Thursday, September 22, 2016

Aston Martin Racing Secures Top 10 Finish at the Lone Star Le Mans weekend

TRG-AMR defied the odds with a top 10 finish at the Lone Star Le Mans weekend, hosted by the legendary Circuit of The Americas (COTA). Thanks to an all-new driver lineup, the Aston Martin squad executed flawlessly in the hot Austin weather. With only minimal practice time and never having driven the 007, the team worked hard, adapted quickly and put in a solid driving performance to finish in 6th.
The No. 007 Godstone Ranch Motorsport/Hands Only CPR/Johnson Controls/Whilo/LaSalle Solutions Aston Martin V12 Vantage is certainly a fan favorite, but the car has not been present at every WeatherTech SportsCar Championship event in the 2016 season. It's a testament to the TRG-AMR team's audacity that top-10 results are natural even when racing against teams who have been competitive throughout the year. In Austin, Australian driver David Calvert-Jones and Porsche specialist Ben Barke dealt with the Texas summertime heat while familiarizing themselves with the car during practice and qualifying sessions. With the drivers' feedback, the skilled TRG-AMR crew was able to execute the ideal race setup to deliver maximum results for a 6th place finish.
"Testing was tricky, and we qualified in the back," said Barker after the race. "CJ's been improving all weekend so he's done a great job. He got quicker and gave the car to me in a competitive position. The TRG car was really good and competitive, we were just losing straight-line speed. Overall, it was a fantastic job by the team and CJ, and hopefully we'll be back."
Overall, the weekend was positive for all drivers, crew, and guests. In addition to racing, this event was key for both business and charity. Godstone Ranch MotorSports, founded by Texan driver John McCutchen, was an important part of TRG-AMR's race. The charity uses motorsports to help draw attention and donations to the American Heart Association's "Hands Only CPR" program, spearheaded by McCutchen and his group of volunteers.  Ally Babineaux, a young survivor of two heart transplants, was at McCutchen's side to evangelize the charity and embodied the direct impact made by the support of donors. Wearing a custom Godstone Ranch fire suit, she joined the TRG-AMR team during pit stops by holding a fire bottle at the ready.
"It was a great race for us," said Calvert-Jones. "As we had just a few sessions of practice and I had never driven this car before, I think we came a long way. The team did an amazing job, Kevin and all of TRG-AMR group are just a real solid team and can't thank them enough for what they put together this weekend. The car was quite slow earlier on in the week, but as we dialed it in, it got quicker and quicker. Ben Barker just did an amazing job to get it up to 6th place from last, so I'm pretty happy!”
RingCentral, a cloud enterprise communications and collaboration application provider, joined TRG-AMR with a large group of guests in Austin. They were welcomed in the team's paddock area, plus additional hospitality and race viewing locations around the beautiful Circuit of the Americas racetrack. This spectacular venue, along with three private evening events and a private Adobe Road wine dinner, provided an exciting, unique experience for both RingCentral and a private wealth management firm's guests.
"We had so many obstacles coming here in the beginning, but that’s just another cool part of TRG story," said Kevin Buckler, CEO. "We were up against experienced and storied teams, we are only running a partial season, we had a crazy schedule with split races in two states and had brand new drivers in the car – and the team executed just flawlessly! It's great that the RingCentral guys and all of the other groups of guests were able to be with us this weekend. It's just such an amazing environment for building relationships and networking. We had some great events: the Late European Aston Martin dealership, plus dinner here at the track with our guests and the big Adobe Road wine dinner downtown at the Capital Grill.”
Technology partner LaSalle Solutions has found the motorsports partnership and platform extremely effective and has increased their efforts in supporting the team through the balance of the season.
"We did everything strategy-wise that we could possibly do," said McCutchen. "To get out of here at the end of the season and be absolutely competitive is an unbelievable testament to TRG-AMR. The whole Godstone Ranch team was incredibly enthused to be out here with the team. When the car was leading the race for those laps, I don't even know how many people texted me from all over the world - they were so psyched to see this car in the lead!"

Monday, June 20, 2016

Aston Martin Racing leave Le Mans as World Endurance Championship leaders

Aston Martin Racing came away from the 84th running of the Le Mans 24 Hours leading the FIA World Endurance Championship GT Manufacturer's title. After running a near-faultless race, both the #95 and #97 GTE Pro entries finished in fifth and sixth place respectively. With the team focused on ensuring a safe and steady pace throughout the early stages of the race and throughout the night, each of the entries were tasked to make progress at dawn.

