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Aston Factory Drivers Spearhead Beechdean AMR Pro Entry

Aston Martin returns to top class of GTWC Europe Endurance Cup with Beechdean AMR…

Photo: Andrew Ferraro

Beechdean AMR will enter the Pro class of the Fanatec GT World Challenge Europe powered by AWS Endurance Cup with Aston Martin factory drivers Nicki Thiim, Marco Sorensen and Maxime Martin.

The British squad is bringing Aston Martin back into the top tier of GTWC Europe with one of its two entries, while the other is registered for the new Gold Cup category.

Beechdean AMR’s No. 95 Pro entry represents the first attempt at the outright Endurance Cup title from an Aston Martin outfit since Garage 59 and R-Motorsport in 2019.

It is also the first time that three AMR factory drivers have shared a car for the full season in SRO Motorsports Group’s European long-distance competition.

Last year three works drivers were brought in for a Pro effort for Garage 59 at the TotalEnergies 24 Hours of Spa round.

The entry ended up being successful as Thiim, Sorensen and Ross Gunn finished third overall, earning Aston Martin’s first outright podium at the race in 13 years.

Thiim and Sorensen are now set for their first full season together since winning the 2019-20 FIA World Endurance GT Championship with Aston Martin Racing.

Their Beechdean co-driver Martin won the 24 Hours of Spa in 2016 as a BMW works driver and has won the GTE-Pro class at the 24 Hours of Le Mans during his time with Aston Martin. The Belgian racer and Thiim also took an NLS win together last season.

Beechdean AMR team principal Andrew Howard will share the wheel of the Gold-class Aston Martin with newly-signed AMR factory driver Valentin Hasse-Clot and Silver-rated Theo Nouet.

“As Aston Martin Racing’s longest-serving partner team, Beechdean AMR has a proud track record of success with Vantage,” Howard said.

“For me personally, it’s a brand I have always regarded with a strong passion, and this deep emotional tie combined with the ambitions of our team have culminated in Beechdean AMR stepping into the GTWC Endurance Cup.

“This is the beginning of a new chapter, and together with the help and collaboration of Aston Martin, we intend to demonstrate the full potential of Vantage in the world’s most competitive GT series.”

Huw Tasker, the head of AMR Partner Racing, believes that the British manufacturer has “unfinished business” in GTWC Europe Endurance Cup.

“While we have had competitive Pro entries in the series previously, for one reason or another, Vantage has not always enjoyed the success it deserves,” he said.

“With Beechdean AMR, and a superb driver lineup in both cars, we hope and expect to see a step forward in terms of consistent competitiveness and results.

“Beechdean AMR is our longest-serving partner and one we have always enjoyed close ties with, so we will of course support the team’s endeavors in any way that we can to ensure that Vantage establishes itself firmly as a competitive option in the world’s most highly-contested GT division.”

Beechdean AMR announced its first overseas campaign since 2019 earlier this month, but Howard was the only named driver and the racing classes were not disclosed.

Hasse-Clot Signed to AMR Factory Lineup

GT4 championship-winning driver Hasse-Clot has joined Aston Martin Racing’s squad of factory drivers ahead of the 2022 season.

The 26-year-old, Gold-rated Frenchman won the Aston Martin Racing Academy in 2020 after claiming the Silver title in the GT4 European Series.

As part of his prize, he received AMR support for his motorsport programs last year, which included a second GTWC Europe Endurance Cup term with Garage 59 and a championship-winning season in FFSA French GT.

“Becoming an Aston Martin works driver is a life-changing opportunity for me,” said Hasse-Clot.

“The career of a young driver is made of many sacrifices for very few moments of pure joy. The path was not easy until I found my way in 2019 with Aston Martin.

“Over three years of commitment with the manufacturer, I’ve had the chance to evolve in many championships, with different partner teams, to learn alongside amazing people, but above all to win my first titles.

“I would like to thank Aston Martin for having trusted me through the AMR Academy in 2020, then with the status of Junior driver in 2021, and now as a factory driver.

“Now the focus is on winning another title in GTWC with Beechdean AMR.”

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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