Hoggard replaces Chovet in FIA F3 at Jenzer Motorsport

The 20-year-old Brit, who won the 2019 Aston Martin Autosport BRDC Young Driver of the Year award, will take over the seat at the Swiss team from the next round at Circuit Paul Ricard, running from 18-20 June. The team has not detailed what prompted the move, but said it came “following the inability for Pierre-Louis Chovet to participate in the next F3 FIA rounds.” It arrives after Hoggard did not feature in pre-season testing or in the opening round at Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya, despite taking part in both of the post-season tests last year in Barcelona and Jerez. In a statement, the team said: “Following the inability for Pierre-Louis Chovet to participate in the next F3 FIA rounds, Jenzer Motorsport have decided to trust on 20 year old Johnathan Hoggard from Spalding, United Kingdom, to drive their #27 Car in the F3 FIA Championship. “After strong results in British F3 and winning the Aston Martin Autosport BRDC Young Driver Award, Johnathan did not have the opportunity to move to FIA F3 as planned, a miss which will now be fixed.” Hoggard finished third in the British Formula 4 Championship in 2018, before going on to take second in BRDC British Formula 3 the following year, winning seven races and taking 12 podiums. Jonathan Hoggard, Sauber Junior Team by Charouz Photo by: Joe Portlock / Motorsport Images As a result of winning the Autosport award, he had the opportunity to test one of Red Bull Racing’s RB8s at Silverstone – the Briton’s first experience of Formula 1 machinery. He said: “This was unexpected and happened so fast. I have worked for this opportunity for years and I will give my best from Paul Ricard on.” Team principal Andreas Jenzer added: “Getting a new driver on board after all official tests and the first round over is always challenging but we trust Johnathan to be fully involved and dedicated to catch this opportunity.” Chovet was yet to score a point for the Swiss team this year. He took part in four races for Hitech Grand Prix in 2020, scoring five points. Just two days ago, the Frenchman had posted on Instagram that he was “pushing to get back to the top level for my “home GP” next week.” shares comments
Source: AutoSport.com

Magazine: Baku F1 review, WRC Rally Sardinia and more

The fast Baku street circuit has provided some dramatic moments in its short history in Formula 1 and last weekend was no exception. But the tyre blowouts that first spat Lance Stroll’s Aston Martin into the wall and then cost Verstappen the win are not what anyone had in mind. As Alex Kalinauckas shows in our report, three drivers could have won the Azerbaijan GP. He explains how Red Bull gained the upper hand and why Lewis Hamilton missed his chance to take victory – and the championship lead. We also pick out the feel-good story from Baku as a former world champion returned to the podium, while ex-Ferrari and Red Bull engineer Rodi Basso proposes a different approach to the flexi-wing controversy. There was another chance missed in the World Rally Championship as the rapid Hyundai challenge fell apart in Rally Italy. Autosport’s new WRC correspondent Tom Howard explains how Toyota’s Sebastien Ogier took full advantage to take a win against the odds and extend his points lead. Gary Watkins shows why BMW is eyeing a return to the top class of the Le Mans 24 Hours in our leading news story, plus there is the usual round-up of international race events, including the Nurburgring 24 Hours, Formula 2, the World Touring Car Cup opener and MotoGP. Our bumper 18-page National section covers all the UK news and reports from last weekend’s Cadwell Park, Brands Hatch, Snetterton, Knockhill and Shelsley Walsh events, and also looks ahead to the categories supporting the British Touring Car Championship at Snetterton this weekend. Can returning Porsche Carrera Cup star Dan Cammish topple reigning champion Harry King? With the UK motorsport scene really coming to life again with spectators attending events, Stephen Lickorish, Stefan Mackley and Marcus Pye make the case for their favourite places to watch at circuits around the country. Want Autosport magazine delivered to your door each week? Subscribe today and never miss your weekly fix of motorsport: www.autosportmedia.com/offer/article shares comments Related video
Source: AutoSport.com

Vettel hopes Aston Martin can carry F1 momentum after “rough start”

