A fleet of Vantage GT3s and GT4s will charge into action across Europe this weekend, as Aston Martin Racing partner teams begin their 2021 campaigns in the Fanatec GT World Challenge (GTWC) Europe and GT4 European series at Monza (Italy), and the European Le Mans Series (ELMS) at the Circuit de Catalunya (Spain). Meanwhile in Germany, the first round of the delayed Nürburgring Langstrecken Serie (NLS) will take place on the fearsome Nordschleife.
Reigning GTWC Europe Endurance Cup Pro-Am champion team Garage 59, and its drivers Alexander West (SWE), Chris Goodwin (GBR) and works AMR driver Jonny Adam (GBR), will defend their crown in 2021. They will be joined in the race by the Silver Class entry of a second Vantage GT3 for Aston Martin Racing Academy winner Valentin Hasse-Clot (FRA), Nicolai Kjærgaard (DNK) and Alex MacDowall (GBR). The team is also extending its programme to include the GTWC Europe Sprint events for the first time, with Adam and West sharing in Pro-Am and Kjærgaard joined by Tuomas Tujula (FIN) in the Silver class. The first Sprint event takes place at Magny Cours (France) on the 7-9 May.
The GT4 European Series features no less than six Aston Martin Vantage GT4s, following the car’s astonishing multiple championship success in the category in 2020. The team responsible for this – AGS Events Racing – returns with three entries and a strong driver line-up including the reigning Am Drivers’ champion Nicolas Gomar (FRA) and new co-driver Eric Herr (FRA). Also confirmed in the team are Konstantin Lachenauer (CHE), Cèzar Gazeau (FRA), Hugo Condé (FRA) and Akhil Rabindra (GBR).
New to AMR this year is Mirage Racing. The French team has entered a Vantage GT4 in the Silver Cup class for AMR Academy graduate and 2019 British GT4 champion Tom Canning (GBR) alongside Ruben del Sarte (GBR). Another new Aston Martin team – Racing One – has entered the Am class with Henrik Lyngbye Pedersen (DNK) and Markus Lungstrass (DEU). Finally, Street Art Racing returns after a year away with Pascal Bachmann (CHE) and Paul Theysgens (BEL).
Meanwhile, in Spain, the 2020 24 Hours of Le Mans GTE Am winner TF Sport returns to the ELMS to begin an assault on the six-round European Le Mans Series. The four-hour race on Barcelona’s grand prix circuit on Sunday marks TF Sport’s first race in the category since 2017, where it finished second in the LM GTE standings with Nicki Thiim (DNK) and Salih Yoluc (TUR).
This time around the team is calling on works driver Ross Gunn (GB) to join compatriots John Hartshorne and Ollie Hancock in the Vantage GTE, as they target a place on the 2022 24 Hours of Le Mans grid.
Aston Martin is an ever-present when it comes to the Nürburgring Nordschleife, and this year is no different as our partner team PROsport Racing takes on the SP10 class of the NLS with its Vantage GT4 and drivers Alexander Walker (CHE) and Guido Dumarey (BEL).
David King, President of Aston Martin Racing, said: “This is an important weekend for Aston Martin Racing’s partners as the bulk of the European GT racing season begins, and we’re proud to say that Vantage will play a significant role right at the heart of it. After last year’s title successes in GT3 and GT4, it’s great to see those champion teams return to defend their titles and for new ones to join the ranks to challenge them. The proliferation of Vantage GT4 cars is particularly satisfying, as this is the entry point to GT racing, and the car’s outstanding results record is drawing new and returning teams back to the brand.
“At the top of the GT categories, the Vantage GTE is the reigning World Endurance Champion and TF Sport are the 2020 Le Mans GTE Am class winners, so I’m quite certain that they know how to extract the maximum potential from that car in the ELMS at Barcelona this weekend. Good luck to all our partner teams and drivers!”
The opening round of the Fanatec GTWC Europe begins at 1500 CET (+1 Hour GMT), on Sunday, 18 April. Meanwhile the two GT4 European Series races start at 1725 CET, Saturday, 17 April, and 1310 CET, Sunday 18 April.
In Spain, the ELMS 4 Hours of Barcelona, starts at 1100 CET on Sunday, 18 April, while the NLS race starts at 1200 CET on Saturday, 17 April. All these events can be watched live on the corresponding official championship YouTube channels.
Source. Aston Martin