New Aston Martin Vantage GT3 set for GT World Challenge debut

New Aston Martin Vantage GT3 set for GT World Challenge debut

On both sides of the Atlantic

Eight new Vantage GT3s competing in Fanatec GT World Challenge Powered by AWS events at Paul Ricard and Sonoma Raceway this weekend.
Four new Vantage GT4s enter GT4 European Series as 24 Aston Martins take on prestigious SRO-run championships on both sides of the Atlantic
Partner teams Comtoyou Racing and Walkenhorst Motorsport set to make Aston Martin debuts this weekend in Fanatec GT Europe
Mattia Drudi joins ‘Dane Train’ duo Marco Sørensen and Nicki Thiim in the Pro Cup class with Comtoyou Racing
Ross Gunn returns to Fanatec GT Europe with Walkenhorst Motorsport with fellow works drivers David Pittard and Henrique Chaves

Aston Martin returns to the top class of the Fanatec GT World Challenge Europe Powered by AWS for the first time since 2022 with its strongest ever line-up at Paul Ricard as the new Aston Martin Vantage GT3 makes its debut in the opening round of the world’s most competitive GT-only series this weekend.

Two powerhouse GT teams, the reigning Fanatec GT Europe Endurance Cup Gold Teams’ champion Comtoyou Racing and the 2018 Spa 24 Hours overall winner Walkenhorst Motorsport, have joined the Aston Martin Racing partner team roster for 2024 and both bring stellar driver line-ups with them. Their combined entry amounts to seven new Aston Martin Vantage GT3s across the series’ various classes.

Meanwhile, in North America, the decorated Flying Lizard Motorsports team will race a new Aston Martin Vantage GT3 in the first round of the GT World Challenge America at Sonoma Raceway, making eight new Vantage GT3s racing around the world this weekend.

“The fact that there are eight new Vantage GT3s racing in major championships on both sides of the Atlantic speaks for itself in terms of the reception the car has received from new and existing partner teams. Having two significant and established squads like Comtoyou Racing and Walkenhorst Motorsport sign-up to the AMR partner roster is a strong indication of the level of confidence we share in the new Vantage and its ability to meet the specific challenges of the GT World Challenge in Europe and elsewhere,” said Adam Carter, Aston Martin Head of Endurance Motorsport.

“The car is still in its infancy but has already shown great potential both in the FIA World Endurance Championship and the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship. The Fanatec GT World Challenge has always proved a tough nut for Aston Martin to crack, but we expect this new Vantage to be our most competitive GT3 car yet in this particular arena.”

Leading Comtoyou Racing’s four car attack is a familiar duo. Three-time FIA World Endurance champion Marco Sørensen (DEN) links up with his old friend and two-time FIA World Endurance champion Nicki Thiim (DEN), to revive the ‘Dane Train’. The duo will be joined by reigning Fanatec GT Europe Sprint champion Mattia Drudi (ITA), who makes his AMR debut in an all-works line-up for the #7 Pro Cup entry.

Comtoyou Racing will run two Silver Cup cars, the #12 for reigning Gold champion Nicolas Baert (BEL), Sebastian Øgaard (DEN) and Finlay Hutchison (GBR) and the #21 for Sam Dejonghe (BEL), Matisse Lismont (BEL) and Charles Clark (GBR). The Belgian team will also run a Bronze Cup car for the first time; the #11 Vantage GT3 will be raced by John de Wilde (BEL), Job van Uitert (NED) and Kobe Pauwels (BEL).

Walkenhorst Motorsport’s line-up is just as impressive and is also led by a full works Aston Martin driver attack in the Pro Cup. The #34 Vantage GT3 will be raced by 2023 Nürburgring 24 Hours race winner David Pittard (GBR), 2022 Le Mans 24 Hours class winner Henrique Chaves and IMSA GTD Pro class race winner Ross Gunn (GBR).

The German team will also run the #35 Silver Cup car for 2022 Aston Martin Racing Driver Academy graduate Romain Leroux (FRA), Lorcan Hanafin (GBR) and Maxime Robin (FRA), and the #36 Bronze Cup car for Tim Creswick (GBR), Mex Jansen (NED) and Ben Green (GBR).

Aston Martin is extremely well represented in the GT4 European Series, which also kicks off at Paul Ricard this weekend. Eight Vantages, four of which are new GT4s, mean that the British ultra-luxury sportscar brand accounts for nearly one fifth of the grid, thanks to partners GPA Racing, Mirage Racing, PROsport Racing and Racing Spirit of Léman.

Meanwhile in the US, the opening rounds of the Pirelli GT4 America Championship will see Heart of Racing return with a two-car entry for Gray Newell (USA) and Roman De Angelis (CDN), in the Pro-Am class and a revised all-female crew of Hannah Grisham (USA) and Hannah Greenemeier (USA) in the Am category. Flying Lizard Motorsports also runs a car for Todd Parriott (USA) and Tom Dyer (USA) in Pro-Am.

Five further entries in the separate GT America race on the same bill, including those from ProSport Competition and Archangel Motorsports means that no less than 24 Aston Martin Vantages will compete in significant SRO-run series this weekend. 

Official practice for the GT World Challenge Europe opening round begins Saturday, 6 April at 0900 local time (0800 BST) with the race beginning at 1300 (1400 BST) on Sunday. GT World Challenge America practice begins at 1010 local time (1810 BST) on Friday with the races at 1505 (2305) BST on Saturday and 1415 (2215 BST) on Sunday. 

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