Aston Martin renews its WEC commitment with fully-funded programme

Aston Martin has increased the backing for its Prodrive-run World Endurance Championship squad at the same time as making a five-year commitment to the series

Aston Martin renews its WEC commitment with fully-funded programme

The two entries fielded in the GTE Pro class by Aston Martin Racing for the defence of its drivers' and teams' crowns in 2017 will be fully-funded by by the British manufacturer.

A spokesman for Aston Martin told Autosport: "We have signed a new agreement with Prodrive that will keep the programme operating for another five years and there has been a change behind the scenes in the way it is operated and funded.

"We now fully support the two Pro cars in the WEC - they are full Aston Martin cars."

AMR had previously funded its racing programmes with backing from commercial partners and sponsors, as well as from Aston Martin.

The increased support follows Nicki Thiim and Marco Sorensen's title success in 2016 and the launch of the first two AMR versions of Aston Martin road cars at this week's Geneva motor show.

The Vantage AMR Pro and the Rapide AMR will be followed by uprated versions of all future Astons that will carry the name of the racing team.

AMR team principal John Gaw explained to Autosport that the new five-year deal also covered Prodrive's customer programmes with GT3 and GT4-spec Astons.

"We are delighted to be chosen to continue with Aston Martin as their motorsport partner," he said.

"And we're looking forward to competing against the best in the WEC with increased resources."



The five-year commitment to the WEC will encompass the replacement of the existing Vantage GTE.

A new Aston road car, which has already been photographed testing, appears set to come on stream in the WEC as early as 2018.

Aston has not confirmed this move or that the new car will keep the Vantage name.

Reigning champions Thiim and Sorensen will drive one car in 2017, while Aston stalwart Darren Turner and Jonny Adam will share the other.

Team regular Richie Stanaway and Daniel Serra, who is a test driver for AMR tyre supplier Dunlop, are expected to fill the third seats for the Le Mans 24 Hours and the opening two WEC rounds at Silversone and Spa.

A GTE Am class entry for Pedro Lamy, Mathias Lauda and Paul dalla Lana will again be run by AMR on a customer basis.

Prodrive began its relationship with Aston ahead of the 2005 season.

AMR's successes include back-to-back victories in the GT1 class at the Le Mans 24 Hours in 2007-08.

shares
comments
Porsche adds Estre to World Endurance Championship GTE line-up
Previous article

Porsche adds Estre to World Endurance Championship GTE line-up

Next article

Penske approached Audi to run LMP1 cars at Le Mans 24 Hours

Penske approached Audi to run LMP1 cars at Le Mans 24 Hours
How Toyota defeated Alpine for the 2022 WEC title Plus

How Toyota defeated Alpine for the 2022 WEC title

Toyota #8 trio Brendon Hartley, Sebastien Buemi and Ryo Hirakawa outscored their rivals in the last season before the World Endurance Championship’s top class gets ultra-competitive. Here's how their Hypercar battle with Alpine and the remaining class tussles played out in LMP2, GTE Pro and GTE Am

WEC
Dec 5, 2022
The long road to convergence for sportscar racing's new golden age Plus

The long road to convergence for sportscar racing's new golden age

The organisers of the World Endurance Championship and IMSA SportsCar Championship worked together to devise the popular new LMDh rule set. But to turn it from an idea into reality, some serious compromises were involved - both from the prospective LMDh entrants and those with existing Le Mans Hypercar projects...

IMSA
Nov 25, 2022
How Porsche's Le Mans legend changed the game Plus

How Porsche's Le Mans legend changed the game

The 956 set the bar at the dawn of Group C 40 years ago, and that mark only rose higher through the 1980s, both in the world championship and in the US. It and its successor, the longer-wheelbase 962, were voted as Autosport's greatest sportscar in 2020 - here's why

WEC
Aug 25, 2022
Why BMW shouldn't be overlooked on its return to prototypes Plus

Why BMW shouldn't be overlooked on its return to prototypes

OPINION: While the focus has been on the exciting prospect of Ferrari vs Porsche at the Le Mans 24 Hours next year, BMW’s factory return to endurance racing should not be ignored. It won't be at the French classic next year as it focuses efforts on the IMSA SportsCar Championship, but could be a dark horse in 2024 when it returns to La Sarthe with the crack WRT squad

Le Mans
Aug 21, 2022
The problem sausage kerbs continue to cause Plus

The problem sausage kerbs continue to cause

Track limits are the problem that motorsport doesn't seem to be able to rid itself of. But the use of so-called 'sausage kerbs' as a deterrent has in several instances only served to worsen the problem, and a growing number of voices want to see action taken

Formula 1
Jul 18, 2022
The history lessons Peugeot should have learned on its return Plus

The history lessons Peugeot should have learned on its return

The Peugeot 9X8 will make its World Endurance Championship debut at Monza this weekend. The French manufacturer has gone radical and will be hoping it doesn’t need to overhaul its contender, as it did with its first Le Mans challenger…

WEC
Jul 8, 2022
Why Peugeot's sportscar return will capture the imagination Plus

Why Peugeot's sportscar return will capture the imagination

OPINION: Peugeot will make its World Endurance Championship debut at Monza this weekend with the 9X8 Le Mans Hypercar that has ignored design conventions by eschewing a rear wing. Its distinctive look will help sportscar racing appeal to fresh audiences as a new golden era is ushered in

WEC
Jul 7, 2022
How Formula E's double-duty drivers influenced their Le Mans teams' fortunes Plus

How Formula E's double-duty drivers influenced their Le Mans teams' fortunes

Eight Formula E drivers made the 7,000-mile sprint from the streets of Jakarta to the fabled Circuit de la Sarthe and every one had a story to share at this year's Le Mans 24 Hours. Despite a range of triumphs and disappointments, each driver doubling up on the day job played a key role in their teams' fortunes

Le Mans
Jun 14, 2022