Aston Martin to have largest racing contingent yet in 2014; Bruno Senna to drive 24 Hours of Le Mans

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James Bond’s career is one that has been built upon endurance.

That’s why it’s not surprising Bond’s favorite car manufacturer, Aston Martin, is expanding its sports car racing footprint in 2014, the 10th anniversary of its racing division.

According to MotorAuthority.com, the fabled English car maker will engage in its largest and farthest-reaching motorsports program in the company’s history this year.

As has been the case in recent years, Aston Martin (AM) will be a significant player in the World Endurance Championship GT class, with four full-time teams piloting AM V8 Vantage GTEs.

But the AM contingent will nearly double when it comes time for the 24 Hours of Le Mans, when seven cars are expected to compete in the grueling day and night event. One of those cars will be driven by Bruno Senna, nephew of the late Ayrton Senna.

Aston Martin will also campaign a V12 Vantage GT3 at Nurburgring’s 24 Hours, Belgium’s Spar 24 Hours and at Silverstone as part of the Blancpain Endurance Series.

And in a first for the manufacturer, a seven-race North American-based series called the Aston Martin GT4 Challenge will be held, starting next month at Road Atlanta, in conjunction with The Racers Group.

The European version of the GT4 Challenge will also continue and enters its fourth season.

Drivers in the Aston Martin stable, according to MotorAuthority.com, will include Darren Turner, Stefan Mücke and Pedro Lamy, as well as WEC series newcomers Fernando Rees, Alex MacDowall, Darryl O’Young, David Heinemeier-Hansson, Kristian Poulsen, Christoffer Nygaard, Nicki Thiim and Paul Dalla Lana.

Check out the company’s 2014 racing promotional video below.

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Steve Torrence takes NHRA points lead with Gatornationals victory

NHRA Gainesville Steve Torrence
Jeff Robinson/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images
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GAINESVILLE, Fla. — Two-time defending NHRA Top Fuel champion Steve Torrence took the points lead Sunday in the AMALIE Motor Oil Gatornationals, beating his father, Billy, in the final round at Gainesville Raceway.

Torrence had a 3.809-second run at 322.11 mph to win for the third time this year and 39th overall. He is now on track for another championship despite missing the season opener.

“We’ve got some good momentum and to be in the points lead, it’s a testament to how hard these guys work,” Steve Torrence said after the NHRA Gainesville victory. “We’ve just got to stay focused and concentrate on what the task at hand is, and that’s trying to win a championship. These guys give me an unbelievable race car and you just try not to screw it up.”

Ron Capps won in Funny Car, Alex Laughlin in Pro Stock and Matt Smith in Pro Stock Motorcycle.

Capps raced to his second win this year and 66th overall, beating Tim Wilkerson with a 3.937 at 323.12 in a Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat.

Laughlin topped Aaron Stanfield with a 7.068 at 204.76 in a Chevrolet Camaro for his first win this season and fourth in his career. Smith rode to his first victory in 2020 and 25th overall, topping Andrew Hines with a 6.843 at 196.99 on an EBR.