We’re nearing the mid-season mark and a lot of people are asking, “So how’s that new Aston program going with you guys?” In a word: FANTASTIC! We realized going in that this was going to be a transition year as we put all the varying elements in place to take full advantage of the launch of the United SportsCar Racing series in 2014. I want to assure everyone that we WILL be ready.
We have been flat out. The Aston Martin brand is a real head-turner, the race cars are extremely competitive and this program is massive. Since the first of the year we have done almost 40 corporate events in twelve states plus six major driving events across the US with three more scheduled in the next three weeks. We have received fantastic reception from the many corporate partners with whom we have shared the opportunity to partner as well as the Aston Martin dealership group. We have some amazing announcements on the drawing board, and I’d like to believe that all of our travel and hard work is about to explode in great news.
One of our biggest pushes has been to sell the Aston Martin Vantage GT4 to drivers who wish to participate in the one-make Aston Martin GT4 Challenge of North America next season. We are doing Arrive & Drive events all around the country to give drivers a chance to test these phenomenal cars.
Upcoming dates are June 26 (Autobahn); June 28-29 (Lime Rock Park), July 13-14 (Sonoma Raceway). We also hope to get back to Monticello in NY soon, as well as test the new Thermal layout in Palm Springs and perhaps head back to Thunderhill where we did a great event with tech execs a few weeks ago.
LisaKay Foyle has been hired as Series Director and is doing a great job organizing these Arrive & Drive days as well as writing rules, working on a sanction agreement and getting the 2014 schedule set. We are very excited about announcing the fruits of her efforts in the next couple of months.
To date, we have purchased 3 GT4’s for our “house team” and sold 4 additional cars in just a few months. We expect to close on another 6-8 within the next several months. Special thank you’s to the Aston Martin dealerships that are now stepping up and understanding how an alignment with OUR race group is good for THEIR business.
The GT3 and GTE programs
We expect the first GT3 to arrive in a few weeks and we are all very excited. Grand-Am homologation has necessitated a conversion to complete Bosch electronics and that process is almost complete by our UK brethren. We will be testing the car with a few potential drivers & teams next month. We have also put a fantastic three-race partnership opportunity together for companies interested in helping us roll this amazing V12 Aston out, targeting Grand-Am’s Road America, Laguna Seca and Lime Rock races. We expect to announce those partners and drivers shortly.
The GTE program will be the third shoe to drop. That car is a beast and we fully intend to have it ready for the United SportsCar Racing debut at my favorite race, the Rolex 24 Hours at Daytona. But don’t be surprised if we have some pretty incredible announcements about our GTE program before the summer is out.
Oh…I will let it slip now but you might just see something at the end of the year that does not exactly resemble a production based car…just saying. 🙂
Le Mans & The Centenary
While TRG-AMR is not entered in this year’s 24 Hours of Le Mans, I am on a flight traveling to France to meet with my UK colleagues and support their efforts for the marque at this storied race. Yes, I’m taking notes as next year I expect to be back with a full TRG-AMR entry and push for a repeat of our victory in 2002. A few weeks later in early July, I return to Europe for Aston Martin’s celebrated Centenary activities, which include a possible return to the drivers seat at Brands Hatch.
While we have been focusing a lot on the future, we are also having a lot of fun competing in the ALMS GTC class with Ben Keating and Damien Faulkner and we’re excited to be coming into the second half of the season after doing extensive testing during the break; plus are looking to repeat our winning ways at some of our favorite tracks. In addition, the West Coast Pirelli Cup season has seen some very competitive racing in our backyard and we’ve enjoyed supporting Chris Pallis and Steve Miller in their successes.
More to Come
There is a lot more I could share, but I’ve got to get back to work…but before I conclude, I just wanted to say a special thanks to all those who have worked so hard to get us to this point. We have one incredible opportunity in front of us and the momentum is in high gear. I look forward to sharing some pretty exceptional news with you very soon!