Last weekends final roundup of events

Tuesday, May 14, 2024


A GT3 and a GT4 series completed the global racing action as far as Aston Martin Racing and their customer and partner teams were concerned last weekend as the GT World Challenge Asia ran their second round of the season from the Chang International in Thailand and the IMSA Michelin Pilot Challenge Series from the Weathertech Raceway Laguna Seca in the USA.

At Chang, it was the return of the #777 D’Station Racing AMR Vantage GT3 of Satoshi Hoshino and Tomonobu Fujii as well as the solo driven #8 Earl Bamber Motorsport of Setiawan Santosa amongst the thirty-three runners.

The opening races to the season at Sepang gave some hope that the new 2024 Vantage GT3 was a competitive package within the multi-national field as the #777 scored a P4 finish in race 1 before a P8 finish in class in race 2.

Two arduous races within the heat of Thailand saw the Japanese crew eventually finish their two races with a best result of P7 in class at the end of race two whilst Santosa again finished at the rear of his four strong Am Class.

The series now moves onto three consecutive rounds within Japan as part of their Japan Cup series before seeing out the season in China in September.

Then over in California, the IMSA sanctioned Michelin Pilot Challenge ran was running its third round of their 2024 season after rounds at both Daytona and Sebring.

This time featuring six Aston Martin Racing Vantage GT4’s amongst its thirty-seven GS and TCR based entry list, this round saw the return of the #16 Skip Barber Racing AMR Ken Fukuda and Will Lambros for the first time since their ill-fated race debut together at the season opener at Daytona.

Other than that, we welcomed back the usual full season protagonists from each of the Van Der Steur, Team TGM, Rebel Rock and Archangel racing stables with still the #71 Rebel Rock car of Robin Liddell and Frank DePew being the only runners of the new 2024 Vantage GT4.

Thanks also to Valentin Hasse-Clot otherwise engaged in Europe on World Endurance Championship duties with the D’Station Racing team, his seat within the #19 Van Der Steur car alongside that of Rory Van Der Steur was taken up by the talented Alex Premat. That new partnership helped the #19 car to qualify the highest Aston Martin in P5 for Saturday’s two-hour race.

By the end of that, we had sadly seen an early demise again of the #16 Skip Barber car but both the #19 and #46 Team TGM car of Paul Bolton (again deputising for the recuperating Owen Trinkler) and Matt Plumb came home line astern in GS to claim P5 and P6 respectively for some more valuable championship points.

The #71 Rebel Rock crew recovered from their P24 qualifying position to finish P12 whilst the #88 Archangel car of Todd Coleman and Aaron Telitz eventually finished this time in tenth and the #64 Team TGM of Ted Giovanis and High Plumb in P20.

The Michelin Pilot Challenge now have another break before their next round at Mid-Ohio in early June.

Photo credits – Teams / Series / social media
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