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TF Sport “Talking About” One-Off Pro Aston Martin Entry

Aston customer TF Sport interested in a one-off Pro entry for a major endurance race…

Photo: MPS Agency

TF Sport is “talking about” potentially fielding a Pro-class Aston Martin in a major race such as the 24 Hours of Le Mans next year, according to team principal Tom Ferrier.

The FIA World Endurance Championship GTE-Am customer squad is keen to test itself in the Pro arena at an event like Le Mans, the TotalEnergies 24 Hours of Spa or the Rolex 24 at Daytona.

Ferrier told Sportscar365 that he has registered initial interest with Aston Martin Racing, which runs a global customer racing support network for the Vantage GT racing line.

AMR previously entered factory cars into the WEC GTE-Pro class but withdrew that side of its operation after clinching the 2019-20 world drivers’ and manufacturers’ titles.

Since then the emphasis has been on customer support, most of which focuses on teams racing in series and classes with driver categorization requirements.

However, last month Garage 59 ran a Pro Aston Martin at the 24 Hours of Spa as a way for AMR to show the capabilities of the Vantage GT3. Works drivers Nicki Thiim, Marco Sorensen and Ross Gunn claimed Aston’s first overall podium in the race since 2008.

Ferrier put forward a selection of possible races for TF Sport to consider, and highlighted Le Mans due to next year likely being the last for full-factory entries in GTE-Pro.

“100 percent we’re talking about that, for Daytona or Spa for a Pro car, and even Le Mans because it’s [potentially] the last year of GTE-Pro next year,” he said.

“We’ve had a brief discussion saying it would be lovely to try and run a Pro car, but it’s just about discussing how to make that work. I’d love to run a Pro car.”

Asked if TF Sport has been initiating the preliminary discussions with Aston Martin Racing, Ferrier said: “I would say so, but they’re well-received at least.”

Aston Martin Racing managing director John Gaw acknowledged that early talks have taken place and told Sportscar365 that the manufacturer is “talking to all” its customers about potential pro-level entries in major GT races.

Ferrier added: “It’s long way off, but it’s just a conversation to have over a beer at the moment.

“We’ve got the kit and the equipment, so I think we could do a good job at that level. As always, it depends on money. We’d like to have a go at it, at some point.

“If it would be Spa, Le Mans or Daytona it would be good fun.”

TF Sport runs Aston Martin programs in GTE and GT3 covering entries in both international and domestic competitions.

It made its GTE debut in the 2017 European Le Mans Series and expanded to a world championship program the following year.

The team made its IMSA debut in January, placing seventh in the Rolex 24 GTD class with an Aston driven by Richard Westbrook, Charlie Eastwood, Max Root and Ben Keating.

It is also a 24 Hours of Spa class winner with Ahmad Al Harthy’s Oman Racing setup.

Ferrier indicated that an outright GT victory bid would be most likely to come as a one-off. TF Sport is planning to continue in the WEC GTE-Am class next year with two cars.

“It’s all possible, but it’s just how you can get to work really,” said Ferrier, who is also looking to add a second Oreca 07 Gibson to his team’s LMP2 stable for next year.

“I would see it being a more one-off anyway, if it’s to happen at Le Mans rather than a whole series. It’s easier to find a budget for something like Le Mans than something like a full series.

“I just said that it would be lovely to do it because it’s [potentially] the last year [for GTE-Pro]. We’ll see, but it’s gone no further than that.”

AMR Would Support Pro Entry “No Question”

Aston Martin Racing would be ready and willing to support a customer-run Pro entry at Le Mans or another major endurance race next year, according to Gaw.

He explained that the manufacturer is keen for its customers to compete for overall honors at major endurance races off the back of Garage 59’s podium run at Spa.

“We want to win Spa, the Nürburgring and Le Mans,” said Gaw. “We want to give as much support to our customers as we can to achieve that goal.

“If a customer wants to run one then of course we’ll give them support. No question.

“It’s the customer’s money. We’re here to support the customers. That’s the priority now.

“Previously we would run four cars [at Le Mans] and now the customers have four cars.  We don’t tell them what to do, but we want to win the big races with the customers.”

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

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