Cars have finally arrived and now all systems go for the AMR teams in Qatar

Sunday, February 25, 2024


Up to four days of enforced sabbatical in Doha, and the first race is already underway for both the Heart of Racing and D’Station Racing teams as they now rush to prepare their new Aston Martin Racing Vantage LMGT3 cars for track action.

Originally scheduled to take place this weekend, the FIA World Endurance Championship were forced to delay their season opening Prologue test at the Lusail International Circuit in Qatar when it became obvious that many team’s cars and equipment will not arrive in time.

That enforced a delay with the Prologue until early next week and an early morning arrival of their missing shipping containers at the circuit has led to an early start for both teams.

Whilst the Heart of Racing will have run the new 2024 Vantage GT3 (in its IMSA GTD format) at the Rolex 24 earlier this year, this will be the first public running of the ACO LMGT3 variant of the new car and so (especially within the Japanese D’Station Racing team) there will be a whole new lot of ‘new’ going into this year’s WEC operation what with a new car, new drivers, fresh engineering support at what is for the WEC – a new venue!!

The #27 Heart of Racing team head the eighteen strong LMGT3 class by numerical entry number only with the American team returning with their 2023 driver crew again in Ian James, Daniel Mancinelli and Alex Riberas.

The #777 D’Station Racing team, however, see a complete change as Frenchmen Clement Mateu, Erwan Bastard and Marco Sorensen now make up the driver crew of that entry as team boss Satoshi Hoshino reserves himself for the Le Mans 24 entry and Tomonobu Fujii moves back to in team management role at the circuit.

New cars – new class format means for a new Balance of Performance process within the WEC and whilst that data has already been confirmed by the series, we will just have to wait to see just how that pans out in race format.

Due to these enforced delays, the Prologue timetable will now run to a format of scrutineering and other mandatory safety procedures today (Sunday) before moving into two available track sessions tomorrow (ranging between 210 and 180 minutes in length) before concluding with a final 240-minute session tomorrow. After that – the teams will be preparing themselves for the opening 1812km race next weekend.

Photo credits – Teams / social media
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