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Westbrook to Drive GTE-Am Aston Martin in Bahrain

Westbrook to replace Farfus in AMR’s GTE-Am lineup for WEC season finale…

Photo: Nick Dungan/AMR

Richard Westbrook will make his GTE-Am class debut in next month’s FIA World Endurance Championship season finale in Bahrain, driving for Aston Martin Racing.

The ex-Ford GT factory driver is replacing Augusto Farfus in the No. 98 Aston Martin Vantage GTE that he will share with Paul Dalla Lana and Ross Gunn.

Farfus is unable to take part in the 8 Hours of Bahrain due to his clashing commitments in the IMSA Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring which is also being held on Nov. 14.

His replacement Westbrook drove for Aston Martin in the GTE-Pro class at last month’s 24 Hours of Le Mans, finishing third with Nicki Thiim and Marco Sorensen.

That marked the British driver’s maiden appearance in the Vantage GTE, while Bahrain will signal his first outing in the WEC’s second-tier GT category.

“I’m delighted to be returning to Aston Martin for the final round of the WEC season,” said Westbrook, who also recently contested the Nürburgring 24 with Scuderia Cameron Glickenhaus.

“The GTE Am class is phenomenally competitive nowadays and for me, this is a great opportunity to fight for a victory as the season draws to a close.

“Racing for a brand like Aston Martin is a great honor and the experience of standing on the podium at Le Mans, wearing British racing green overalls, on such a special day for the brand is something I won’t ever forget.

“This will only be my second race in the Vantage, but after Le Mans it feels like I’ve had more than enough mileage to feel at home in the car. I’ve always enjoyed racing at Bahrain, it’s one of my favorites, and it’s actually where I won my first race in a GT car in 2005.”

That victory 15 years ago came in a non-championship round of the Porsche Supercup held on the support bill for the second-ever Formula One Bahrain Grand Prix.

No. 98 Aston Martin car owner Dalla Lana said that Westbrook was an “obvious choice” to replace Farfus for the WEC finale.

“He was a star performer at Le Mans and he knows the car and the team extremely well,” said the Canadian.

“We’ve had the pace and the performance all season and it would be really great to wrap the year up with a win. I believe we deserve it as a team.”

Dalla Lana and Gunn, who contested the opening five rounds of the 2019-20 season with Darren Turner, are fourth in the GTE-Am standings heading into Bahrain, although they are out of mathematical contention for the class title.

Fellow Aston Martin outfit TF Sport leads the championship with recent Le Mans winners Jonny Adam, Salih Yoluc and Charlie Eastwood holding an eight-point advantage over AF Corse Ferrari drivers Nicklas Nielsen, Emmanuel Collard and Francois Perrodo.

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

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