Kevin Buckler’s The Racers Group will continue its relationship with Aston Martin Racing in 2016, as AMR has committed to a full factory-supported partnership for teams in Pirelli World Challenge.
The note that the factory-supported partnership extends to World Challenge first raises the question of whether TRG-AMR will return to IMSA at all, where Christina Nielsen finished second in the GT Daytona class championship this year. Nielsen also raced all non-conflicting World Challenge rounds this year.
At issue is whether Aston Martin will commit to becoming an official manufacturer in IMSA.
Alas, in World Challenge, teams that run an Aston Martin GT4 or V12 Vantage GT3 will receive comprehensive factory support, engineering assistance, spare parts support and other benefits over the course of the year.
Besides the trackside support, a new program launched next year is access for young Aston Martin drivers to enter the works Evolution Academy Program for 2016.
This will see the top Academy driver qualify for a works contract with AMR for the 2016 season. Any eligible driver racing an Aston Martin in World Challenge would be in line to enter the Evolution Academy program and compete for a works driver contract in 2017.
“With the global racing success of the GT4 and V12 Vantage GT3 platform, we felt the time was right to make a bold move to offer full factory support and continued growth of our successful motorsport program in North America,” said John Gaw, Managing Director of Aston Martin Racing.
“What is on offer here should not only attract more drivers and teams to the Aston Martin programs, but also allow more sponsors and corporate partners to become involved in what we are doing.
“Beyond factory AMR trackside race support, we are exploring ways to create a global business network to connect our corporate partners to the modern-day racing programs.”
“We applaud this move by Aston Martin Racing in the UK to assure teams and drivers running Aston Martin Vantage race cars that they will have direct access to factory support to be competitive on track,” said Buckler, CEO of TRG-AMR North America.
“Our goal at TRG-AMR is to help drivers successfully purchase and race Aston Martin Vantage models in North America, whether that is with TRG-AMR or another team.
“For drivers wanting a turnkey program including a V8 or V12 Vantage, race support, driver development, and VIP corporate hospitality, we believe TRG-AMR is a great choice.”
The performance related support package will benefit competitors racing in the Pirelli World Challenge Championship only with an Aston Martin.
The package will feature at its pinnacle a $50,000 championship bonus consisting of cash, contingency bonuses and racing parts in the GT and GTA classes, while the GTS class prize will be set at $25,000 collectively. Both will additionally include individual race bonuses and contingencies.
In order to qualify, the competitor must run an Aston Martin for the entire championship, and compete in every round of the series.