Aston Martin Racing is once again ready to take on the world’s premiere endurance series, with the team announcing its three car line-up for the 2017 FIA World Endurance Championship (WEC) today.
Fielding two V8 Vantage GTE cars in GTE Pro and one in GTE Am, the team’s entry to the series and this year’s 24 Hours of Le Mans was confirmed during a web conference held by the Automobile Club de l’Ouest in Le Mans.
Piloting this year’s #95 will be returning WEC GT Drivers’ world champions Nicki Thiim (DN) and Marco Sørensen (DN). The Danish duo, who took the title at the final round in Bahrain last year will take to the wheel of their V8 Vantage GTE, bidding to retain their title crowns.
Thiim said following the announcement, “The winter break has been long and I can’t wait to get started again. For me, the best racing at the moment is in the GT championships where the cars are so close and well balanced. Our rivals have more motivation than ever to prove themselves against us and we’ll be right there doing our best to keep ourselves and Aston Martin at the front throughout the season”.
He added, “With more competition it couldn’t be better than to be joined by Marco again to defend our title. We have a really good partnership on and off the track. You always want to learn from your mistakes and we’ll be looking to correct those for this year”.
Sørensen also said, “After we’ve shown that we can be world champions, it motivates us even more to do the same again this year and prove that we can do it again. That will be our main goal. I’m super happy to have Nicki as my teammate again for 2017 and it’s an honour to drive with Aston Martin for a third season. It really is a pleasure to be with this team”.
The sister #97 entry will feature the British pairing of Darren Turner and Jonny Adam. With both drivers taking European and British title honours in 2016 at the wheel of Aston Martin machinery, they’ll be looking to secure success on the world stage this season.
Adam said, “Partnering with Darren is something I’m very much looking forward to. We’ve raced together on and off for the past couple of years, so it’s incredibly exciting to announce that I’ll be joining someone with that experience and speed on a full time basis. He’s a great ambassador on and off the track for Aston Martin and we work well together. We both drive in a similar style and get the best out of each other and the car and I think that will shape up to be a great partnership this year.
“Bahrain last year was promising after qualifying on pole and leading big parts of the race and I see no reason why we can’t carry that through to this season. To have Marco and Nicki who are at the top of their game in the sister car is fantastic too”.
With a third driver required in each car for the 24 Hours of Le Mans, the team will make an announcement on both its additional GTE Pro drivers in the coming weeks.
In GTE Am, the familiar trio of Paul Dalla Lana (C), Pedro Lamy (P) and Mathias Lauda (A) will return to contest the full FIA World Endurance Championship. After winning five of the series’ nine rounds last season, the crew will be looking to convert their strong form into GTE Am title victory.