FOUR ASTON MARTIN Vantages will race in the 24 Hours of Le Mans endurance race this weekend in an attempt to defend last year’s class wins.
Last year saw the TF Sport team take an Aston to victory in the LMGTE Amateur class, while Aston Martin Racing won the LMGTE Pro category.
With no Aston Martin works team in the race this year, it’ll be down to privateers NorthWest AMR, TF Sport and Japanese team D’Station Racing to defend the Vantage’s honour.
TF Sport brings two cars to this year’s event with the all-new line-up of American Ben Keating, Luxembourg’s Dylan Pereira and the Brazilian Felipe Fraga. The team’s second car will be driven by the all-British crew of John Hartshorne, Ollie Hancock and Aston Martin works driver Ross Gunn.
TF Sport will be assisting D’Station Racing in the team’s first Le Mans outing. D’Station currently competes in the Super Taikyu Championship, a Japanese endurance series.
D’Station will be fielding a team consisting of two Japanese drivers, the Super Taikyu leaders, Satoshi Hoshino and Tomonobu Fujii, as well as British GT driver, Andrew Watson.
The D’Station trio recently placed third in a World Endurance Championship event at Monza following a battle with NorthWest AMR.
NorthWest’s Le Mans attempt will be headed by Canadian businessman, team owner and driver, Paul Dalla Lana. He’ll be joined by his racing partner, Brazil’s Marcos Gomes, and Dane, Nicki Thiim.
This year will be Dalla Lana’s ninth time competing in an Aston Martin at Le Mans, his highest achievement thus far being a 26th place – sixth in class – in 2014. He did, however, win the GTE Am World Championship in 2017 with Aston Martin Racing, and a win at Le Mans would be the culmination of a life-long ambition.
Gomes and Dalla Lana are currently placed second in the FIA World Endurance Championship and are fresh from a recent second place at Monza. Thiim is the 2019-2020 World Endurance Champion.
Aston Martin’s Vantage GTE has thus far been a competitive GT racer. Developed in tandem with the Vantage road car and using a tuned version of the same car’s Mercedes-AMG engine, it won the World Endurance Championship manufacturer’s title in 2019-2020 for Aston Martin Racing and took TF Sport to second place in the LMGTE Amateur category in the same season.
The Vantage’s main class rivals include Ferraris and Porsches with 488 GTEs and 911 RSRs both taking on the Astons at Le Mans last year and, currently, in the various endurance series.
The 24 Hours of Le Mans normally takes place in June, but has been pushed back to the weekend of August 21 and 22 due to the Covid pandemic. The race starts at 3pm on Saturday.
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