A busy time ahead from France with Astons in the 24hr, Le Mans Cup and Endurance Legends

Thursday, August 12, 2021

As all of us should be aware by now, this weekend starts the initial track action ahead of the fourth round of the 2021 World Endurance Championship’s Season 9 at the Circuit de La Sarthe and the 24 Hours of Le Mans.

Like last year when the event was completed in its entirety behind closed doors with a somewhat compressed programme of events that what is normally expected at this event, this weekend again sees the Official Test Day at the circuit on Sunday 15th August before launching straight into the race week preliminaries with track action beginning next Wednesday.

Sadly, Test Day will again be run from behind closed doors but the race weekend at least will run this year with a paying audience in attendance on the spectator banks, grandstands whilst camping around the track.

For us, we were due to be at the Porsche Curves again in June but with the race then being moved again to next weekend we have had to put our families first for some much-needed time off to recharge the batteries in lieu of being able to watch/attend this great race. For those of us who were labelled as ‘key workers’ around the world, you will know just how tough the last fourteen months have been – having to go into work daily whilst others stayed home so sometimes, sacrifices have to be made.

Anyway, whilst we will be missing a lot of this action, there is at least plenty of Aston Martin Racing action for you to look forward to with cars now competing in both the 24 Hours race itself but also now the supporting Le Mans Cup and the Endurance Legends support race.

For the 24 Hours, there are of course FOUR AMR Vantage GTE’s now racing – the three full season WEC entries from Northwest AMR, D’Station Racing AMR and from TF Sport themselves. The last few weeks have seen a little bit a driver realignment going on from their full season entries, most notably with the addition of Nicki Thiim to the #98 Northwest in replacement of Augusto Farfus alongside Paul Dalla Lana and Marcos Gomes.

The other two full season cars from the TF Sport stable are both expected to field their usual drivers of Satoshi Hoshino, Tomonobu Fujii and Andrew Watson aboard the #777 D’Station car and Ben Keating, Dylan Pereira and Felipe Fraga in the #33 car.

All three cars have enjoyed some success in the opening three rounds of the WEC with podium finishes for the #33 at Spa and the #98 and #777 most recently at Monza about a month ago. Those results see the #98 car sitting in P3 in the Am Drivers Championship table with the #33 and #777 following each other P6 and P7 respectively so the additional points of the 24 Hour will come in handy for any of these teams before the Championship concludes later this year with a double header in Bahrain.

These three cars will also be joined by #95 TF Sport European Le Mans AMR Vantage GTE entry of (recently married) John Hartshorne, Ollie Hancock and Ross Gunn.

Completing a four car being run out of the TF Sport team next week will be the #95 AMR Vantage GT3 of Oman Racing’s Ahmad Al Harthy and 2020 GT4 America Champion Michael Dinan. Not the first time the Omani driver has raced at the French circuit (having won previous rounds of the Series at this event), this race sees the first time the young American will have raced under ACO rules having recently branched out from his GT World Challenge America commitments to that of the GT Open Series with both TF Sport in an AMR Vantage GT3 but also with Kessell Racing with a Ferrari 488 GT3.

Once we get to the race weekend and the Qualifying sessions before them, we understand that all sessions will be live streamed on the respective series social media channels.

Photo credits – WEC / Teams / JMB Classics



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