R-Motorsport has paused its GT3 and GT4 Aston Martin programs, with the Swiss squad having withdrawn from GT World Challenge Europe, selected Intercontinental GT Challenge powered by Pirelli races and GT4 Europe competition due to the coronavirus pandemic.
The decision comes after team principal Dr. Florian Kamelger revealed in March that the team has shifted its resources into planning for 2021 and hinted that it could take a hiatus from GT racing this year following the termination of its DTM program in January.
The team, which took part in February’s Liqui-Moly Bathurst 12 Hour IGTC season-opener and the GTWC Europe pre-season test at Paul Ricard, had initially planned for three Aston Martin Vantage GT3 entries this season, having signed a number of high-profile drivers including Luca Ghiotto, Tom Blomqvist, Jake Dennis and Daniel Juncadella.
In a statement supplied to Endurance-Info, Kamelger cited the SRO’s compressed schedule and hospitality restrictions as the primary reasons to pull out of its 2020 plans.
“Following the COVID-19 pandemic, the board of directors of AF Racing Holding Group decided not to participate in the GT3 and GT4 races for the rest of the year and rather set the course for a successful 2021 season,” Kamelger said.
“We did not take this decision lightly. However, it does not make sense from the commercial point of view of R-Universe to start the races with an unprofitable program and artificially shortened with a late start to the season which could even evolve unpredictably.
“In addition to this, the hospitality restrictions required during race events prevent us from offering our exclusive R-Experience hospitality to our customers and partners, which is vital not only for R-Motorsport but for the activities of the our entire group of companies under the roof of the R-Universe.”
While not having formally committed to the season, it’s understood R-Motorsport had several more IGTC races planned and had previously announced an expansion into GT4 Europe with multiple cars.