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Aston Martin Closing in on GTLM Program Decision

Aston Martin closing in on possible factory-backed GTLM program for 2019…

Photo: Aston Martin Racing

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.

John Dagys is the founder and Editor-in-Chief of Sportscar365 as well as the recently launched e-racing365 Web site for electric racing. Dagys spent eight years as a motorsports correspondent for Channel, and contributes to other publications worldwide. Contact John



  1. Passenger

    August 19, 2018 at 6:25 am

    Well, that will be good news for IMSA. But, hoping they have enough budget for IMSA.

    • AudiTT

      August 20, 2018 at 10:47 am

      Some other team or sponsors will have to bring the funding. Cars have always been made available.

  2. Jason

    August 19, 2018 at 8:30 am

    Yes make it happen. Maybe jack gets the caddy and WTR does gtlm exclusively?

  3. Kyle

    August 19, 2018 at 8:36 am

    Wish they were talking with Flying Lizard. Either way, would love to have AM in GTLM next season.

  4. Chase Cavalier

    August 19, 2018 at 8:40 am

    This would be great for sales as Aston Martin is no longer represented by any team in the U.S. as far as I know. TRG races Porsche most of the time.

    • Matt

      August 19, 2018 at 9:49 am

      TRG doesn’t race anything anymore.

  5. Dave

    August 19, 2018 at 10:24 am

    Bring Nicki Thiim to IMSA!

    • Mike S

      August 19, 2018 at 1:37 pm

      Go hard or go home!!!! Nicki!! Nicki!!! Baaaaam!!

  6. Ed H.

    August 19, 2018 at 10:28 am

    I would love to see AMR in GTLM and CTSC (GT3, GT4). Looks like there will be multiple Cadillac DPi Teams for 2019. With Corvette going to the mid-engine format, would there be a chance of Cadillac GT3’s competing in GTLM (factory team replacing Corvette)?

    • BirdBrick

      August 19, 2018 at 1:20 pm

      What? What do you think the Corvette is going mid engine for? It’s to be in more competitive in GTLM, so why would they replace it? And also GT3 cars aren’t allowed in GTLM.

    • gmfansaredelusional

      August 20, 2018 at 11:38 am

      Good grief!

      Cadillac GT3 replacing ‘vette in GTLM?????????????????

      Corvette ain’t leaving GTLM and since when does a GT3 qualify for GTLM?

      I know, I know, some people advocate letting GT3s in GTLM. Stupid idea.

  7. Greg

    August 19, 2018 at 10:52 am

    Flying Lizard! Please say Flying Lizard!!

  8. jimmy

    August 19, 2018 at 12:22 pm

    Yes, Flying Lizard knows how to get it done!! They continue to win in everything they are involved with, that would be the smartest choice.

    • David Chaste

      August 19, 2018 at 1:25 pm

      There was a reason Porsche went with Core at Pat Long’s recommendation rather than going back to flying lizard.

      • Mike S.

        August 19, 2018 at 1:42 pm

        Why is that? Thought there was a big Porsche retirement at FLM and then Porsche was done at FLM. Retirement was probably due to the fact Porsche was moving on most likey. Pat Long didn’t have much say he doesn’t get to decide.

        • David Chaste

          August 19, 2018 at 3:47 pm

          Pat Long made the recommendation for Core. He also trains the porsche junior drivers in media engagement (along with Jamie Howe).

          Flying lizard became costly, and the money man Seth neiman was selling/giving the team to his associates Darren Law, thomas blam, van overbeek. With Neiman leaving no one knew how the team would turn out.

          • Greg

            August 20, 2018 at 7:37 am

            You might want to double check your intel there, because you’ve got a few facts wrong that can easily be looked up.

            Porsche announced their decision in the middle of the season in 2013, when everything was full speed ahead for Flying Lizard. Seth was injured in 2014 and stopped racing after that. He then sold the team at the end of 2014 to Law, Sadler, and Blam (not van overbeek), almost a year and a half after Porsche’s decision.

            There’s no public record of Long recommending Porsche choose Core at FLM, aside from supporting their decision after the fact, which is what a good brand ambassador does.

