Aston Martin is closing in on a decision to enter the GT Le Mans class of the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship next year, with a factory-supported effort utilizing an existing U.S.-based team on the table.
Sportscar365 has learned that the British manufacturer has been in discussions with several top-level teams for what is understood to be a two-car operation with the new-generation Aston Martin Vantage GTE.
A decision on the deal, which could also include North American sales and customer support of Aston’s range of new GT3 and GT4 machinery, could be made in the coming days.
Aston Martin Racing Racing president David King confirmed that discussions have taken place but a decision has not yet been made on whether a 2019 program will go ahead.
“We’re talking to some possible partners there, yes,” King told Sportscar365. “I can’t say too much there now as it wouldn’t be fair to the process we’re going through.
“It’s pleasing to see how much interest from good teams there is in racing an Aston.”
Multiple industry sources have linked Wayne Taylor Racing to advanced discussions with the manufacturer, although Taylor denied any knowledge of the program when asked by Sportscar365.
While also not confirming discussions with WTR, King said it would be “unfair” to people in the process to talk about possible teams.
He said there are still multiple options on the board in terms of levels of support.
“The most likely is a really strong partnership with a credible U.S.-based team where we provide some technical and driver support,” he said. “But there is no decision or partner team chosen yet.”
Confirmation on a 2019 program would have to come “pretty quickly” according to King, who indicated it would be feasible if a deal is reached in the next few weeks.
Aston Martin’s arrival into the WeatherTech Championship would come as a significant boost to the GTLM grid, which currently features factory efforts from BMW, Corvette, Ford and Porsche, with the Blue Oval likely to move to DPi by 2020.
The twin-turbo V8-powered Vantage GTE made its competition debut in the FIA World Endurance Championship this year, with new GT3 and GT4 models set to be rolled out to customers for 2019.