There will only be four Aston Martin Vantage V8s on the grid for this weekend’s FIA WEC Six Hours of Shanghai, following the withdrawal of the Young Driver AMR-backed entry due to continued Balance of Performance concerns.
The GTE-Pro entry, due to be driven by Nicki Thiim, Christoffer Nygaard and Marco Sorensen, has been pulled by AMR’s customer team.
“The No. 95 Young Driver AMR car is entered by Aston Martin Racing on behalf of Young Driver AMR,” said AMR team principal John Gaw. “Young Driver AMR and their sponsors have chosen not to race in Shanghai this weekend.”
Aston Martin has been in the center of BoP changes this season, with the Vantage V8 having received an initial 0.5 mm reduction in air restrictor following the 24 Hours of Le Mans, and gained back 0.2 mm of the cut prior to the most recent round at Fuji.
However, according to Gaw, the changes have not been enough, with the factory squad having not been on the GTE-Pro podium since the second round of the season at Spa.
“Before the last round in Fuji, the ACO re-adjusted the engine air-restrictor size of the Vantage GTE but it still wasn’t enough to enable us to fight for the podium in the GTE Pro class,” Gaw said.
“Only thanks to clever strategy and some fantastic driving were we able to come close to winning GTE Am.
“Shanghai looks like it will be a similar story and, while we will clearly go with the full intention to do the very best we can, with the performance deficit, we have a huge challenge ahead.”
The four remaining Astons, two each in GTE-Pro and GTE-Am, will feature unchanged driver lineups, aside from the return of Richie Stanaway to the No. 99 car after missing the Fuji round due to his GP2 commitments.
Young Driver AMR’s withdrawal drops this weekend’s entry to 31 cars.