BRASELTON, GA (October 17, 2013) – TRG-AMR North America today announced the launch and schedule for the Aston Martin GT4 Challenge Series of North America. In addition, it announced Pirelli as the Official Tire partner of the new series. TRG-AMR, the exclusive partner with Aston Martin Racing in North America, made the announcement at Road Atlanta where it will begin the 2014 season for the new Challenge Series. Road Atlanta is hosting Petit Le Mans this weekend, the finale for the American Le Mans Series presented by Tequila Patron.
The GT4 Challenge Series of North America will race at some of the finest road courses in North America, beginning April 11-13 at the Braselton, GA track. A month later, the series travels to historic Watkins Glen International Raceway (NY), May 16-18. Virginia International Raceway hosts the drivers’ series June 6-8, while in July the GT4 Challenge is scheduled to join the “Summer Classic” July 25-27 at one of Canada’s most scenic race venues, Circuit Mont Tremblant, outside Montreal.
The summer schedule concludes with the Aston Martins traveling to a California track famous for the “Corkscrew” section of its track, Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca on the Monterey Peninsula for Labor Day weekend (August 29-31). The season continues in the fall with stops at Road America (Oct. 10-12) in Elkhart Lake, WI and Sebring International Raceway in Sebring, FL (Nov. 21-23). One additional race will be added to the schedule soon.
Four of the races – Road Atlanta, Watkins Glen, VIR and Sebring – will be run in concert with NARRA (North American Road Racing Association). The July event at Mont Tremblant will be part of the “Summer Classic” and the October event at Road America is shared with MVP Track Time.
Aston Martin has always been a brand that combines luxury lifestyle and motorsports in a premium manner. Thus, the GT4 Challenge Series continues that tradition providing a luxury lifestyle experience to its competitors off-track as well. From spirited drives on 17 Mile Drive at Pebble Beach, to lakeside barbecues at Elkhart Lake, the series will provide the finest experiences as well as exquisite food and wine events to the drivers and their guests throughout the event weekends.
Pirelli produces high performance racing tires for both racing cars and motorcycles. Moreover, the company provides track tires for the World Challenge Championships and for the Motocross World Championship. The incredible grip offered by the Pirelli tires, which are developed specifically for racing, allows cars and motorcycles to maximize performance and acceleration. In addition, Pirelli tires are not only associated with performance, but also related to the values of sustainability and security. The GT4 Challenge Drivers will race on the Pirelli P-Zero Racing Slick tire.
The GT4 Challenge will feature sportsman drivers racing the Aston Martin Vantage GT4, which is the most popular GT4 car in the world. More than 100 of these cars have been built and are competing in multiple race series around the globe. Like the Vantage GT3 and GTE, the car’s foundation is the acclaimed Vantage and it carries over the same chassis, V8 powertrain and drivetrain, including the semi-automatic paddle-shift system. The springs and dampers are upgraded to racing specifications with stiffened front and rear roll bars and a variety of options are available for customizing the racecar.
Safety is paramount on the GT4. The car has the same FIA-approved roll cage as found on the entire range of Aston Martin Racing cars, while the interior has been stripped with a centrallymounted bagged fuel tank which aids better weight distribution and comes with twin quick-fuel entries. It is one of the few cars in its class that has been purpose built as a track car, hence its legendary reliability. The cars should be able to compete at a fraction of the budget than that of its other series’ rivals.
The latest spec of the Vantage GT4 has a new aerodynamic package. An adjustable carbon fiber rear wing works in conjunction with a larger front splitter, to increase downforce for greater dynamic performance. With nearly 300 kg shaved off the weight of the car and with more than 400 bhp available, the GT4 is the perfect entry to GT racing.
The GT4 has been developed for not only the GT4 Challenge series, but it is also homologated to compete in the Pirelli World Challenge. The H-pattern gear box is eligible to compete in both the PWC and the Continental Tire Series Championship. Both types of shifting mechanisms are eligible to compete in the new Challenge Series.
Aston Martin GT4 Challenge Series of North America 2014 Schedule
April 11-13 Road Atlanta
May 16-18 Watkins Glen
June 6-8 Virginia International Raceway
July 25-27 Circuit Mont Tremblant
August 29-31 Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca
Oct. 10-12 Road America
Nov. 21-23 Sebring International Raceway
*one race TBD
What They are Saying About the Aston Martin GT4 Challenge of North America Series:
TRG-AMR North America CEO Kevin Buckler:
“This series will without a doubt capture the heart, dreams and passion of our Aston Martin racing drivers. It will reflect the sophistication and performance of the brand and provide memories of a lifetime in a competition that will be fun, but challenging. We have been working for months to put all the details in place and we are all set. The schedule is simply amazing and it was a personal dream of our entire team to race at some of the finest venues across North America and turn our race weekends into fantastic and complete lifestyle events.”
“And in Pirelli, we could not have a better partner. From the beginning, they have been terrific and have shown a keen interest in recognizing the quality of what we are building with this series and wanted to be a part of it. Pirelli is renowned worldwide, from Formula One through series such as ours, as being a leader in performance and durability for racers. They will also complement our lifestyle events nicely.”
GT4 Challenge Series Director LisaKay Foyle:
“We are understandably excited about this schedule and the quality of the tracks where we will be racing. These venues are without question among the best road courses this side of the globe, and we are very proud to be able to offer our teams and drivers the chance to fulfill their dreams of racing Aston Martins on these storied layouts.”
Aston Martin Racing Managing Director John Gaw:
“It is particularly exciting to see TRG-AMR North America make this announcement today. 2013 was always going to be a transitional year but what Kevin and his team have focused on is getting the right people in the right place to shape the future and now with a terrific team in place this announcement is evidence of real progress that will bring a great programme to the Aston Martin owners of North America.”
Aston Martin The Americas Regional Director Julian Jenkins:
“I’m sure North American Aston Martin owners, enthusiasts, and race fans alike share our desire to see Aston Martin in regular motorsport competition across the continent. This new GT4 Challenge Series to run across North America is the vital next step in us realising that ambition and reinforcing the link between our road and race cars.”
Pirelli North America Director of Motorsports Operations Rafael Navarro:
“This is the perfect brand fit. We are both premium companies that complement each other extremely well. TRG’s Aston Martin racing program has been on our radar since they began. We are excited to support the new series and to come on board as the official tire partner.”
FOR MORE INFORMATION:
LisaKay Foyle Matt Ambroziak
GT4 Challenge Series Director Director of Marketing
Aston Martin Racing continues its tradition with TRG-AMR North America proudly taking the reins of its North American motorsports operation. The Racer’s Group (TRG), with headquarters in Petaluma, California, was founded in 1993 and has competed at the top level of motor racing for over 20 years. The team has competed in all of the major series and holds victories in the ALMS GT Class, the Rolex Series DP Class, the Rolex Series GT Class, the ALMS GTC Class, Pirelli World Challenge, as well as the Grand Am GS Class.
The team’s resume is highlighted by four championships, four Rolex 24 Hour at Daytona victories, a 24 Hours of Le Mans win, a victory at Petit Le Mans and the longest standing ALMS podium run with 16 in a row. The team won Rolex Series GT championships in 2005 and 2006 and holds the record for the most wins in GRAND-AM with 32.
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Press release issued by TRG-AMR North America