Shock and Awe: Aston Martin to Use 4 Vantage GT3s at Intercontinental GT Challenge
Aston Martin looks to impose its will at the 2020 Intercontinental GT Challenge Powered by Pirelli (IGTC) when it announced that it will enter four Vantage GT3s in the first round, with two each for the British marque’s long-time racing partners R-Motorsport and Garage 59.
This is the first time that Aston Martin will field this many cars on the IGTC tracks. It is also the first time that the company competes for overall honors in the highest level of GT3 competition on some of the world’s most iconic circuits.
Five standalone high-profile endurance events make up the IGTC circuit, beginning with the Liqui-Moly Bathurst 12 Hours this coming February 2 in Australia where it will be competing with McLaren, and then the Total 24 Hours of Spa in Belgium from July 23 to 26, the Suzuka 10 Hours in Japan from August 21 to 23, the Indianapolis 8 Hours in the US on October 2 to 4, and culminating with the Kyalami 9 Hours in South Africa on November 19 to 21.
As the first of the IGTC series, the Bathurst 12 Hours has extra significance for Aston Martin Racing because it’s the first time the new Vantage will take on New South Wales’ fearsome Mount Panorama circuit.
R-Motorsport will be spearheading Aston Martin’s overall victory campaign, which has entered two Aston Martin Vantage GT3s in Bathurst’s top Pro category. The team boasts an all-star driver lineup, starting with last year’s runner-up, Englishman Jake Dennis. This year he shares the #76 entry with two Australians—six-time IndyCar Series champion and Indianapolis 500 winner Scott Dixon and 2006 Australian Supercars champion and two-time Bathurst 1000 winner Rick Kelly.
Meanwhile, the second team driving the sister #62 car consists of 17-year-old Olli Caldwell from Great Britain,, FIA Formula 2 winner Luca Ghiotto from Italy and Marvin Kirchhöfer from Denmark.
The Garage 59 team returns to the IGTC for its first full season is, which impressed a lot of people in its debut year as an Aston Martin Racing partner team, finishing runner-up in the Blancpain GT Series Endurance Cup Am class and winning the Paul Ricard round. This year the team competes in the IGTC Pro-Am class with Swedish Alexander West, British Chris Goodwin and Frenchman Côme Ledogar. They will be joined by works driver Maxime Martin from Belgium.
Garage 59 is also fielding a second #159 car in the Silver class driven by AMR Junior driver Andrew Watson from Great Britain, Olivier Hart from the Netherlands and IMSA GTD driver Roman de Angelis from Canada.
“This is Aston Martin Racing’s boldest attack on the Bathurst 12 Hours, a race that showcases the very best of what international GT3 racing has to offer,” said David King, President of Aston Martin Racing. “We have full confidence that the combination of our two partner teams R-Motorsport and Garage 59, and the growing competitiveness of the Aston Martin Vantage GT3, will provide a fierce challenge for honors in Australia. This line-up, and the quality of our partners, represents the perfect time to commit to the overall Manufacturers’ Championship for the first time.”