Aston Martin Racing has confirmed Maxime Martin as its newest factory driver that will join the British manufacturer for the 2018/19 FIA World Endurance Championship season.
The 31-year-old Belgian, who announced his departure from BMW last week, completes the full-season lineup in the team’s pair of new Vantage GTE cars that will race in the GTE-Pro class.
Martin joins Jonny Adam, longtime factory driver Darren Turner, 2016 GTE-Pro champions Nicki Thiim and Marco Sorensen, as well the newly signed Alex Lynn in the lineup, with driver combinations yet to be determined.
As Sportscar365 reported, Martin had been linked with a switch to Aston Martin, a brand he has driven in the past, but not in a works capacity.
Most notably, Martin finished 7th overall in the 24 Hours of Le Mans in 2011 in a Marc VDS-run Lola-Aston Martin LMP1 car.
“I have driven other Aston Martin Racing cars in the past and have been in contact with the team for the past few years, but I am quite honored to take the next step with this great manufacturer,” Martin said.
“It’s a new challenge for me and also a big change, but I feel that this is the right moment to make this move, especially with the race debut of the new Vantage GTE.
“I have competed at Le Mans three times before, but to come back again next year as an official Aston Martin Racing driver is an amazing feeling. I very much hope we can look forward to a lot of success together.”
AMR Team Principal Paul Howarth added: “We’ve had an eye on Maxime for several years now, so we are delighted to welcome him to Aston Martin Racing.
“He is an exceptionally talented GT driver and he is the perfect addition to our high-calibre driver lineup.”
Martin will get his first laps in the new V8 twin-turbo-powered Vantage GTE early next year, ahead of the car’s debut in the season-opening Six Hours of Spa in May.