Aston Martin will return to the Pro category of the Fanatec GT World Challenge Europe Powered by AWS Endurance Cup this season with Beechdean AMR, while a second entry is confirmed for the new Gold Cup class.
In 2021 the British brand's top-tier efforts were limited to the TotalEnergies 24 Hours of Spa, though the trio of Nicki Thiim, Marco Sørensen and Ross Gunn made it count with a super third-place finish overall. Thiim and Sørensen will now join the new #95 Beechdean AMR effort alongside Maxime Martin, forming one of the most impressive line-ups on the 2022 grid.
Martin has particular pedigree at Spa. The son of four-time race winner Jean-Michel Martin, the Belgian finally won his home event in 2016 following a number of near misses and remains hugely popular among the local fans.
The sister #97 machine will see Beechdean AMR team principal and two-time British GT champion Andrew Howard return to international competition alongside newly-confirmed Aston Martin works driver Valentin-Hasse Clot and Theo Nouet. The French duo are already established teammates having clinched the GT4 Europe Series Silver Cup title together in 2020.
“As Aston Martin Racing’s longest-serving partner team, Beechdean AMR has a proud track record of success with Vantage," commented Howard. "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 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.”
“Fanatec GT World Challenge Europe Powered by AWS is very much unfinished business for Aston Martin, and 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," added Huw Tasker, Head of AMR Partner Racing.
"With Beechdean AMR, and a superb driver line-up 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 endeavours 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."
The 2022 Endurance Cup campaign kicks off at Imola on 1-3 April before visiting Circuit Paul Ricard (3-5 June), the TotalEnergies 24 Hours of Spa (28-31 July), Hockenheim (2-4 September) and finally Barcelona on 30 September-2 October.