World Endurance GT Champions Aston Martin switch focus to Customer Racing for 2021
British automotive marque Aston Martin will be “shifting its focus on customer operations” from this year onwards, ending the successful nine-year run as a manufacturer team in the FIA World Endurance Championship (WEC).
The latest strategy for the Endurance GT Champion and 24 Hours of Le Mans double-class winner follows after the new and revised agreement with Prodrive concluded, which ended the Banbury-based organization’s continuation of exclusively manufacturing and distributing the current generation of front-engine GT race cars in a multi-year deal for Aston Martin Racing.
Aston Martin will put their attention on the front-engined GT race cars to drive more success across the international GT racing landscape.
The announcement was made following its recent double world championship victory at the 8 Hours of Bahrain last month. During the last win, Marco Sørensen and Nicki Thiim added the WEC GT Driver’s Endurance triumph to the titles that Aston Martin bagged at Le Mans.
The British sports car marque clinched to every target that it set for the 4-liter V8 Vantage GTE, which is based on the Vantage road car.
One of three car manufacturers to have been a mainstay of WEC since the series’ inception in 2012, Aston Martin took 47 class wins and 103 podiums, nine class championships and four 24 Hours of Le Mans class victories for all the seven seasons they joined in WEC. “And there could yet be more for Vantage with Aston Martin hopeful that it will retain a WEC presence through a partner team in 2021 and beyond,” Aston Martin claimed in its statement.
Meanwhile, Aston Martin’s Vantage GT customer race car proved its potency in the motorsports scene after recording 62 victories and 157 podiums in more than 20 series around the world. Based on the race 323 starts, Aston Martin was able to finish one in five with a win, while half of them concluded on the podium. All in all (including Aston Martin Racing’s two world championships), the Vantage bagged 26 GT or endurance titles internationally.
Poised to make its comeback to Formula 1 in 2021 since 1960, Aston Martin will “now strive for more accolades in GT racing with Vantage.”
“It is targeting blue riband endurance events with partner teams competing in the Intercontinental GT Challenge, the GT World Challenge, the US-based IMSA Weathertech Sportscar Championship, the Super GT Championship as well as other significant high-profile series,” Aston Martin noted.
Aston Martin Racing President President David King explained that the focus.
“This year has been one of unprecedented success for Vantage in international motorsport. At all levels, from GTE, through GT3 to the entry level GT4, we have experienced significant championship success, winning 26 titles across the spectrum of world, international and domestic series. But there is more to achieve, and there is more to come from Vantage, which is why we have concluded that now is the time for us to shift the weight of factory support to our partners as we go in pursuit of success in the most important events in GT racing.”
“Vantage proved it has world champion pedigree in 2020, and in its GTE variant is a 24-hour race winner. Now with the Vantage GT3 we wish to give our partners and customers the best opportunity possible to fight for victory against our closest rivals in the toughest endurance challenges GT racing has to offer,” Aston Martin Lagonda Chief Executive Officer Tobias Moers added.
Photos from Aston Martin