Late changes within the #97 Beechdean AMR ahead of this weeks Spa 24

Monday, July 25, 2022

That was something of a bizarre newsflash from the Beechdean AMR team that hit our doormat this morning, confirming the change in driver line up and indeed class for their #97 Aston Martin Racing Vantage GT3 that will run in this weekend’s TotalEnergies 24Hours of Spa.

Like many, we read with interest the reasoning behind the change citing the continuous workload back home for Team Principal Andrew Howard, etc and how that impacted within their full season Gold Cup line up of himself with Frenchmen Valentin Hasse-Clot and Theo Nouet going into this next round of the GT World Challenge Europe Endurance Cup Series.

The first question we asked ourselves was why now? – why announce that change of plan just a couple of days before many of the cars entered were due to hit the racetrack of Spa Francorchamps for the first time in the Bronze Driver test tomorrow?

Casting our mind back to when this dual AMR Vantage GT3 GT World Challenge Europe Endurance Cup programme was first announced, we were more surprised that it included Andrew Howard at all considering comments he had made to us in the past concerning his last involvement in both the Spa 24 and the series. Obviously, everybody is allowed to change their minds but to go through the Spa test days and leave things till now to confirm is just a bit ‘odd’ in our opinion!

Anyway, what’s done is done and the #97 Beechdean AMR car is now confirmed as a Silver Cup entry which sadly means more heartache for Hasse-Clot as he misses out as well being a Gold ranked driver but what a great learning experience for his teammate and countryman Nouet who gets to race in the Spa 24 with the team.

The #97 was being joined by Heart of Racing’s IMSA Sprint Cup GTD Champion Roman De Angelis anyway so Howards departure will now be filled with the arrival of both Silver ranked drivers from the respective Northwest AMR and D’Station Racing’s World endurance Championship programme in David Pittard and Charlie Fagg respectively.

The team’s #95 Pro effort of Nicki Thiim, Marco Sorenson and Maxime Martin remains unchanged making for two very incognito AMR works team entries into the Spa 24 - but wearing Beechdean clothing!

Finally, we take our metaphoric hat off to Hasse-Clot who has just experienced what should have been a double FFSA GT4 Class podium at Spa last weekend had it not been for a glaring team error in race one to then accept and report this news and still hold the highest levels of integrity and professionalism!

Photo credits – Team / GTWCE / D Gibson

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