Fresh off a successful effort in the Aston Martin Le Mans Festival, TRG-AMR has targeted a return to the 24 Hours of Le Mans in 2016.
The Kevin Buckler-led squad, which collected five podium finishes and a GT4 class victory in this year’s support race, has gained considerable interest from customers wanting to return for the big race next June.
“There’s indeed interest from clients and friends that were with us,” Buckler told Sportscar365. “I think it would be well-received to have a U.S. Aston Martin contingent coming to Le Mans.
“We’re definitely exploring the possibility for the right drivers. I think it would be fun. I’m looking forward to getting through this season and starting to work on next year.”
TRG has three previous starts in the French endurance classic, with Buckler and Porsche factory drivers Lucas Luhr and Timo Bernhard having claimed GT class victory in the team’s debut in 2002.
While having not returned to the race since 2004, the California-based team came close to securing a GTE-Am program in 2013, which saw a TRG-AMR Aston Martin Vantage V8 registered on the reserve entry list.
Buckler said he’s evaluating a few different possibilities for 2016, which includes leasing a GTE-spec Aston Martin from Prodrive.
He admitted that he could also return behind the wheel as a driver, after impressing in the festival race in one of its Aston Martin V12 Vantage GT3 cars, which finished fourth overall.
“Someone came over to me the other day, and I didn’t even think about this,” Buckler said. “My times in the GT3 were competitive.
“They said, ‘You could be one of those Bronze guys. You have experience and you’re running as fast as the pros.’ I’m like, ‘I never thought about that! I’ve always been on the other side of it.'”
Buckler said he wouldn’t attempt a potential Le Mans program unless they had the key ingredients in place for it to be a success.
“I would probably consider it in the right conditions,” he said. “I’d love to race with some fun people and with friends.
“But if we go over there, we want to have a chance to win. That’s the only reason we’d go back. It’s a distinct possibility we’d give it a shot.”