A BoP change for the Aston Martin as we welcome Heart of Racing to the WEC this weekend

Wednesday, April 26, 2023


The third round of the World Endurance Championship takes place this weekend around the iconic circuit of Spa Francorchamps in Belgium only two weeks after the previous round in Portimao.

What’s changed since then has obviously been fairly monumental within the Aston Martin Racing powered camp after Paul Dalla Lana announced his retirement from the WEC and motor racing in general immediately after the Portimao round and with immediate effect.

A longstanding customer of not only Aston Martin Racing but also the WEC, the loss of the Canadian businessman was on one hand a surprise but on the other – not, seeing just how poorly the AMR Vantage GTE has performed within the Championship up until now. With no points on the board after two rounds for the #98 Northwest car that he shared with Nikki Thiim and Axcil Jefferies, the rationale in continuing within a season that is clearly not going to deliver him another WEC GTE Am Drivers Championship was clearly not justifiable.

Like others, we thank Dalla Lana for all his racing endeavours over recent years both with and without Aston Martin Racing and we wish him well in his racing retirement.

That said, all was clearly not lost as within the intervening period had the American Heart of Racing step up to the mantle to take over the WEC entry granted to the #98 Northwest car for the remainder of the 2023 season.

Having had to ship the #98 car back to the Prodrive facility in the UK to repair damage sustained in Portugal also gave the team the time and privacy to rebrand the car into the colours normally associated with the Heart of Racing team ready for their drivers – Ian James, Alex Riberas and Daniel Mancinelli to take their first WEC start on Saturday.

They of course join the two TF Sport prepared entries for the #777 D’Station Racing and #25 ORT with TF Sport AMR Vantage GTE teams as crews Satoshi Hoshino, Tomonobu Fujii and Casper Stevenson within the #777 and Ahmad Al Harthy, Michael Dinan and Charlie Eastwood within the #25 all hope for an increase in performance for the Vantage GTE from this round in.

News from the WEC technical committee over recent hours do in fact confirm an increase for the Vantage GTE of not only an additional litre of fuel (from 88 to 89 litres) but also a boost increase across the range in the attempt to bring the car back in contention with its peers having been so underwhelming in the previous two in comparison.

We will make our own way to the circuit tomorrow so will hopefully be in a position to bring you more details on all of the above.

Photo credits – Teams / WEC / A Lofthouse / D Gibson
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