The #95 Aston Martin Racing V8 Vantage GTE, driven by Nicki Thiim, Marco Sørensen and Darren Turner finished fifth, having given a spirited fight to its rivals and stayed in podium contention through the night. However, the cruel nature of Le Mans struck as Turner suffered a right rear puncture in the 20th hour, caused by debris on track.

Turner said following the race, “That’s probably been one of the most straightforward races for the team. The car’s run like complete clockwork all the way through. The only drama we had was a late puncture. The guys have done a great job with the strategy and the mechanics have been amazing in the pit stops. I’m just very proud that both GTE Pro cars have made it to the finish”.

He added, “As you can see from qualifying and the earlier part of the week, there was certainly a gap in performance between ourselves and the turbocharged entries and this still showed through in the race. It’s a real shame as the crowd were robbed of a wheel-to-wheel race with all of the cars involved rather than just two.

The #97 GTE Pro entry, driven by Richie Stanaway, Fernando Rees and Jonny Adam, executed the strategy to perfection to finish sixth.

The result brings vital points in the crucial title fight and provides Aston Martin Racing a nine point lead in the FIA WEC Endurance Cup for GT Manufacturers.

Aston Martin Racing also starred in GTE Am with the #98 V8 Vantage GTE of Paul Dalla Lana, Mathias Lauda and Pedro Lamy leading into the night before eventually retiring with a mechanical failure heartbreakingly close to the finish.

“We’re delighted with the result this weekend and to be able to walk away leading the GT Manufacturer's Championship has met our objectives for the weekend,”commented Paul Howarth, Team Principal, Aston Martin Racing.

He added, “Le Mans has offered us all of the challenges we expected. We knew when we came here that we’d be facing some very strong opposition and we knew what we had to do to resolve this. We continue from here to fight for wins and the outright title. It’s a real shame for our #98 Am entry, but I’m confident the guys will bounce back”.

Aston Martin Racing’s customer team Beechdean AMR driven by Andrew Howard, Gary Hirsch and Liam Griffin made a great account of themselves too, finishing seventh in the GTE Am class on their first attempt at the Le Mans 24 Hours.

Howarth added, “I’d like to congratulate the Beechdean AMR team and their drivers on bringing the car home at their first attempt. It’s a fantastic result and I’m really pleased for them.”

David King, Head of Global Motorsports, Aston Martin said “Everyone at Aston Martin Racing has done a great job to score the most points that were realistically possible given the Balance of Performance handed to the team. Nevertheless, to lead the championship after Le Mans gives us a great position and something to continue to fight for as we head towards the Nürburgring and then on to the flyaway races”.

Aston Martin Racing will be in action again at the FIA World Endurance Championship’s third round; the Six Hours of Nürburgring on Sunday 24 July.

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Victory in Canada: TRG-Aston Martin Racing Earns Three Wins, Six Podiums Over PWC Race Weekend

The TRG-AMR team’s four drivers secured a win, two 1-2 finishes, and a 3rd place podium during the Pirelli World Challenge race weekend in Canada.

Max Riddle, Kris Wilson, Jason Alexandridis and Derek DeBoer took home ten trophies in total from Saturday and Sunday’s events at the Canadian Tire Motorsport Park. All drivers raced Aston Martin V8 Vantages in the first two rounds of the new SprintX series; Riddle competed in two GTS races.

A high point of the weekend was when Vancouver native Max Riddle won his first-ever GTS race on Sunday, at what is considered his “home track” in the PWC series. Riddle, along with his teammate Wilson, returned to Canada to defend their pole position from last year.

The field of skilled drivers and extremely competitive cars showed no mercy while attempting to pursue the Aston Martin V8 Vantage, and at times the gap between Riddle and the following car was less than a tenth of a second. After taking 3rd place on Saturday, Riddle’s determination to taste victory was sated with a triumphant win on Sunday. Wilson, who acts as both coach and teammate to Riddle, was a winning co-driver in their No. 07 TRG-AMR Adobe Road Winery/LaSalle Solutions Aston Martin Vantage GT4, sharing wins with Max in both SprintX races.

