Aston Martin is “very close” to being represented in the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship next year, with a full-season GT Daytona entry in the final negotiation stages, according to AMR managing director John Gaw.
The British manufacturer, which has been absent from full-time GTD competition since 2015, is targeting to have a new-gen Aston Martin Vantage GT3 on the grid, which would likely be supported with a factory driver.
“I’m hopeful,” Gaw told Sportscar365. “There’s still t’s to be crossed and i’s to be dotted but it’s an objective to have a GTD car in place.”
Should a deal be finalized, it would mark the 10th different manufacturer in the GTD class, joining expected entries representing Acura, Audi, BMW, Ferrari, Lamborghini, Lexus, McLaren, Mercedes-AMG and Porsche, either for the full-season or WeatherTech Sprint Cup.
Gaw said he’s been pleased with the growth of Aston Martin’s presence in North America, having credited the manufacturer’s new importer and parts distributor CSJ Motorsports for helping secure additional GT4 cars for both Michelin Pilot Challenge and Pirelli GT4 America.
Longtime Aston entrant Automatic Racing has outlined plans for an expanded presence in Pilot Challenge while it was announced last month that the newly formed BSport Racing will field a new-gen Aston GT4 in SRO’s GT4 America SprintX competition.
“The strongest market for the Vantage is North America,” Gaw said. “It’s doing really well. If there’s a car running in [IMSA] it would get more people interested.
“We saw with the GT4 when it qualified on pole at Road America, we got orders right off the back of it right away.
“Even though the car is doing well across Europe and has won a lot of championships, people still want to see it run on their home soil.”
Additional Aston Possible for Rolex 24
A factory-entered Aston Martin could be possible for the season-opening Rolex 24 at Daytona, should Paul Dalla Lana commit to the British manufacturer’s proposed GTD effort.
The Canadian told Sportscar365 last weekend that he has two offers on the table for Daytona, indicating that a return in an AF Corse-run Ferrari 488 GT3 is the other option.
A decision was due to be made following the Shanghai FIA World Endurance Championship event.