Four-time world champion Vettel linked up with Aston Martin over the winter following his exit from Ferrari, but failed to score any points in his first four appearances for the team. A big breakthrough came in Monaco when he was able to finish fifth, but Vettel put in his best display yet for the team by battling from 11th on the grid to finish second in Baku on Sunday. Vettel managed to lead the race after a long first stint on the soft tyres, allowing him to overcut two cars before fighting past Charles Leclerc and Pierre Gasly on the two restarts, giving him P2 at the chequered flag. Vettel conceded after the race that while he had felt strong through practice and qualifying, he never expected to reach the podium. “I didn’t have many expectations, to be honest,” Vettel said. “I knew that the whole weekend I felt good, so I knew we could score some points, but I certainly didn’t expect second and the race was really strong. “Obviously I’m very happy with P2 and [for] the team, I think it’s great for us. We had a very rough start to the season. We expected quite a bit more after such a strong year the team had last year. “I can’t wait to get back to have a couple of drinks with the guys.” Sebastian Vettel, Aston Martin, 2nd position, the Red Bull Racing trophy delegate, Sergio Perez, Red Bull Racing, 1st position, and Pierre Gasly, AlphaTauri, 3rd position, on the podium Photo by: Glenn Dunbar / Motorsport Images Under its previous Racing Point guise, the team had fought regularly at the front of the midfield through 2020 and took a race win at the Sakhir GP, only for the 2021 downforce cuts to cause it to drop down the order. Vettel’s result almost doubled Aston Martin’s points tally for the season so far, but was not enough to stop it slipping behind AlphaTauri in the fight for fifth in the constructors’ championship. P2 marked Vettel’s best result since the 2019 Mexican Grand Prix, as well as matching his best finish in Baku from the inaugural race in 2016. Vettel said he took more enjoyment out of fighting for positions further up the field, sensing there was a big opportunity for the team as he gradually rose through the field. “It’s always nice if you join a new team get together good results,” Vettel said. “I sat here on Thursday and said that I’m in it to win, and I enjoyed the race because I was getting closer and closer to spots that I enjoy more and more. “Obviously when I was P4, I knew that’s good points for the team and for myself, but as soon as we were in the podium ranks, I really thought that we can have a say if something happens. “I think I felt quite comfortable in the car all weekend, which for sure doesn’t hurt, so hopefully we can carry that momentum into the next couple of events. “France will be a normal track so we will see where we are, but hopefully we can fight for points a little bit more regularly.” Read Also: Vettel revealed that he felt in such good shape that he opted not to get out of his car during the lengthy red flag wait. “I stayed in the car, I wanted to stay in the zone and not distract myself, to be ready,” Vettel said. “I felt that we obviously did the best we could today. It’s quite comfortable in my car – and I’m one of the only drivers that doesn’t pee in the car, so I can stay in there for longer!” shares comments Related video
Source: AutoSport.com

Red Bull’s Sergio Perez drives to victory at 2021 Formula One Azerbaijan Grand Prix

