Paul Dalla Lana will spearhead Aston Martin Racing’s effort in next month’s Rolex 24 at Daytona, having confirmed a GT Daytona class entry with a factory-run Aston Martin Vantage GT3.
The longtime IMSA-turned full-time WEC driver told Sportscar365 that he will be on the grid for the WeatherTech SportsCar Championship season-opener in an Aston GT3 alongside Ross Gunn, Mathias Lauda and Pedro Lamy.
It will mark Dalla Lana’s return to the British marque at Daytona after contesting the last two editions in an AF Corse-run Ferrari 488 GT3.
“We’ve got unfinished business there,” Dalla Lana told Sportscar365. “We’ve got some of the old team back together and some of the new team [from WEC] so it’s a bit of a mix.
“I’m very much looking forward to it. I haven’t driven the GT3 car, so there will be some learning to do. Thankfully there’s a fair bit of time to get going.”
Dalla Lana said he’s excited to be part of the North American debut for the new-generation Vantage GT3, which will also see a full-season entry fielded by the newly formed Ian James-led The Heart of Racing operation.
“I know Aston has been working hard to get back there,” he said. “It’s good to see [The Heart of Racing] for a full-season effort in IMSA.”
Drivers for The Heart of Racing’s effort have yet to be announced.
Aston Bathurst 12H Program Under Consideration
The cancellation of the FIA World Endurance Championship’s round at Interlagos, which has been replaced by a race at Circuit of The Americas three weeks later, has re-opened the door for Dalla Lana to contest the Liqui-Moly Bathurst 12 Hour, also in a GT3-spec Aston Martin run by Prodrive.
The Canadian said a final decision on the proposed effort will likely come following this weekend’s WEC round in Bahrain.
“There’s some discussions about Bathurst now,” he said. “We didn’t think it was going to be possible.
“I’m still smarting around losing Sao Paulo because it’s a big business [market] and my wife is from Brazil.
“I was looking forward to it but COTA is a good fix and it does open up Bathurst again. We’ve got some thinking to do this weekend.”
Dalla Lana claimed GT3 Pro-Am class honors in this year’s Australian enduro in a Ferrari shared with Lamy and Lauda.