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24H Le Mans

Westbrook, Tincknell Complete Factory Aston Le Mans Lineup

Aston Martin recruits Richard Westbrook, Harry Tincknell for 24H Le Mans…

Photo: Drew Gibson/Aston Martin

Former Ford GT factory drivers Richard Westbrook and Harry Tincknell will join Aston Martin Racing’s GTE-Pro driver lineup for the 24 Hours of Le Mans.

Westbrook will partner FIA World Endurance Championship points leaders Nicki Thiim and Marco Sorensen in the No. 95 Aston Martin Vantage GTE, while ex-Ford WEC racer Tincknell is to join Alex Lynn and Maxime Martin in the No. 97 car.

Last month, AMR managing director John Gaw told Sportscar365 that the British manufacturer would need to bring in new drivers for the 2019-20 season finale.

Darren Turner and Jonny Adam were Aston Martin’s additional Le Mans drivers last year, however the pair will be representing GTE-Am teams in the next edition.

Three-time Le Mans class winner Turner is part of AMR’s No. 98 driver lineup for the full 2019-20 season – along with fellow works asset Ross Gunn – while Adam drives for TF Sport.

The subsequent shortage of available works drivers has prompted Aston Martin to call on eleven-time IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship race winner Westbrook and 2014 Le Mans LMP2 class winner Tincknell to complete its Pro lineup.

Both drivers are set to race Aston Martin machinery for the first time.

Westbrook, who has yet to secure a full-time drive for 2020 following the conclusion of the Ford GT program, was one of the first names to be associated with AMR.

He told Sportscar365 that the Le Mans deal came last year while pursuing two different full-season DPi drives, which did not materialize.

“I’ve had four great years with Ford but when there was the realization that the program was coming to an end, the first thing you want is to secure a top drive at Le Mans, somewhere you can have a chance of a victory,” Westbrook said.

“That’s what I feel like I’ve got. It’s a really good time to be joining Aston.

“The car’s got a couple of years of development now and it’s very competitive in the WEC. Hopefully, that momentum can carry into Le Mans and we can have a real shot of the win.”

Westbrook added that he has a potential European full-season program lined up for 2020 which he hopes to confirm in the “next few weeks.”

“I was very hopeful of a DPi drive in America and that would have tied in very nicely because there wouldn’t have been any date clashes,” he said.

“In the eleventh hour the DPi deal went down the drain, so at the moment I’m left with this Aston Martin deal, although hopefully I’ll have some good news on my main racing program in the next few weeks.

“It won’t be in America. The season has started now and my focus is going back to Europe.”

Aston Martin Racing president David King said the team’s new signings are a “big step” in putting it in the “strongest position” for the 88th running of Le Mans.

“Harry is racing and winning at the sharp end of all forms of top-level endurance racing and we know his standard is high from racing against him directly in the WEC for the past four years.

“Richard has been a proven force at the top level of GT racing for a number of years and his speed and experience is perfect for the ‘Dane Train’ at Le Mans.

“The Vantage GTE has been delivering on its promise throughout the 2019-20 WEC season, with two wins from the first four races putting us at the top of the championship tables at this halfway stage.

“It’s imperative we build on this and give ourselves the best chance of delivering in the finale where of course the points are doubled.”

John Dagys contributed to this report.

Daniel Lloyd is a UK-based reporter for Sportscar365 and e-racing365, with a focus on the FIA World Endurance Championship and IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship.

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