Newly crowned World Endurance GTE champion Aston Martin Racing is poised to have a reduced factory presence in the FIA World Endurance Championship next year amid budget cutbacks within its GT racing program.
Multiple industry sources have indicated to Sportscar365 that the British manufacturer is considering either a scaled-back GTE-Pro program or a withdrawal from the class altogether for the 2021 season.
It comes amid a shifting of resources within the brand, which will enter Formula 1 next year under Lawrence Stroll’s re-branded Force India F1 team.
While its presence in GTE-Am doesn’t appear to be in question, Sportscar365 understands that factory backing could be eliminated in GTE-Pro, leaving Prodrive to either run a limited schedule or pull out from the category.
An announcement on Aston’s WEC future could come as early as Monday.
When reached by Sportscar365 an Aston Martin Racing spokesperson provided the following comment:
“Aston Martin is still reviewing its motorsport strategy for 2021 and beyond, but international GT racing alongside Formula 1 will be at the heart of our program next year.”
The British manufacturer has a five-season commitment to the WEC that is set to run through the 2022 season.
However, such a contract is believed to be fulfilled even with a continued presence in GTE-Am, with Paul Dalla Lana expected to continue his customer effort under the AMR banner next year.
AMR’s Nicki Thiim and Marco Sorensen claimed the GTE-Pro title following Saturday’s 2019-20 season-ending 8 Hours of Bahrain, in what has been a six-car class for the majority of the season.
Should Aston pull both of its GTE-Pro entries, it would result in only four full-season cars split between Porsche and Ferrari, which are both planning returns in 2021.
Such a move would cast further questions into the viability of the GTE platform, with IMSA facing reduced car counts next year amid Porsche’s factory exit from the WeatherTech SportsCar Championship.