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Pittard Named Aston Factory Driver; De Angelis Wins Academy

David Pittard signs as Aston Martin factory driver; De Angelis named latest Academy graduate…

Photo: MPS Agency

Aston Martin Racing has signed David Pittard to its factory driver roster and named Roman de Angelis as the latest winner of its AMR Academy young driver initiative.

Pittard will make his works debut in this weekend’s Rolex 24 at Daytona sharing the NorthWest AMR Aston Martin Vantage GT3 with Paul Dalla Lana, Charlie Eastwood and Nicki Thiim, ahead of an FIA World Endurance Championship program in GTE-Am.

The 29-year-old Brit drove for Walkenhorst Motorsport in Fanatec GT World Challenge Europe powered by AWS Endurance Cup last year and has also won NLS races at the Nürburging with the German squad.

He tested an Aston Martin Vantage GTE in Bahrain last November, which led to his signing with Dalla Lana’s Aston Martin Racing-operated entry for the 2022 WEC.

“I’m excited and proud to have signed for Aston Martin Racing,” said Pittard.

“My goal is to win the biggest endurance GT races and with Aston Martin I have the platform and the machinery to achieve this.

“I welcome the challenge of adapting to a new manufacturer, new championships and new tracks, but Aston Martin Racing is one of the best organizations in the business so I’m confident this will be a short and painless process.

“Having teammates like Paul and Nicki – one of the fastest GT drivers on the planet – will certainly help.

“I’m looking forward to racing the Vantage, which has proved a world-class champion in both GTE and GT3 specification, and I’m glad Daytona has come around so soon in the year so I can get started right away.”

In addition to confirming Pittard as a factory driver, Aston Martin Racing has announced IMSA GTD front-runner De Angelis as the winner of the 2021 AMR Academy.

De Angelis, who won last year’s IMSA WeatherTech Sprint Cup with The Heart of Racing, will receive financial support and factory guidance towards his 2022 race program with the same Aston Martin customer team.

The 20-year-old Canadian was selected as the top prospect from a group of 15 candidates. The judging panel included AMR managing director John Gaw, head of customer racing Huw Tasker, factory drivers Jonny Adam and Ross Gunn, and the previous Academy winner Valentin Hasse-Clot.

“Roman has impressed us for a number of years, but in 2021 he really matured into an exciting driver for the future,” said Gaw.

“His pace continues to build, and we watched him grow rapidly through the season, allowing him to demonstrate a championship-winning mentality and a calmness under pressure that tends to underline genuine talents in our sport.

“The level was high in last year’s AMR Academy and it’s a testament to his rival candidates that Roman emerged successful.

“He fully deserves to join previous winners Ross Gunn, Tom Canning and Valentin Hasse-Clot as exciting examples of talent grown from within the AMR GT racing family.”

De Angelis described his selection as the fourth AMR Academy winner as an “honor”.

“I’m proud to have been chosen among such an exceptional group of drivers,” he said.

“Graduating from the Academy is a good flag marker for my career, and now it’s important to build on this in 2022 with the Vantage GT3 in IMSA and pay back the faith AMR has placed in me.”

Aston Martin has confirmed that the AMR Academy will return this year. The initiative is open to applying drivers aged 17 to 26 who have a confirmed race program in a Vantage GT3 or GT4.

Daniel Lloyd is a UK-based reporter for Sportscar365, covering the FIA World Endurance Championship, Fanatec GT World Challenge Europe powered by AWS and the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship, among other series.

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