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A line-up of champions set to lead a new era for Aston Martin Racing into 2024

20 Dec 2023

Aston Martin Racing’s 2024 works driver roster will feature a glittering line-up of champions set to propel the British ultra-luxury sportscar brand into a new era of competition in GT racing.

Amongst the nine-strong roster is triple FIA World Endurance GT champion Marco Sørensen. The Dane, who won the 24 Hours of Le Mans LM GTE class in 2022 and was the GTD class winner in the Rolex 24 Hours 12 last January with the all-conquering Vantage, has signed a multi-year contract in a deal that commits his long-term future to Aston Martin.

“This is a very exciting time to be a works Aston Martin driver,” said Sørensen, who is confirmed in D’station Racing’s 2024 FIA World Endurance Championship line-up and is expected to play a significant role in multiple high-profile partner programmes across a range of GT categories next year.

“I feel like I am in the prime of my career, and that I have a lot to bring to a works manufacturer programme. So, to be able to commit to Aston Martin, which feels like my family after eight years of racing, at a time when it is developing so many new platforms and investing considerable energy into its racing programmes, is perfect for me. I’ve been with Aston Martin for a long time, and we’ve had a great deal of success together. It feels like those amazing days when the ‘Dane Train’ was on top of the world, are coming back.”

The other half of Aston Martin’s famous ‘Dane Train’, Nicki Thiim, has also committed to race as a works Aston Martin driver in 2024, having agreed a new long-term association with the brand. Thiim, who embarks on his 12th consecutive season with Aston Martin, partnered Sørensen when the duo won their two FIA WEC GTE Pro titles in 2016 and again in the 2019/20 season. Thiim’s most recent success with Aston Martin was a maiden GTD class podium in this year’s Rolex 24 Hours at Daytona when competing with partner team Magnus Racing.

“It’s always an honour to represent Aston Martin, and I’m looking forward to being able to fight for championships again at the top level of GT racing with Vantage,” said Thiim, whose long list of Aston Martin accolades began with a win in the GTE Am class of the 24 Hours of Le Mans on his race debut in 2014. “There is still so much to win and still so much history to be made, I’m sure of that.”

New faces

New faces

Aston Martin’s works line-up will feature three new faces in 2024, including one driver who has never raced Vantage before in his career. Reigning GT World Challenge Europe Sprint Cup champion Mattia Drudi (ITA) joins the team following five seasons as a works Audi driver, as well as 2022 24 Hours of Le Mans class winner Henrique Chaves (POR) and reigning Nürburgring 24 Hours champion David Pittard (GBR).

The 25-year-old Italian Drudi comes into the Aston Martin Racing fold off the back of a spectacular season where he clinched the Fanatec GT World Challenge Powered by AWS Sprint Cup with four victories. He was also the Italian GT Championship Endurance Cup champion in 2021.

“I’m honoured to be joining Aston Martin as a works driver,” said Drudi. “I’m really looking forward to being part of such an iconic manufacturer programme in motorsport. I feel this is the right environment for me to develop as a driver and to fight together for prestigious victories in the most important races around the world.”

Portuguese Chaves, 26, who was born in the same city of Lisbon as Aston Martin Racing legend Pedro Lamy, played a vital role in TF Sport’s FIA WEC GTE Am championship title alongside Sørensen and Ben Keating in 2022. Despite only contesting five races, he still managed to finish third in the 2022 FIA WEC drivers’ standings. Chaves is also a former GTWC Sprint Cup Pro-Am class and International GT Open champion.

“What can I say about signing with Aston Martin? I am more than happy, that’s for sure. My biggest achievement in racing was winning Le Mans in 2022 in the Vantage. To have the opportunity to represent this iconic brand as a works driver means everything to me. Of course I am really looking forward to adding more chapters to my story in the future together with Aston Martin. I just can’t wait to get started in 2024.”

Pittard is no stranger to Aston Martin, having raced alongside Thiim and AMR stalwart Paul Dalla Lana in the NorthWest AMR team during 2022. The Englishman won on his FIA WEC debut at Sebring, finished the season second in the world championship standings and competed with the Heart of Racing in 2023 at three of the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship endurance rounds (Rolex24 at Daytona, the Sebring 12 Hours and Petit Le Mans at Road Atlanta).

“I feel honoured,” said Pittard. “To become a works driver is something I have strived to be my whole career. Racing has always been my dream, my whole life, so to do it with such an iconic endurance racing brand like Aston Martin is a dream come true. I’m hugely excited to get started and get working.”

Returning champions

Returning champions

IMSA GTD Pro race-winner Ross Gunn (GBR) will continue with Heart of Racing in 2024, spearheading Aston Martin’s Pro assault on America’s premier endurance championship alongside Alex Riberas (ESP). Gunn, who has been a part of the AMR family since 2015, when he won the British GT GT4 Championship alongside Jamie Chadwick (GBR) and the AMR Driver Academy. He underlined his credentials as one of IMSA’s fastest GT drivers in 2023 by taking two poles and two victories in the GTD Pro class with Vantage.

Four-time British GT champion Jonny Adam (GBR) returns for his 14th season with Aston Martin Racing. One of the brand’s most successful GT racing drivers of all time, Adam is a two-time 24 Hours of Le Mans winner, a four-time British GT champion and the GTWC Europe Endurance Cup Pro-Am champion in 2017.

