For the first time in more than three decades, Aston Martin will have an U.S.-based team to compete in North American sports car racing.
The famous British marque has announced that after recent tests at Sebring and Daytona, it will field two full-time entries in the inaugural season of the TUDOR United SportsCar Championship. Kevin Buckler’s “The Racer’s Group” will run the cars as part of a collaboration called TRG-AMR North America.
“I feel like this has been 20 years in the making for all of us,” Buckler said. “…To have the opportunity to officially represent one of the most iconic and revered, street and racing marques in the world, is a perfect fit for where our organization has now evolved.
“We will be proud to represent and to race the Aston Martin Racing cars here in North America, not only for ourselves, but for any and all interested teams or partners.”
TRG-AMR will race a pair of Aston Martin V12 Vantage GT3 machines, which have competed in various endurance/GT series around the world. Aston Martin also competes in the FIA World Endurance Championship.
A driver lineup has yet to be announced, but TRG-AMR notes that they’ve “used the recent Balance of Performance tests as well as numerous additional test days to undergo extensive driver evaluations.”
Brendon Hartley says scoring a point on his Formula 1 debut would be “a dream” after being resigned to last place on the grid for the United States Grand Prix following an engine penalty.
Porsche factory driver Hartley was drafted in by Toro Rosso to replace Pierre Gasly for the USGP when the Frenchman was ruled out due to clashing commitments in Super Formula.
Despite having not driven an F1 car since 2012, Hartley came within one-tenth of a second of making it through to Q2 on Saturday at the Circuit of The Americas, ultimately qualifying 18th.
“Obviously I’d love to be quicker but we knew we were starting at the back, so we put a lot of focus on long runs, getting the peak performance out of this Pirelli tire I didn’t get today,” Hartley told NBCSN after the race.
“In FP3 I had a good feeling. There’s a lot of quirky things to manage with these tires. Honestly I should be happy with how the weekend’s gone so far.”
The New Zealander will start last due to a 25-place grid penalty for changes made to his power unit ahead of practice on Friday, and is daring to dream of making the top 10 in his first race out of a sports car for more than five years.
“I don’t do the 24 hours completely alone!” Hartley joked. “It’s quick. It’s physical to drive. I’ll be happy to be done after an hour and a half.
“A point would be a dream starting from the back. If I can move forward and put a race together, I’ll be happy.”
The United States Grand Prix is live on NBCSN and the NBC Sports app from 2pm ET on Sunday.