Aston Martin reunites WEC champions for Spa 24 Hours Pro entry

Reigning FIA World Endurance Championship GTE Pro title winners Nicki Thiim and Marco Sorensen will contest this year's Spa 24 Hours in an all-factory Aston Martin driver line-up. 

Aston Martin reunites WEC champions for Spa 24 Hours Pro entry

The Danish duo will race in the blue riband round of the GT World Challenge Europe Endurance Cup on 31 July 31-1 August along with fellow works driver Ross Gunn at the wheel of an Aston Martin Vantage GT3 fielded under the Garage 59 banner. 

The Belgian enduro will be Thiim and Sorensen's first race together since Aston Martin axed its factory assault on the WEC at the end of a 2019/20 campaign in which it also claimed the GTE manufacturers' crown.

The Garage 59 customer team is collaborating with the Aston Martin Racing works set-up to run the Pro class entry alongside its pair of regular GTWCE cars, which take part in the Silver and Pro-Am Cup categories. 

AMR managing director John Gaw told Autosport: "We were definitely pushing hard to do it and were looking for a partner. We were talking to others, but it made sense to do it with Garage 59 because it's already competing in the series.

"Running a Pro car with works drivers at Spa is more evidence of AMR’s evolution from a factory programme to a fully-integrated customer operation that has the ability to support its customers not just with drivers, but also personnel, technical back-up and world championship- winning experience."

Gaw confirmed that the car raced by Thiim, Sorensen and Gunn will be loaned to Garage 59 by AMR, but stressed that "like all the teams racing at Spa with Aston it will be receiving help and support from us in all areas". 

#188 Garage 59 Aston Martin Vantage AMR GT3: Alexander West, Jonathan Adam, Chris Goodwin

#188 Garage 59 Aston Martin Vantage AMR GT3: Alexander West, Jonathan Adam, Chris Goodwin

Photo by: SRO

Thiim said he was "happy to be returning to contest one of the biggest GT3 races on the planet" with Aston Martin.

Sorensen added: “I'm really looking forward to going racing again at Spa. To have the shot at an overall win in one of the big GT endurance races is a great opportunity, so I have to say thanks to Garage 59 and Aston Martin. 

"With Ross joining the ‘Dane Train’ we make a pretty strong line-up and the Vantage definitely has the potential to fight at the front."

Aston Martin has never managed to finish in the top six at the Spa enduro, which is now also a round of the Intercontinental GT Challenge, since the start of the GT3 era in 2011. Its best result came in 2011, when the French Hexis team finished eighth with the DBRS9.

Gaw didn't rule out further high-level collaborations between AMR and its customers in the future, adding: "We have a lot of resources that we can offer teams and there are other big GT3 races out there."

He suggested that there could be "further announcements through the summer".

Garage 59's regular GTWCE entries will be raced by their full-season driver line-ups at Spa. Reigning class champions Chris Goodwin and Alexander West are driving the Pro-Am car with Aston factory driver Jonny Adam. The Silver Cup car is raced by AMR Academy graduate Valentin Hasse-Clot, Alex MacDowall and Nicolai Kjaergaard. 

A fourth driver will be named to join each combination at a later date.

shares
comments
Paul Ricard GTWCE: GPX Porsche beats FFF Racing Lamborghini late on
Previous article

Paul Ricard GTWCE: GPX Porsche beats FFF Racing Lamborghini late on

Next article

McLaren F1 team boss Brown to race GT4 car for United Autosports

McLaren F1 team boss Brown to race GT4 car for United Autosports
Load comments
The ex-IndyCar racer in "uncharted territory" of British GT team ownership Plus

The ex-IndyCar racer in "uncharted territory" of British GT team ownership

This weekend’s British GT finale will be a tense title showdown for some but, for those not in the championship fight, it’s a chance to end a challenging year on a high. In the latter camp is Paddock Motorsport's team owner Martin Plowman, whose 2021 season has been a rollercoaster ride of non-stop learning

National
Oct 15, 2021
The unpopular BMW stalwart built for the big occasion Plus

The unpopular BMW stalwart built for the big occasion

It has won most of the big prizes in endurance racing across its six years in service, but the BMW M6 GT3's key weaknesses meant only a devoted few teams persisted with running it. As it prepares to bow out at season's end, the teams and drivers involved in its story share the secrets of an unpopular winner

GT
Oct 7, 2021
The unwanted GT car that changed sportscar racing forever Plus

The unwanted GT car that changed sportscar racing forever

Had FIA GT boss Stephane Ratel had his way, the Maserati MC12 would never have been allowed to set foot in his series. It duly proved the class of the field that most had expected, but the Balance of Performance that its superiority spawned would keep GT1 battles tight and bring long-term benefits that sportscar racing enjoys today

GT
Sep 21, 2021
Why Britain's greatest sportscar was eclipsed on the world stage Plus

Why Britain's greatest sportscar was eclipsed on the world stage

The E-Type may be the most famous of all road-going Jaguars, but that didn't always translate into success on the track. After winning on its competition debut in 1961, motorsport success seemed an inevitability, but things didn’t turn out to be quite that straightforward

GT
Aug 6, 2021
Why the Jaguar E-type remains special at 60 Plus

Why the Jaguar E-type remains special at 60

It’s 60 years since the Jaguar E-type arrived and caused a sensation. As our resident racer Ben Anderson discovered when he got behind the wheel of two special racing versions at Brands Hatch, the thrill of driving them hasn't diminished over time

GT
Jul 31, 2021
The rise of a GT squad responsible for a unique 24-hour racing feat Plus

The rise of a GT squad responsible for a unique 24-hour racing feat

It's a significant achievement to win one 24-hour race in a year, let alone two, and with different manufacturers, but that's exactly what ROWE Racing did in 2020 at the Nurburgring and Spa. This weekend's German classic offers the DTM newcomer a chance of another unique double to add to its growing collection of accolades

GT
Jun 3, 2021
The new threat facing motorsport's greatest success story Plus

The new threat facing motorsport's greatest success story

The manufacturers were unconvinced – and even hostile – when Stephane Ratel launched GT3 in 2006. Now, 15 years on from its debut, they’ve sold more than 2000 cars and counting, but its continued expansion puts the increasingly globalised category at risk of losing its roots

GT
May 25, 2021
The Lamborghini teams plotting to stop a RAM raid on British GT Plus

The Lamborghini teams plotting to stop a RAM raid on British GT

With the Silver pairings that dominated 2020 now banned, Mercedes pair Yelmer Buurman and Ian Loggie could be in the box seat after winning last year's Pro-Am crown. But a swarm of Lamborghinis, with the defending outright champion among them, will ensure they face tough opposition

GT
May 21, 2021