Valentin Hasse Clot (FRA) steps up to the European Le Mans Series class in 2024 with the Racing Spirit of Léman team having taken Vantage to the Michelin Le Mans Cup title last season. The 2021 AMR Driver Academy graduate has built consistently on his success since becoming part of the AMR works driver crew in 2022, having previously won Silver Class titles in the GTWC Europe Endurance Cup and FFSA GT series in France.

Aston Martin legend Darren Turner (GBR) completes the line-up. The three-time 24 Hours of Le Mans class winner added victory in the GTD class of the Rolex 24 Hours at Daytona to his glittering trophy cabinet in 2023, as the majority of his season was spent split between development duties with Dörr Motorsport’s Nürburgring 24 Hours Pirelli tyre partnership programme and his role as Aston Martin Lagonda’s High Performance Development driver.

Turner, who is about to embark on an incredible 20th season as a works Aston Martin Racing driver, has entered and won more Le Mans 24 Hours races than any other in the history of the brand and is the perfect foil to the wealth of spectacular emerging young talent that is burgeoning throughout Aston Martin Racing’s partner team network.

Adam Carter, Aston Martin Head of Endurance, said: “As we prepare to embark on a new era for Aston Martin in endurance racing, with the advent of newly-developed evolutions of our Aston Martin Vantage GT3 and GT4 platforms, and of course the Valkyrie Hypercar programme that becomes a racing entity in 2025, we’ve assembled an ultra-competitive works driver line-up. This group of drivers knows how to win and is expert at extracting every ounce of performance from a GT car, while at the same time harnessing the endurance capabilities necessary to win at this level. We’re delighted to welcome three proven champions in Mattia, Henrique and David to this group, and we’re excited to see what they can all achieve in 2024 and beyond.

“As we move into a period of accelerated learning and development with our various racing platforms, this blend of pace and experience will be vital to achieving Aston Martin’s goal of maintaining our status as a force to be reckoned with among our peers at the top of world endurance competition.”

DRIVER QUOTES

Jonny Adam: “I am delighted to re-sign with Aston Martin Racing on a multi-year deal. I have been with Aston Martin as a works driver since 2013 and I’m excited about the future of GT racing within our customer base at AMR. 2024 looks to be a busy season ahead and the goal is to achieve great success on and off the track for the Aston Martin Vantage across the world with our customer teams. “

Henrique Chaves: “What can I say about signing with Aston Martin? I am more than happy, that’s for sure. My biggest achievement in racing was winning Le Mans in 2022, in the Vantage. To have the opportunity to represent this iconic brand as a works driver means everything to me. Of course, I am really looking forward to adding more chapters to my story in the future together with Aston Martin. I just can’t wait to get started in 2024.”

David Pittard: “I feel honoured. To become a works driver is something I’ve strived for my whole career. So, to do it with such an iconic endurance racing brand like Aston Martin is a dream come true. I’m hugely excited to get started and get working. The whole car and the whole brand has been based on grand touring performance cars and my career has always been based on endurance races, so there is a natural synergy. The AMR brand has so much experience and technical ability and great people behind the scenes. Having worked with many of those people for the past two years I can see there is long-term success on the cards for all of us if we work hard for it.”

Mattia Drudi: “I’m honoured to be joining Aston Martin as a works driver. I’m really looking forward to being part of such an iconic manufacturer programme in motorsport, with its incredible history of success and its really high ambitions for the near future. I feel this is the right environment for me to develop as a driver and to fight together for prestigious victories in the most important races around the world. The commitment AMR is putting into next year’s Vantage programme is really promising and 2024 can’t come soon enough for me.”

Ross Gunn: “It feels special to continue my relationship with Aston Martin. I am sure 2024 will prove to be a huge and exciting year for the brand with the upgraded versions of the Vantage GT3 and GT4. The preparation work for next season has been in motion for months, and I can’t wait to hit the track in Daytona.”

Valentin Hasse Clot: “It’s a privilege to begin my third season as an AMR works driver. Having started my career as a GT3 driver with Aston Martin five years ago, then winning the AMR Driver Academy and growing up with the brand has a very special flavour. It’s like my second family. 2024 is shaping up to be a big year for all of us and it’s a very exciting challenge to take on.”

Marco Sørensen: This is a very exciting time to be a works Aston Martin driver. I feel like I am in the prime of my career, and that I have a lot to bring to a works manufacturer programme. So, to be able to commit to Aston Martin, which feels like my family after eight years of racing, at a time when it is developing so many new platforms and investing considerable energy into its racing programmes, is perfect for me. I’ve been with Aston Martin for a long time, and we’ve had a great deal of success together. It feels like those amazing days when the ‘Dane Train’ was on top of the world, are coming back.”

Nicki Thiim: “It’s always an honour to represent Aston Martin, and I’m looking forward to being able to fight for championships again at the top level of GT racing with Vantage. It’s been ten years now with the family. So many memories, so many faces, so many ups and downs with AMR. I’m delighted to be continuing that journey. There is still so much to win and still so much history to be made, I’m sure of that, so I can’t wait to get on with the next chapter. And with so many exciting things happening to the brand and the racing programme at the moment, it is the best time to be racing with Aston Martin.”

Darren Turner: “It would have been impossible to imagine a journey of 20 years with Aston Martin Racing, but I’m so happy that it continues for another chapter. Being involved from the beginning with the Aston Martin DBR9 and now looking forward to racing the next generation of Vantage GT3 and GT4 cars really is something very special.”

Motor 283

BY Motor 283

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