The 2021 Formula One World Championship saw another thrilling race with the Azerbaijan Grand Prix on Sunday at the Baku City Circuit.
Red Bull Racing’s Max Verstappen looked set to win but it was his teammate, Sergio Perez, who ended up crossing the finish line first, followed by Aston Martin’s Sebastian Vettel in second and AlphaTauri’s Pierre Gasly in third.
Verstappen had led for much of the race but a tire failure at one of the fastest sectors of the track pitched him into the wall with three laps to run, ending his day and setting the stage for a two-lap shootout between Perez and Mercedes-Benz AMG’s Lewis Hamilton. But first there was a safety car period to clear up the debris from Verstappen’s mishap.
Following the safety car restart, bad luck then struck Hamilton. The defending world champion accidentally switched on a brake balance setting normally used during the safety car period, causing his car’s brakes to lock at Turn 1. He was able to rejoin the race but could only manage 15th place at the finish.
Red Bull Racing’s Sergio Perez at the 2021 Formula One Azerbaijan Grand Prix
The race started with Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc on pole and Hamilton by his side on the front row, and Verstappen directly behind them. Leclerc made a good start but was passed by Hamilton on the second lap and Verstappen on the seventh. Verstappen was then able to move into the lead on lap 13 after Hamilton was slowed during a pit stop. He then managed to build up his lead but lost some of the gap due to a crash by Aston Martin’s Lance Stroll on lap 31, which also appeared to be a caused by a tire failure.
Further down the field, there was a brilliant fight between Leclerc, Gasly and Vettel, with Vettel having moved up from his 11th starting place on the grid, thanks in part to the race stops. Both Gasly and Vettel were able to get ahead of Leclerc who had to settle for fourth at the end of the race. Rounding out the top five was McLaren’s Lando Norris.
Following the weekend’s action, Verstappen remains in the lead spot in the 2021 Drivers’ Championship with 105 points, versus Hamilton in second with 101 points and Perez having moved up into third with 69 points. In the Constructors’ Championship, Red Bull leads with 174 points versus the 148 of Mercedes and 94 of Ferrari. The next race on the calendar is the French Grand Prix in a fortnight.
In other F1 news, it was confirmed on Sunday that veteran McLaren shareholder Mansour Ojjeh had died earlier in the day from health issues while at his home in Geneva, Switzerland. He controlled 14.32% of McLaren Group via his TAG Group, which first became a shareholder of McLaren in 1984.
Red Bull Racing’s Sergio Perez at the 2021 Formula One Azerbaijan Grand Prix
Below are the full results from the 2021 Formula One Azerbaijan Grand Prix:
1) Sergio Perez, Red Bull Racing2) Sebastian Vettel, Aston Martin +1.385 seconds3) Pierre Gasly, AlphaTauri +2.762 seconds4) Charles Leclerc, Ferrari +3.828 seconds5) Lando Norris, McLaren +4.754 seconds6) Fernando Alonso, Alpine +6.382 seconds7) Yuki Tsunoda, AlphaTauri +6.624 seconds8) Carlos Sainz, Ferrari +7.709 seconds9) Daniel Ricciardo, McLaren +8.874 seconds10) Kimi Raikkonen, Alfa Romeo +9.576 seconds11) Antonio Giovinazzi, Alfa Romeo +10.254 seconds12) Valtteri Bottas, Mercedes-Benz AMG +11.264 seconds13) Mick Schumacher, Haas +14.241 seconds14) Nikita Mazepin, Haas +14.315 seconds15) Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes-Benz AMG +17.668 seconds16) Nicholas Latifi, Williams +42.379 seconds17) George Russell, Williams DNF18) Max Verstappen, Red Bull Racing DNFNC) Lance Stroll, Aston Martin DNFNC) Esteban Ocon, Alpine DNF
Source: MotorAuthority.com

Gasly worried engine problem could cost him Baku F1 podium finish

The AlphaTauri driver had shown strong pace throughout the Baku weekend, initially running fourth, but faded somewhat in the race as the leaders pulled away from him. He then made clear some frustrations over the team radio after Aston Martin’s Sebastian Vettel was able to draft past him on the straight midway through. At that stage Gasly was battling an engine that was down on power, leaving him very exposed to rivals on the straight. “It was very difficult for me mid-race onwards with an engine issue,” he said. “We were losing quite a lot of power down the straights and Seb managed to pass us in the middle of the race.” He added: “It was clearly a pretty big difference with Yuki [Tsunoda], for example. So the guys told me a lot of engine switches to try to limit the damage. “I was very strong in the second sector but the straight was very hard. When Seb passed me, I could literally not do anything there.” Before the red flag restart, where Gasly was running fourth, he feared that the problem would allow other cars to get past him – meaning he had to fight aggressively with Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc. Pierre Gasly, AlphaTauri AT02, Charles Leclerc, Ferrari SF21, and Sebastian Vettel, Aston Martin AMR21 Photo by: Mark Sutton / Motorsport Images “I knew in those last two laps, whatever I will do, I knew that Charles behind will pass me on the straight,” he said. “And that’s what happened. “So I just got back in the tow and went for it in turn one. He came back at me in turn three and I had to brake very late. “Then I really pushed the brakes to the limit with Seb. I thought I was going to end in the wall there. I managed to stop it somehow, I don’t know how, but it was late braking. “And with Charles, it was the same. I really wanted that podium. I took some big risks, but it was clearly worth it.” After a difficult start to 2021, where Gasly has been unable to deliver strong results on the back of impressive pace from his car, he could not hide his delight at the top three finish. “It was such an insane race and, you know, super intense last two laps,” he said. “The car has been incredible all weekend and you know we saw every session we were there. “Qualifying was mega but I didn’t know if we could keep up that position or fight for even a podium. In the end we did it. I have had one first and one second now, and I was missing that third place, so it feels incredible to get that podium.” shares comments Related video
Source: AutoSport.com

