Aston Martin will return to the Pro class of the Fanatec GT World Series Endurance Cup for the first time since 2019, as Beechdean AMR today announced its two-car Aston Martin Vantage GT3 assault on the world’s premier all-GT racing competition in 2022.
As Aston Martin Racing’s longest-serving partner team, Beechdean AMR has extended and expanded its collaboration with the British ultra-luxury sportscar manufacturer this year, with a return to fulltime top-flight international competition and fielding an all-works driver line-up in its Pro class Vantage.
This is the first time an Aston Martin has featured an all-works line-up in the top class of the SRO-run series for a full season, and marks a clear statement of intent for a car that has won races at every other significant level of GT racing around the world.
In a return for the famous ‘Dane Train’ #95 Vantage, double FIA World Endurance GT champions Nicki Thiim (DEN) and Marco Sørensen (DEN) will partner up once again for a crack at the GTWC Endurance Cup title as well as target an overall win in the series’ crown jewel – the Total 24 Hours of Spa. Thiim already has a Spa 24H victory to his name, having won the Pro-Am class with TF Sport in 2019. They will be joined by another works driver and the winner of the 2016 event, Maxime Martin (BEL), who also claimed victory in the 24 Hours of Le Mans for Aston Martin in 2020.
In the Pro-Am Gold Cup, team principal, two-time British GT champion and 2016 European Le Mans Series title-winner Andrew Howard (GBR) makes a return to the international arena. Alongside him in the #97 Vantage GT3 and completing a strong line-up, is newly-confirmed Aston Martin works driver Valentin-Hasse Clot (FRA), and his 2020 GT4 European Silver Cup championship-winning team-mate Theo Nouet (FRA).
Hasse-Clot has extensive experience of Vantage, having been an ever-present in Aston Martin partner team line-ups since 2020 at both GT3 and GT4 level, and won the 2021 FFSA GT Silver Cup to add his GT4 European title the previous year. The 26-year-old Parisian also graduated top of class from Aston Martin’s coveted in-house AMR Academy in 2020, following in the footsteps of fellow champions Ross Gunn and Tom Canning.
Andrew Howard, Beechdean AMR team principal, said:
As Aston Martin Racing’s longest-serving partner team, Beechdean AMR has a proud track record of success with Vantage. For me personally, it’s a brand I have always regarded with a strong passion, and this deep emotional tie combined with the ambitions of our team have culminated in Beechdean AMR stepping into the GTWC Endurance Cup. This is the beginning of a new chapter, and together with the help and collaboration of Aston Martin, we intend to demonstrate the full potential of Vantage in the world’s most competitive GT series.
Huw Tasker, Head of AMR Partner Racing, said:
The GTWC is very much unfinished business for Aston Martin, and while we have had competitive Pro entries in the series previously, for one reason or another, Vantage has not always enjoyed the success it deserves. With Beechdean AMR, and a superb driver line-up in both cars, we hope and expect to see a step forward in terms of consistent competitiveness and results. Beechdean AMR is our longest-serving partner and one we have always enjoyed close ties with, so we will of course support the team’s endeavours in any way that we can to ensure that Vantage establishes itself firmly as a competitive option in the world’s most highly-contested GT division.
The five-round GTWC Endurance Cup begins this weekend with a three-hour race at Imola in Italy on 3 April, before moving on to the Paul Ricard 1000km race in the south of France on 5 June. The TotalEnergies 24 Hours of Spa follows on the weekend of 30-31 July. Germany’s Hockenheim has been added to the calendar for a three-hour race on 2-4 September before the traditional season finale at Barcelona on 2 October.
Note: Press release courtesy of Aston Martin Racing.