Aston Martin Racing is set to have a presence in both GT categories of next year’s United SportsCar Racing series, as Sportscar365 has learned the British manufacturer is finalizing a factory-run GT Le Mans program for the North American Endurance Championship.
The effort is being spearheaded by GRAND-AM veteran Paul Dalla Lana, who is competing in this year’s FIA World Endurance Championship with his Aston Martin Vantage V8 GTE.
Dalla Lana’s 2013-spec Aston would be taken Stateside for the endurance rounds, beginning with the Rolex 24 at Daytona and Twelve Hours of Sebring, plus any additional races that make up the to-be-confirmed NAEC schedule.
“One of the goals has been to piggyback on our Le Mans experience and do some additional endurance racing,” Dalla Lana said in a Sportscar365 exclusive interview. “I think Aston’s dream has been to do it in America and to have a U.S. presence. And since I’m here already, it makes a lot of sense to try and do it together in the new reformatted United SportsCar Racing series.
“I think we’re very close to moving forward on a program for the endurance championship, starting with Daytona and Sebring and Petit, as I understand it. If there’s another race in it, that would be great too.
“It’s pretty cool and to obviously piggyback on the factory effort with the AMR guys running the cars and using some of my co-drivers from the WEC. I’m really looking forward to compete in that class in America.”
Dalla Lana, who currently competes in both the Rolex Series and Continental Tire Sports Car Challenge for Turner Motorsport, plans to continue with Will Turner’s squad next year, with a to-be-announced GTD program for the full USCR season.
It will thus result in the 2011 CTSCC champion pulling double duty between the Aston GTE car and Turner’s GTD contender in the endurance rounds. Additionally, he plans to return to the WEC next year with AMR in the GTE-Am category.
“The only good news is that between Conti and Rolex, I’ve been doing it for four years, so it’s not a completely new experience to be sharing the weekend,” he said. “The hope is that very shortly to have some clarity around commitments to GT Daytona as well. With some hope, we’ll be able to continue with our BMW tradition.
“It will be with two very different cars, somehow in the same race, but with very familiar people on both sides of the fence. So far both parties have been supportive. If that continues, I think that would be a lot of fun.”
News on Turner’s 2014 USCR program is expected to be announced in the coming days.