Since its introduction at the start of the year, Aston Martin’s new Vantage GT3 has yet to tackle a round-the-clock test. That will all change this weekend as six examples of the British manufacturer’s newest charger take on the Ardennes challenge with teams running the car in each of the categories. If Aston Martin manages to win, it’ll be the brand’s first victory since its sole Spa 24 Hours win in 1948.
The Swiss team has quickly become the go-to team for Aston Martin in the Blancpain GT Series, but has yet to enjoy the same results with the new Vantage that it gained with the V12 version last year. This year they have two All-Pro cars including factory star Maxime Martin – who won the 24 Hours with BMW in 2016 – and the ever-rapid Alex Lynn, who is expanding an endurance racing portfolio which includes two wins at the Spa 6 Hours.
In addition to the Pro cars, there is also a Silver Cup entry for R-Motorsport’s young stars as the team looks to blood in its stars of the future.
Matthieu Vaxivière/Matt Parry/Maxime Martin
Marvin Kirchhöfer/Jake Dennis/Alex Lynn
#762 R-Motorsport (Silver Cup)
Ricky Collard/Hugo De Sadeleer/Ferdinand von Habsburg/Aaro Vainio
The erstwhile McLaren gun, Garage 59 comes back to Spa with a very different look this year and is proving very canny at picking up silverware – especially in the Am Cup.
That Am car, featuring TopGear host Chris Harris, Alexander West and Chris Goodwin has taken a win and two podiums in the three Endurance Cup races so far this year. With the addition of Aston Martin Young Driver Ross Gunn – himself an increasingly rising star in the GT world – and they’re surely on for class victory.
Really, the same could be said for the Pro car. Multiple British GT champion and Le Mans 24 Hours winner Jonny Adam is someone who gives 100-percent every time he gets behind the wheel, pair him with Côme Ledogar and Andrew Watson – both more than capable of a strong turn of pace – and the team is looking stronger than ever.
#59 Garage 59
Côme Ledogar/Andrew Watson/Jonny Adam
#188 Garage 59 (Am)
Chris Harris/Chris Goodwin/Alexander West/Ross Gunn
Oman Racing Team by TF Sport
Two thirds and a second has marked out the TF Sport-run Oman Racing Team car as championship contenders in the Pro-Am Cup. Charlie Eastwood and Salih Yoluc have developed a strong relationship thanks to their FIA WEC GTE-Am campaign alongside each other – also for TF Sport. Ahmad Al Harthy has won titles for the team in the Blancpain GT Series.
Throw Nicki Thiim into that mix, a man who doesn’t know the meaning of ‘slow down’ – especially having had an hour of practice picking his way through the field in last weekend’s British GT race – and Aston Martin finds itself well represented in all the sub-categories that make up the 24 hour extravaganza.
#97 Oman Racing Team by TF Sport (Pro-Am)
Ahmad Al Harthy/Charlie Eastwood/Salih Yoluc/Nicki Thiim