Verstappen: Pirelli will blame debris for Baku F1 tyre blowouts

Verstappen dominated the race after taking the lead from title rival Lewis Hamilton during the pitstops. The Dutchman looked on course for a certain win until his left-rear tyre failed with five laps ago and he suffered a massive shunt on Baku’s long start-finish straight. Verstappen was the second driver to have a left-rear medium tyre fail, with Aston Martin’s Lance Stroll subjected to a similar fate earlier in the race. Speaking straight after the race Verstappen said he was “pissed off” because of what happened, suggesting that Pirelli would blame debris for the two blowouts rather than take responsibility. “I didn’t feel anything up until the moment that I suddenly went to the right, the tyre just blew off the rim and it’s not a nice impact to have, it’s quite a dangerous place to have a tyre blowout at that speed,” he told TV crews. “For sure [there will be talks with Pirelli] but we know the result from that conversation already and that’s a bit hard to accept. “It will be related to debris, it’s like that. I’m sure there will be talks, Pirelli isn’t happy with what happened here today, but it doesn’t change anything to the race and the result I got here.” “Of course I’m pissed off because of what happened today. It was a fairly easy race for me. Damage on the car of Max Verstappen, Red Bull Racing RB16B after retiring Photo by: Mark Sutton / Motorsport Images “Sometimes this sport is very harsh when things like this happen, it’s shit.” Verstappen, who also suffered a tyre failure at Imola’s Emilia Romagna Grand Prix, said he doubted debris could have been a factor given that cars were following the same line every lap to get a tow from the car in front, and explained he didn’t wear out the tyres too much. “I don’t think so, I wasn’t stressing the tyres. It felt comfortable and I didn’t feel any vibrations before it let go,” he explained. “[Debris] is difficult. We’re doing the same line every lap because everyone wants to be in the slipstream. It’s very weird that it happens to me. “I think they cleaned the track [after the Stroll crash] but Pirelli is probably going to say it was carbon debris on track. “It was like that in Imola, so that’s something you can’t say anything about. The fact is another tyre exploded, not only for me but also for Stroll. “It’s very frustrating, with a bit of luck we’re still in the lead of the championship but the gap could have been much bigger and that was much more important.” shares comments Related video
Source: AutoSport.com

Trio of uber-rare iconic Aston Martins for sale

The Aston Martin DB5 is best known in James Bond-spec coupe form, but Aston also made convertible and shooting brake versions. Specialist dealer Nicholas Mee & Co. is now offering one of each body style as a set, with an asking price of 4 million British pounds (approximately $5.6 million).
All three cars are the high-performance DB5 Vantage model. Of the 1,021 DB5s built between July 1963 and September 1965, just 66 were Vantages, the seller noted in a press release. That included 60 coupes, five convertibles, and just one shooting brake.
In Vantage models, output from the DB5’s 4.0-liter inline-6 was increased by 40 hp, to a new total of 322 hp. That allowed for 0-60 mph acceleration in 6.5 seconds, according to the seller, which isn’t very quick by today’s standards, but was pretty impressive in the mid-1960s.
Aston Martin DB5 trio (Photo by Nicholas Mee & Co.)
This package deal includes the sole DB5 Vantage shooting brake. The idea supposedly came from Aston Martin chairman David Brown (the “DB” in “DB5”), who wanted a car that could accommodate his hunting dog and polo equipment, according to the seller. This car (with bodywork from London-based coachbuilder Harold Radford & Sons) went to a dealership before being sold to its first owner.
The shooting brake is finished in California Sage with a red interior, while the convertible is finished in Caribbean Pearl Blue with a gold interior and roof. The DB5 coupe has the famous Silver Birch exterior and black interior, just like the iconic “Goldfinger” movie car.
While the price for this trio is steep, it’s worth noting that a single James Bond DB5 (built as a promo car for “Thunderball”) sold for $6.3 million at auction in 2019. Aston is also building 25 new “Goldfinger” continuation cars, complete with gadgets, and priced at over $3 million each.
Source: MotorAuthority.com

