Aston Martin Racing Submits Rolex 24 Entry

Photo: John Dagys

Photo: John Dagys

Aston Martin Racing has submitted an entry request for January’s Rolex 24 at Daytona, with an eye towards running the entire North American Endurance Championship.

AMR team principal John Gaw confirmed to Sportscar365 Thursday in Shanghai that  it will take part in next weekend’s pre-season testing at Sebring and Daytona, in hopes of scoring an entry for the TUDOR United SportsCar Championship season opener, which is currently capped to only 12 GTLM entries.

“We understand it’s a big prize to get an entry for the Daytona 24 Hours,” Gaw told Sportscar365. “We’ve got to give ourselves the best chance of getting one and the best chance of getting one is going to do the testing.

“We’ll learn about things, like the tires, which is probably one of the most important things. It would be a great privilege to get an entry for Daytona for the start of the season.”

The British factory squad left behind one of its Aston Martin Vantage V8s following September’s FIA World Endurance Championship, prior to IMSA announcing its provisional car capacity guidelines, which sees full-season entries take priority.

However, with Team Falken Tire forgoing the Rolex 24, it would likely leave at least one space open for a one-off or partial-season GTLM entrant.

“We’re hoping that if we get an entry for Daytona that we will do the endurance championship,” Gaw said. “But if we don’t get an entry for Daytona, there’s not much point in doing it. That’s why we’re just entering Daytona for now.”

Gaw confirmed that Darren Turner and David Heinemeier Hansson will handle driving duties of the solo Vantage V8 at the Sebring test on Nov. 16-17, with Turner being joined by Stefan Mucke and Paul Dalla Lana at Daytona on Nov. 19-20.

Dalla Lana is the driving force behind AMR’s proposed NAEC program, with the former GRAND-AM Continental Tire SportsCar Challenge champion prepared to pull double-duty between the GTLM and GT Daytona classes with two different teams and cars.

12 Comments

  1. Marc

    November 7, 2013 at 7:02 am

    This is great news. I miss seeing an Aston in the US.

  2. Peter F

    November 7, 2013 at 7:29 am

    They would be stupid not to make room for AMR. It’s a big team and it makes the whole series look better.

  3. Jason

    November 7, 2013 at 7:47 am

    That’s why it did not bother me too much that Falken could not make Daytona. I knew it would help AMR get that spot they needed. And I think at Sebring the GTLM limit is 13?

    • Bakkster

      November 7, 2013 at 8:47 am

      Provisional class limits are 12 GTLM and 19 P for Daytona and 14 GTLM with 20 P at Sebring.

      They almost need a different set of races with a championship for the European teams to come over for. The other races with extra GTLM spots are Long Beach (16), Indy (14), and VIR (19). Laguna should have room as well (40 car max, but field sizes currently at 20 and 12 for the P/GTLM split race). IMSA should put a trophy on that to bring some WEC/ELMS teams over if they’re looking for a competitive class stateside.

  4. mack1956

    November 7, 2013 at 7:48 am

    Who thinks “they” are smart.

  5. Jim-ski

    November 7, 2013 at 8:59 am

    It seems a change in philosophy may be in order for the NAEC events. Keep 12 spots available to the 12 fastest in qualifying. Only the 12 best prepared get to race.

    This makes for better fields for the race and increased motivation for those who don’t make it. Would certainly eliminate the “also ran” sub-class from the events.

    • Joe

      November 7, 2013 at 9:45 am

      I thought about this too but I would guess sportscar programs are just too expensive compared to say, Nascar teams that do this. I think they want to guarantee spots based on grandfathered teams too so no one gets shafted from the old series, which makes sense to me. Also endurance racing is about more than speed (strategy, reliability, and general endurance) so I think qualifying speed is not a great evaluation of a team’s preparedness or quality in general.

      • Anthony Thomas

        November 7, 2013 at 1:09 pm

        Who is going to get shafted from the old series? From the looks of it, there will be 8 full season entries in GTLM, maybe 9 and that would leave 3 spots open.

        Seems to me DHH and Dalla Lalla are paying for seats. Its my understanding the Vantage “left” here after COTA is Dalla Lalla’s the same car he drove at Sebring last year.

        Dalla Lana has forced his hand somewhat, my guess he’ll be driving with TRG in GT-D. Not sure what DHH is doing for 2014.

    • GTurner38

      November 7, 2013 at 8:17 pm

      The danger with making turning away the slowest cars in qualifying is that it could negatively impact a team’s sponsorship situation. You might have a decent team crash in qualifying, miss the race, then have to forgo sponsorship for missing a race. They will have had a lot of the same expenses as the cars that make the race (hotels, travel, entry fee, repairs on the wrecked car) without any income. I don’t think there are a lot of teams that have healthy enough budgets to risk that.

  6. Jack

    November 7, 2013 at 12:12 pm

    ok, so if the rolex 24 is going to be on fs2 im going to be pissed, nobody has this channel, so please just have it on fs1 for the full 24 hours, fuck other sports that weekend, just let us have our racing

    • Anthony Thomas

      November 7, 2013 at 1:03 pm

      Define “Nobody”? Because I got it. Its on all the major carriers. Now with that said, if its an extra cost premium package channel and you don’t want the package, I guess that sucks for you.

      But here’s the real; the entire race should be be on FS1 and here’s why. There’s no college football. By mid Jan, all the Bowl games would have been played and any major ones left would be on the Big Four networks. I am not sure how deep FS1 is going to get into college basketball and that’s might impact it.

      Finally even if its on FS2 you can pout like a child if you want, but it would be far more effective if you fired off an email to Fox Sports.

  7. Robert

    November 7, 2013 at 1:57 pm

    Capping the GTLM class is the dumbest thing I have ever heard, you want to turn away support from International factory efforts?? I dont care about all the GTD porsches that are gonna be driving around, I want to see Aston vs Viper vs Vette vs Porsche vs Ferrari (kinda) vs BMW. Soo DUMB I DONT CARE ABOUT THE DP TEAMS OR THE GTD Cars

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