There should be a flash banner here. There are 2 main reasons why you may not be able to see it:
  • You do not have the required version of Flash MX installed (v8.0+) in your browser
  • JavaScript is disabled in your browser
Dunlop Le Mans

Aston Martin Racing Launches 2013 FIA WEC Programme

Four New Cars, Five New Drivers, Game On

The release last week of the FIA WEC and Le Mans 24 Hours entry lists had already confirmed that the soundbite that the DSC Editor got from Aston Martin Racing's John Gaw as far back as the Interlagos round of the 2012 WEC, that the factory team might field as many as four cars in 2013 was actually going to come to pass.

The content of the programme though takes an already impressive achievement by the Banbury based team to a higher level still.

The factory cars will contest both the GTE Pro and GTE Am classes and the driver squads are of very high quality indeed.

The first two cars are already complete with the car unveiled at Aston Martin's Park Lane showroom bound for the wind tunnel before a 32 hour test at Portimao next week and a second car already bound for the USA ahead of a test programme which takes in further aero work, a private test at Road Atlanta, a two car entry at the 12 Hours of Sebring and a post race test at Sebring too.

Whilst that early season testing is underway the second pair of cars will be completed - All four are new build with a pair constructed to 2012 spec for the GTE Am effort and a pair of heavily revised cars for the Pro teams.

More in a short while about the revisions to the 2013 car but first the driver squads.

#94 GTE Am

Stuart Hall's name had appeared against a fifth AMR car as first reserve at the Le Mans 24 Hours and, as expected he would be confirmed in one of the Am cars together with regular driving partner, the ever keen Roald Goethe.

The addition of Jamie Campbell Walter to that line-up for Spa and Le Mans was though a very pleasant surprise, JCW was clearly delighted at the prospect of a competitive run in a fast and reliable factory car, the Am car remeber is to the same spec as the car which won the 2012 WEC GTE Pro class at the final race of the year at Shanghai.

#95 GTE Am

The second Am car was, again as expected a full season reprise for the Le Mans only all Danish line up of Christoffer Nygaard, Alan Simonsen and Kristian Poulsen.  Simonsen and Poulsen are both on 12 Hours of Bathurst duty this weekend so Nygaard was the only representative of the # car on parade.

#97 GTE Pro

We had expected Darren Turner and Stefan Mucke to be retained after a fine season for the pair in 2012.  It was a pleasant surprise though to find that Peter Dumbreck has been selected to join the veteran pair in the car

#99 GTE Pro

We'd gathered that the very highly rated Fred Makowiecki was likely to be announced as a full season addition to the squad too so seeing him in a team shirt was no major shock.

His team-mates though were both a surprise. 

Rob Bell joins the car for Spa and Le Mans and has been released for those races by his McLaren GT employers, details of his 2013 race programme aboard the MP 4/12C GT3 will be released soon.

Bruno Senna returns to sportscars for his first GT racing experience after a disappointing spell in Formula One.  His previous sojourn in endurance racing saw him exhibit impressive pace in the Oreca 01 LMP1 car in 2009.

Reserve Drivers

Another surprise was the naming of two AMR Reserve Drivers with Beechdean AMR regular Jonny Adam and F2 graduate Danny McKenzie, both will race with Andrew Howard in the Beechdean V12 Vantage GT3 in the Blancpain Endurance Series with Adam also joining the Team Boss for a full season of British GT.  The trio will be joined by a factory driver for the Spa 24 Hours.

John Gaw rattled through a number of important aspects of the programme including g the very welcome news that the teams sponsors have all returned for 2013, including Gulf whose iconic colours will adorn all four factory Vantage GTEs.

A new three year comitment from Gulf will take the relationship with AMR to a record equalling 8 years matching the length of link previously enjoyed by McLaren.  Hackett too have re-signed, and have increased their commitment too.

The team are clearly looking forward to some great racing in 2013 with Gaw highlighting the challenge likely to come from the now factory run Porsches and the revised Ferraris too, with no fewer than ten factory backed or entered GTE Pro cars set to contest the Le Mans 24 Hours.

David Richards was clearly delighted with the opportunity to celebrate Aston Martin's centenary year with the factory team looking to have every prospect of racing success.  His response to a question about the remarkable turnaround at AMR since the AMR One fiasco was a simple one:

“I think to really enjoy the very good times you have to have experienced the real down times and learned from them.. We’ve done all of that and now we have a programme that the whole team are confident about and can be proud of.”

More on the AMR programme and on the 2013 spec Vantage GTE later today.