ASTON MARTIN RACING RELISHING ‘SUPER SEASON’
A new race car, new drivers and a new challenge for Aston Martin Racing
it’s all change for this year’s World endurance championship. the most significant difference is the adoption of a radical new calendar that has the le Mans 24 hours as its season finale.
the mid-june date of the iconic endurance classic hasn’t changed, but everything else has been re-shuffled. the result is a one-off, transitional ‘super season’, commencing with the six hours of spa-francorchamps in May 2018 and finishing in June 2019 at le Mans.
the observant among you will notice that this means two visits to both spa and le Mans in one season. Wec’s organisers have also added sebring to the calendar for the first time since 2012, and shifted silverstone’s traditional season-opening slot in april to august – the new firstround slot once the 2018/19 super season has been completed.
there’s another piece of momentous non-aston Martin-related news regarding Wec, and that’s the participation of Fernando alonso in toyota’s lmp1 team. having a current F1 driver, double F1 World champion and one of the greatest drivers of his (or any other) generation is a huge coup for the Wec, even if a calendar clash with the austin grand prix meant Wec took the controversial decision to shift the date of the six hours of Fuji so that alonso didn’t have to miss a race.
Bigger news for aston Martin fans is the competition debut of the all-new Vantage gte. Based on aston’s pugilistic new road car, the long-awaited replacement for amr’s old war-horse features a Mercedesamg-derived twin-turbo V8, dramatic aerodynamics and a sulphurous new colour scheme. early indications from amr’s driver line-up (regulars turner, adam, thiim and sørensen joined by newcomers alex lynn and Maxime Martin) suggest it will more than take the fight to the gte class opposition, which has been bolstered by the arrival of a factory BMW entry. With formidable entries also from chevrolet, Ford and porsche, the battle for gte honours looks mouthwatering.
IF YOU FOLLOW aston’s exploits in the British gt championship, then you’ll be thrilled to learn that amr is mounting a concerted effort to win the title by placing both Darren turner and Jonny adam with amr customer teams.
Dt will be partnering andrew howard – owner of the Beechdean amr team and Bgt champion in 2013 and 2015 – with whom he made his only previous Bgt appearance, sharing a Dbrs9 in 2010. adam – the only driver to successfully defend a British gt3 title and win back-toback championships with different teams – will be joining optimum Motorsport, partnering Flick haigh. Both Beechdean and optimum will be running the venerable V12 Vantage gt3 in what is likely to be its last frontline season before being replaced by a gt3 derivative of this year’s new Vantage gte in 2019.
Can the new V8 Vantage gte win in its debut season? Will the old V12 Vantage gt3 go out in the best possible style? We very much look forward to finding out.
2018/19 WEC ‘Super Season’ Round 1: May 5, 2018 (six hours of spa-francorchamps) Round 2: June 16-17 (24 hours of le Mans) Round 3: Aug 19 (six hours of silverstone) Round 4: Oct 21 (six hours of Fuji) Round 5: Nov 18 (six hours of shanghai) Round 6: March 16-17, 2019 (1500 Miles of sebring) Round 7: May 4, 2019 (six hours of spa-francorchamps) Round 8: June 15-16, 2019 (24 hours of le Mans)
2018 British GT Championship Round 1: Mar 31-Apr 2 (oulton park) Round 2: Apr 28-29 (rockingham) Round 3: May 26-27 (snetterton) Round 4: June 9-10 (silverstone) Round 5: July 21-22 (spa-francorchamps) Round 6: Aug 4-5 (Brands hatch) Round 7: Sept 22-23 (Donington park)