Aston Martin reveals new car, partners, FIA WEC lineup

Photo: Aston Martin Racing

Aston Martin Racing has taken the covers off its 2016 challenger for the FIA World Endurance Championship, the updated Aston Martin V8 Vantage GTE, at its 2016 program launch in Gaydon.

New regulations mean a much bigger new rear diffuser, with additional freedom on aero development.

The team also has confirmed a switch from Michelin to Dunlop tires, which opens a tire battle up in GTE-Pro, and is something that’s welcomed for both manufacturers.

“The 2016 V8 Vantage GTE is a greatly improved package all-round and I’m extremely pleased that Dunlop have joined us as the team’s official tire supplier to complete it,” said Dan Sayers, technical director of Aston Martin Racing.

“The team is thoroughly confident heading into this season and I firmly believe that the Dunlop Sport Maxx is the perfect tire to help us achieve the results we desire. We look forward to working closely with the Dunlop team throughout the 2016 FIA WEC season and also at the Nürburgring 24hrs, where we’ll be competing with the V12 Vantage GT3.”

TOTAL and IQ-Option also join as new partners for what’s the newly reliveried “Stirling Green” colors.

“We’re pleased to welcome our new sponsors and technical collaborators to the Aston Martin fold,” said John Gaw, managing director of Aston Martin Racing. “With an extremely competitive World Endurance Championship ahead of us, I’m confident we have our strongest driver line-up to date and we can expect plenty of success throughout the season.”

Darren Turner shifts to the team’s No. 95 car in GTE-Pro, alongside Danes Nicki Thiim and Marco Sorenson. Fernando Rees joins Richie Stanaway and Jonny Adam in the No. 97 car.

“This will undoubtedly be a different year to the past three WEC seasons that I’ve been involved in, but I’m very much looking forward to partnering with Nicki and Marco in the No. 95,” Turner said. “Testing has gone very well during the winter months and I think we’ll be in with a strong chance by the time Le Mans comes around in June.”

Paul Dalla Lana, Pedro Lamy and Mathias Lauda will be in the team’s single GTE-Am entry, the No. 98 car.

The WEC season begins with the Prologue test at the end of March, and the first race is in Silverstone on April 17.

IndyCar disappointed by delay of video game but aiming to launch at start of 2024

IndyCar video game 2024

An IndyCar executive said there is “absolutely” disappointment that its long-awaited video game recently was delayed beyond its target date, but the series remains optimistic about the new title.

“Well, I don’t know how quick it will be, but the whole situation is important to us,” Penske Entertainment president and CEO Mark Miles said during a news conference Monday morning to announce IndyCar’s NTT title sponsorship. “Motorsport Games has spent a lot of money, a lot of effort to create an IndyCar title. What we’ve seen of that effort, which is not completely obvious, is very reassuring.

“I think it’s going to be outstanding. That’s our shared objective, that when it is released, it’s just widely accepted. A great credit both to IndyCar racing, the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, something that our fans love.”

In June 2021, IndyCar announced a new partnership with Motorsport Games to create and distribute an IndyCar video game for the PC and Xbox and PlayStation consoles in 2023.

But during an earnings call last week, Motorsport Games said the IndyCar game had been delayed to 2024 to ensure high quality.

Somewhat compounding the delay is that IndyCar’s license for iRacing expired after the end of the 2022 season because of its exclusive agreement with Motorsport Games.

That’s resulted in significant changes for IndyCar on iRacing, which had provided a high-profile way for the series to stay visible during its 2020 shutdown from the pandemic. (Players still can race an unbranded car but don’t race on current IndyCar tracks, nor can they stream).

That’s helped ratchet up the attention on having a video game outlet for IndyCar.

“I wish we had an IndyCar title 10 years ago,” said Miles, who has been working with the organization since 2013. “We’ve been close, but we’ve had these I think speed bumps.”

IndyCar is hopeful the Motorsports Game edition will be ready at the start of 2024. Miles hinted that beta versions could be unveiled to reporters ahead of the time “to begin to show the progress in a narrow way to make sure we’ve got it right, to test the progress so that we’re ready when they’re ready.”

It’s been nearly 18 years since the release of the most recent IndyCar video game for console or PC.

“(We) better get it right,” Miles said. “It’s something we’re very close to and continue to think about what it is to make sure we get it over the line in due course.”