          • Greg

            August 20, 2018 at 8:49 am

            **over FLM

          • johnny_rokker

            August 20, 2018 at 1:00 pm

            From what I heard years ago, FLM was always supposed to be a 10 year program for Seth and it would end in 2013. (which it did) CORE, as a partner for Porsche, has independently deep pockets and the ability to have the best of the best on top of what budget Porsche brings to the table. This is not to say CORE pays for the honor of being the factory team in the USA, but the fact is they’re a very healthy business in their own right.

  9. MikeK

    August 19, 2018 at 12:37 pm

    Are they going to run Dunlops since GTLM is an open tyre class?

    • Passenger

      August 19, 2018 at 4:35 pm

      They have switched to Michelin, they not use Dunlop anymore.

    • cbbrit

      August 20, 2018 at 4:40 am

      Actually the third owner/partner is Tommy Sadler, not Johannes van Overbeek!

  10. David Chaste

    August 19, 2018 at 1:23 pm

    Can they really have funding for imsa gtlm, wec gte pro and work on the hypercar program??? They havent proven to be big spenders. They had the same car for 10 years while others went through 2-3 car redesigns in that time. Time will tell.

    • Charlie

      August 20, 2018 at 7:17 am

      I think it’s neat that guys still think Hypercar is going to happen.

      • Blaneysellstrashbags@Ring24

        August 21, 2018 at 9:32 am

        All that ACO hyper car talk is nothing more than ACO trying to make themselves believe that they dont need IMSA.

  11. Big Bro

    August 19, 2018 at 2:10 pm

    Dyson racing would be perfect

  12. Jo jo

    August 19, 2018 at 2:46 pm

    Actually Dyson is probably in the running for it, it’s too bad That won’t be a competitive effort, it’s probably Aston just looking for someone to put in money

  13. Racer

    August 19, 2018 at 7:44 pm

    When will Racer’s “Aston Martin is not closing in on a GTLM program” article be published?

  14. JeffB

    August 19, 2018 at 11:33 pm

    Another top flight marque in GTLM would be awesome. This article sounds more positive than tentative, so I hope it comes to be, as well as a full time return by Ferrari. It could really become a golden era for GTLM.

    • AudiTT

      August 20, 2018 at 10:50 am

      More likely Ferrari are done in IMSA, Ford on way out, no Aston’s, and no customer RSR’s.

      Not to sound pessimistic but GTLM could be down to 6-7 cars by 2020.

      • Mo

        August 20, 2018 at 11:05 am

        More likely we will see 10 GTLMs next year as Aston are serious about North America, with maybe 11 with Risi. Ferrari will be under new leadership so not sure what their support will be like. Last I read, Lexus were considering GTLM as well. Worst case scenario for 2020 is 8 GTLM.

        • Chips O'Toole

          August 20, 2018 at 11:27 am

          LOL, if I had a quarter for every time someone mentioned Risi making a comeback in GTLM.

  15. AMR Fan

    August 20, 2018 at 10:56 am

    It is too bad that Aston Martin won’t enter DPi. The Lola-Aston Martin was essentially the first DPi.

  16. the boot

    August 20, 2018 at 11:20 am

    Would be interested to know what Aston is willing to provide the North American team outside of the cars. What is a proper GTLM budget 4-5 million? To me it sounds like Aston is fishing for a well funded team/owner that will fund the entire program. Unlike the current factory funded programs. Any program needs to be done right and funded properly. Pointless to show up against Ganassi, Rahal or PM without proper resources. Ed Brown/Patron levels of funfing aren’t plentiful.

  17. WesGTR

    August 20, 2018 at 1:37 pm

    I hope WTR gets it, after Lambo folding on the Huracan GTE, I’d be great to see them fighting against the other factories. I’d suppose it wouldn’t make GM ver happy to see them fielding a Caddy one year then going against the Corvettes the next.

  18. Prototype 1

    August 21, 2018 at 5:46 am

    I think the Astons could go to Andretti Autosport, Wayne Taylor Racing or Carlin Motorsport.

    • NASCAR/DPs Suck

      August 21, 2018 at 11:33 am

      If the Mclaren Andretti deal comes together then I don’t think they’ll have the human capital or space to accommodate the Aston deal. WTR is interesting and I wonder if they’d stay in DPi if that happened.

  19. Hank Mardukas

    August 21, 2018 at 11:43 am

    I wonder if GM found out that WTR was talking to AMR and that’s why Jordan wasn’t in the Corvette at Le Mans this year?

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