WEC: Aston Martin Racing confirms plans for 2015 season

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Aston Martin Racing has revealed its plans for the 2015 FIA World Endurance Championship as it expands to a five-car assault for the new season.

The entry list for the 2015 season confirmed back in February that the British marque would be fielding three cars in the GTE-Pro class and two in GTE-Am.

Once again, Darren Turner and Stefan Mucke will be teammates as they look to improve on their fifth place finish in last year’s GT driver championship.

“The WEC continues to go from strength to strength and, for any driver, to be involved in an FIA World Championship is always exciting,” Turner said. “I’m back with my teammate Stefan for another year and really looking forward to getting stuck in and taking the fight to our competitors!

“I think we have a strong chance this year; everyone has worked very hard over the winter and we are all focused on winning the championship.”

They will be joined in the no. 97 by McLaren GT factory driver Rob Bell for the 6 Hours of Spa and 24 Hours of Le Mans.

The No. 99 Aston Martin Racing V8 car will once again be raced by Britain’s Alex MacDowell and Fernando Rees, with New Zealand’s Richie Stanaway joining for 2015.

Moving up from GTE-Am to GTE-Pro is the all-Dane No. 95 car, with Nicki Thiim, Christoffer Nygaard and Marco Sorensen completing the line-up this year.

In GTE-Am, AMR will field two cars once again: the No. 96 of Roald Goethe, Stuart Hall and Francesco Castellacci; and the No. 98 of Paul Dalla Lana, Pedro Lamy and Mathias Lauda, son of three-time champion Niki Lauda.

AMR is also set to send two cars to the 24 Hours of Nurburgring in the GT3 class, meaning that its cars will be taking part in all of the premier endurance races in 2015.

“Announcing our largest racing programme to date ten years to the day after Aston Martin Racing’s debut win at Sebring 12 Hours clearly shows how the team has progressed, building year-on-year on its success,” CEO Andy Palmer said.

“Our multiple wins last year underlines our ability to perform at the highest level and, as we look forward to the 2015 season, we’re anticipating another exciting and highly competitive year of exhilarating GT racing in the WEC, as well as at Le Mans and the Nurburgring.”

Dutch Grand Prix becomes fourth Formula 1 race canceled this season

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ZANDVOORT, Netherlands — The Dutch Grand Prix became the fourth Formula One race canceled this season because of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, after organizers decided Thursday they didn’t want to play host to an event without spectators.

It was to be the first Dutch GP since 1985, but F1 wants to start the season with no spectators at races.

“We would like to celebrate this moment, the return of Formula 1 in Zandvoort, together with our racing fans in the Netherlands,” race director Jan Lammers said in a statement. “We ask everyone to be patient. I had to look forward to it for 35 years, so I can wait another year.”

The race in Zandvoort was set for May 3 and initially postponed. Fans who bought tickets can use them next year.

The coastal circuit has been redesigned, with some corners banked to facilitate faster racing.

The other races canceled this year were the season-opening Australian GP on March 15; the Monaco GP on May 24; and the French GP on June 28.

Another six have been postponed.

F1 organizers still hope to reschedule those and hold 15 to 18 races this season, starting in July with back-to-back races at the Austrian GP.