First drive review: 2021 Aston Martin DBX is a necessary good

Yes, it’s weird for Aston Martin to make an SUV. It’s also strange to see Lamborghini make the Urus and Ferrari the forthcoming Purosangue. But the economic reality is that exotic car companies need to build utility vehicles to continue producing sports cars. If this is the cost, I for one will pay it gladly. It also helps that the 2021 Aston Martin DBX is a brilliant all-around performer.
Sounds like an Aston
Power comes from a 4.0-liter twin-turbo V-8 sourced from Mercedes-Benz AMG that’s also found in the DB11 and the Vantage. In the DBX, the V-8 gets upgraded turbochargers to push output to 542 hp and 516 lb-ft of torque. Aston quotes a 0-60 mph time of 4.3 seconds and a top speed of 181 mph, impressive figures for an SUV that tips the scales at 4,940 pounds. Power is routed via a 9-speed automatic transmission to a rear-biased all-wheel-drive system that features an electronically controlled limited-slip rear differential. Nearly all of the power can go to the rear wheels when needed.
Given its considerable girth, the DBX doesn’t quite have the immediacy of acceleration that you’ll find in the Vantage. But once it gets moving, the digits on the speedometer climb at an alarming rate for a vehicle this big. The engine pulls decently at low RPM but hits the sweet spot around 3,000 rpm, where the taps really open and the exhaust hits peak volume. It posts a sports car 0-60 mph time, but the power hits differently in this high-riding SUV where it creates a greater feeling of speed.
I was elated to find that the DBX nails a key part of the Aston driving experience: the soundtrack. The sport exhaust is a must-have option here, it produces a full-throated note that’s intoxicating both inside and outside of the vehicle. Even those who think they like peace and quiet on the streets will be convinced by the V-8 soundtrack pouring out of the DBX. I should have recorded it and set it as my alarm.
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Fighting physics
Underpinning the DBX are an adaptive air suspension and active anti-roll bars. Aston Martin claims that with the anti-roll setting dialed up to maximum it can reduce body roll to DB11 levels. That comes at the expense of ride quality, but even with the suspension dialed to its sportiest setting the ride never veers to punishing. Despite the impressively flat cornering, the DBX doesn’t quite have the grounded feel of a sports car; you get the sense that the electronics are working behind the scenes to solve each corner like a math problem. It is effective, but the process feels a bit cold.
I expected the nose to push given all of that weight, but I was surprised by the lack of understeer. The DBX does a very good job of tucking in and holding a line, and the quick steering is a highlight of the driving experience. Though, after an initial jolt of excitement, some of the emotion is lost at the apex. I’d like more feedback when rolling onto the power, but the DBX feels vague after initial turn-in. 
The DBX I tested did all of this on a set of Pirelli P Zero Scorpion all-season tires, wrapped around stylish 22-inch black and satin wheels. The tires only protested slightly at the mistreatment I threw their way, and I imagine the available set of summer tires would only enhance the DBX’s handling bona fides. The DBX does a more than admirable job trying to replicate the experience of driving one of Aston’s sports cars, but you can only fight the additional ride height and weight so much. 
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Finding the right angles
The DBX is an absolute stunner from certain angles. Approach the natty crossover from the front and its familial heritage is plastered all across the nose thanks to the DB grille. Thankfully, it looks similar in size to the grille found on the DB11. Take note automakers: even if your vehicle gets taller you don’t have to yank your grille upward, throwing off the aspect ratio and giving it beaver teeth.
Start moving around the side and you hit the DBX’s best angle, the front three-quarter view where you can see the detailing on the hood and get a sense of its size. It may look a bit like a raised hatchback, but it’s definitely utility-sized inside, and the upright windshield and large front windows give the driver solid visibility to the front and sides.
In profile, the DBX is long and lean, with the cut of the rear glass feeding nicely into the roof spoiler. But as you continue to rotate things start to come apart. The two spoiler look doesn’t work here in the same way that it does on the Porsche 911 GT3, the duckbill-esque protrusion on the rear liftgate juts out awkwardly, and the high placement of the exhaust tips seems to throw off the proportions. 
My test vehicle came with two exterior options of note: Royal Indigo paint out of Aston’s Q Palette of colors as a $9,100 option and 22-inch bronze and black stain wheels for $4,600. Spending that much on styling features usually makes my nose wrinkle, but in this case they felt justified. The two-tone wheels feature a spectacular but intricate design that will be rough to clean. The metallic paint changes colors in sunlight and shade, looking purple in some cases and a deep blue in others, but no matter the hue it turns heads with an unmissable sheen. Aston Martin opened up the big box of Crayola crayons for the DBX’s colors; 55 exterior paint options are found in the configurator.
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High quality interior, low quality tech
Interior quality is another strength for the DBX, the materials are top notch, the seats are remarkably comfortable, and all of the controls are easy to spot and reach on the center stack with one exception. The Drive button is a bit of a stretch, which is a minor inconvenience.
Aston Martin mounts a 12.1-inch digital display behind the steering wheel, but it doesn’t offer much in the way of customization. A 10-inch multimedia touchscreen offers Apple CarPlay connectivity, but Android users (this author included) are left out in the cold to try to use the native system. That’s not ideal, as the built-in system is not intuitive though thankfully it is quick to respond to inputs. The system is based on Mercedes’ old COMAND architecture and it shows its age. The newer multimedia offerings from Mercedes (MBUX) and BMW (iDrive7) thoroughly outpace it, though to be fair, I’ve never heard of anyone locking in on an Aston Martin for the multimedia experience.
There’s plenty of backseat room for adult passengers, who also get an excellent view out of the standard panoramic sunroof that extends way, way back. The DBX can comfortably seat four, as a large floor hump and a raised seat bottom relegate the middle seat to occasional duty. Take a turn quickly and anyone perched up there will immediately slide into their seatmates.
2021 Aston Martin DBX
The DBX starts at $179,986 after a price decrease. My test vehicle blew right past those figures with a number of options, some of which came with prices that made my eyes water. The crazy paint, upgraded 22-inch wheels, and sport exhaust ($2,300), I can get behind. But adding metal/composite trim inlays is also $4,600. Smoked rear lamps? Another $1,000. In total, my test vehicle ended up costing $220,986.
That price tag is still less than the one you’ll find on its close rival, the Lamborghini Urus, which starts at roughly that price. Dynamically, the edge in this fight goes to the Urus. It feels sharper and more twitchy, with greater acceleration and a noticeable edge in the handling department. But the DBX is no slouch. On a canyon road, it’s good for a smile (or ten), and for day-to-day drivability it has an advantage thanks to a more comfortable ride and a larger and more luxurious interior.
Thinking of these SUVs as compliance vehicles sells them short. Yes, there’s something strange about living in a world where Aston Martin makes an SUV, but it’s hard not to be wowed by the amount of engineering and performance packed into the DBX and the Urus. If the DBX allows Aston to continue to make sports cars that alone would be enough to justify its existence. But don’t let that distract you from the fact that it’s great.
Aston Martin provided a DBX loaner vehicle for Motor Authority to bring you this firsthand report.
Source: MotorAuthority.com

