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Aston to Race in Spa's 24 Hours

Aston Martin has confirmed that it will return to the FIA GT Championship this year with an assault on next month's Spa-Francorchamps 24 Hours race

The two-car effort for the race on July 30-31 will feature only one change from the line-up that raced at Le Mans earlier this month, with Marc Goossens taking the place of Tomas Enge, who is already committed to the Indy Racing League.

Aston Martin's team principal George Howard-Chappell said: "We've always said that 2005 is a test and development year for us and, while we have enjoyed encouraging results in our opening three races, we recognise there is still much to do to make the DBR9 a car capable of consistently winning races.

"Spa will give us an ideal opportunity to build on our promising start."

Goossens said: "I'm delighted to be joining such a world class team - the opportunity to race with a marque such as Aston Martin doesn't come along every day.

"I'm really looking forward to Spa as it is one of my home races and will be a special occasion. I am very positive about the DBR9 - I think the car will suit the Spa circuit and I look forward to racing with a team of drivers with such experience."

The decision to race at Spa has almost certainly been prompted by the team's failure to achieve class success at this year's Le Mans 24 Hours following late race mechanical problems.

Aston Martin has not competed at the Spa-Francorchamps event since 1989, although it does have a history of success at the race including a victory in 1948 for John Horsfall and Leslie Johnson.

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