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.