he has brought on the Feathers Motorsport team along to podium winning success in GT Cup. 

It was it that series that we first met Topham in an Aston Martin last season before committing to a full season (bar the Brands Hatch opener) to the topflight British GT Championship over the winter.

Joining both Beechdean and Newbridge at Silverstone will be two AMR Vantage GT3’s from the TF Sport team (never say never again kind of thing) as they make a brief return to the Championship again having won the GT4 Championship last year with Jamie Caroline and Dan Vaughan. Sadly, their commitments in the European and world racing arena have kept them from defending their crown this year but they have come back this weekend to help out one factory driver and to try to entice another into possible plans for next season.

That comes in the form of AMR factory driver and 2021 World Endurance Championship GTE Pro Champion Marco Sorensen who will be joining up with former TF Sport Asian Le Mans Series racer Bonamy Grimes aboard their #95 car for this weekend. Sorensen is presently testing with the Garage 59 team over in Spa this week ahead of their full Pro assault in next month’s Total Spa 24 with fellow Champion Nicki Thiim and AMR works driver Ross Gunn. Short on seat time this year, Sorensen will be using this event to brush away those cobwebs!!

Then there is Grimes who, after his ALMS adventure with TF Sport went into the WEC with AF Corse and a Ferrari 488 GTE but who may now be looking for another racing test to push himself towards – possibly in an Aston and possibly with TF Sport, possibly somewhere in the world. Maybe!!

The teams second one-off entry is their #38 entry for Giacomo Petrobelli and Charlie Eastwood where the Northern Irishman sticks another toe into the Championship having raced with Howard’s Beechdean team at this event last season. He is joined by the venerable Italian racer who also raced in this event last year with Tom Canning.

Four Aston Martins amongst a grid of thirty-one cars is something not to be scoffed at at any time of the years and especially at the moment considering the global financial climate and that shows great faith by many in both the Championship and the AMR Vantage platform as a whole.

No pit window in this event but each team must make at least three driver changes with no driver racing for more than one hour and forty minutes. By virtue of their P2 finish at Brands Hatch, the #7 Beechdean AMR GT3 must also serve an additional 15 seconds of success penalty at their final mandatory stop as well.

Crowds are again permitted into the circuit which is always good and for the first time since April 2020 – so are we! Considering the still ongoing situation with large public gatherings in the UK, we are particularly humbled to have been selected as being able to attend this weekend by the Championship.

Private testing is available to the teams on Friday before the start of more formally timed sessions from just before 10am on Saturday morning.

Photo credits – Jacob Ebrey / Teams / AMR / AF Corse

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