Beechdean call it time on their 2022 GT World Challenge Europe Endurance Cup adventures

Saturday, August 27, 2022


Somewhat inevitable but still sad reading yesterday of Beechdean’s eventual decision to call it a day on their 2022 GT World Challenge Europe Endurance Cup yesterday for their two Aston Martin Racing Vantage GT3’s.

Having stepped away from the headline European GT3 series for a couple of years, Andrew Howard’s team was called upon to represent the AMR marque within this Series after the surprise change in allegiances with the Garage 59 from AMR to McLaren over the winter. 

Also, and having used to run just a solo car for much of their racing over recent years, the addition of a full Pro line up was also to be admired with the best factory drivers that Aston Martin can muster competing alongside the effective Pro-Am entry for Howard as he stepped back up from the British GT Championship to the European based series.

The GTWCE season then wasn’t terribly kind to the team either with an effective ‘own goal’ pit calling error denying the #95 car a possible stab at the podium together with a terminal gear box issue for their Gold Cup #97 entry at the opening round at Imola. Then there was a significant Free Practice crash for the #97 car later at Paul Ricard which, despite a herculean effort to repair the car ready for the race on Le Mans 24 build up week, the eventual damage was not realised until the Spa 24 test days which resulted in a whole new chassis being needed for the 24Hr.

Then during the Spa 24Hr itself saw the #97 (then Silver Cup competing car) barged out of both contention and the race during the first few hours before the (now very competitive) #97 was also spun out of the lead pack during the latter stages of the race too.

These results and the team communication probably all but sealed the fate the teams continued participation within the Endurance Cup as, although Howard’s business commitments are again stated as the reason, saw both cars at the wrong end of the tables, running a poor balance of performance window considering financial resources effectively better spent elsewhere as a result.

“Of course, it’s disappointing to end our GT World Challenge Europe programme early, but ultimately the work commitments that kept me from driving #97 at Spa are still in play, making it impossible for me to return to the seat, as planned. It didn’t seem prudent to continue as a one-car team for the final two races, so #95 will not race at Hockenheim or Barcelona either” Howard was quoted as saying within his team’s new post.

On a positive note, to end however, the team did go on to confirm that Howard will now be competing at the final round of the British GT Championship from Donnington Park in October with a (yet) undetermined co-driver as both the FFSA GT4 and Le Mans Cup schedules will keep both Valentin Hasse-Clot and Theo Nouet away from the team at their own season finales.

Sad news indeed, but at least there is always another day……………...!!

Photo credits – Drew Gibson / Kelvin Pope
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