2021 Aston Martin DBX, 2022 Toyota Supra, Touring Arese RH95: Today’s Car News

We’ve finally spent some time behind the wheel of Aston Martin’s new DBX. Yes, it’s a bit strange that an automaker famous for sports cars is now selling a crossover, but the vehicle offers all the performance and style you expect of an Aston Martin and throws in some practicality, too.
Toyota has announced a round of updates for its 2022 Supra, and among them is a new special edition developed exclusively for North America. Just 600 examples of the special Supra are planned, all of them with the range-topping inline-6 engine.
Italy’s Touring Superleggera celebrates its 95th anniversary in 2021 and has decided to mark the occasion with its first mid-engine car project. The mid-engine car is based on the bones of a modern Ferrari and was revealed for the first time this week.
You’ll find these stories and more in today’s car news, right here at Motor Authority.
First drive review: 2021 Aston Martin DBX is a necessary good
2022 Toyota Supra spawns A91-CF Edition limited to 600 cars
Touring Superleggera unveils first mid-engine car
2022 Toyota Corolla Cross squeezes into small crossover lineup
2022 BMW i4 delivers up to 536 hp, starts at $56,395
Hyundai has reportedly stopped developing gas powertrains
2022 Jaguar F-Type is V-8 only and priced to start from $71,050
2021 Honda Accord vs 2021 Toyota Camry: Compare Cars
2022 Toyota Tacoma Trail Edition and TRD Pro revealed with fresh updates
Study: Lack of home-charging awareness is holding back EV adoption
Source: MotorAuthority.com

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 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
Source: AutoSport.com