The Alexandridis/DeBoer driver pair enjoyed consistent 2nd-place success after taking their No 09 BRM Chronographes/Rebounderz/Rohnert Park/Racing for Cancer/Pirata Della Strada/Simon Ward car to the podium for both inaugural SprintX races. Along with the Riddle/Wilson duo, TRG-AMR took a 1-2 finish in both of these new race formats, which involves a pit stop with a driver change. Neither DeBoer nor Alexandridis had ever raced at CTMP before, making their podium success all the sweeter. Consistently successful racing from all four drivers resulted in heavy media coverage throughout the race weekend.

“I couldn’t be happier about this weekend at CTMP. 4 out of 4 podiums with 3 wins,” said Max Riddle. “At my home track, in my home country, in front of all the home fans. It’s an amazing feeling. I also couldn’t be more proud of the team. Everyone at TRG-AMR did a fantastic job and put together an amazing car for me and Kris to go out and race with. Another thing that was awesome about the races at CTMP was doing the new SprintX races with my longtime endurance racing teammate and coach, Kris Wilson. Kris and I share a lot of our successes together and we added some more to that list with the two inaugural SprintX wins. A huge thanks goes out to everyone at TRG, Kevin Buckler, Kris Wilson, my dad Dave and also a congratulation is in order for my teammates Derek DeBoer and Jason Alexandridis for finishing 2nd in both SprintX races!” 
Derek DeBoer added, “What a great weekend! Outstanding results finishing 2nd in each of the first rounds of Pirelli World Challenge SprintX. You never know what to expect showing up at a new track but I definitely have a new favorite to add to the list. As always, the entire TRG team gave us the car and support to get the job done. I also want to thank BRM Chronographes, Pirata Della Strada, Racing For Cancer, Simon Ward Artist, my co-driver Jason and my wife and girls cheering from home. With 3 podiums out of my last 3 races, I’m feeling like we're on a roll. Time for that top step!”

Final results:
Race 1: GTS: Max Riddle, 3rd
Race 2: GTS: Max Riddle, 1st
Race 1: SprintX: Riddle/Wilson* 1st, Alexandridis/DeBoer 2nd
Race 2: SprintX: Riddle/Wilson* 1st, Alexandridis/DeBoer 2nd.

*Wilson awarded with fastest lap for both SprintX races.

Monday, May 9, 2016

Aston Martin Racing Claims Double Podium at 6 Hours of Spa-Francorchamps

Aston Martin Racing won the second round of the FIA World Endurance Championship; the 6 Hours of Spa-Francorchamps. After securing pole, the #98 V8 Vantage GTE of Pedro Lamy, Mathias Lauda and Paul Dalla Lana took the checkered flag in first place after a faultless afternoon at the Ardennes circuit.

Demonstrating searing pace throughout, the trio amassed a lead of over a minute before a late safety car reduced the advantage. With Lamy at the wheel for the final hour, their advantage was reinstated to secure both victory and their second visit to the podium this season. The result places them at the top of the GTE Am championship.

According to Lamy, “When the safety car came out, I was conscious that my advantage would be gone. However, I felt that I had a fast car and Paul and Mathias put us in a great position for my final stint earlier in the race. I found the car to be very fast on new tires which made the final laps much easier. With pole yesterday and a win today, this is the perfect result."

In the GTE Pro class, the team’s #97 entry of Jonny Adam, Ferna

ndo Rees and Richie Stanaway placed third after a consistent show of form across the six hours. As both ambient and track temperature dropped in the final hour, Adam was able to exploit the performance of the V8 Vantage GTE and with a late retirement at the front, brought the car home in third.

Adam said, “Claiming a podium is great and with just a lap or two more we could have potentially claimed second. The car was nice and consistent all the way. If it wasn't for a bit of traffic at the start of the restart we could have potentially fought harder with the Ford ahead. The result today sets us up nicely for Le Mans in June and it’s nice to go into that big event with such a good feeling. The car and its tires were working really well and we’ll hopefully find even more speed”.

It was a difficult afternoon for the #95 GTE Pro of Nicki Thiim, Marco Sørensen and Darren Turner. Despite a strong start by Sørensen to move from sixth to fourth after the first lap, Thiim was unfortunately hit by another competitor in the second hour. The team reported that Thiim was OK following the incident.

The 6 Hours of Spa-Francorchamps is the final race before the WEC’s centerpiece event; the 24 Hours of Le Mans.

Team Principal Paul Howarth said after the race, “What an excellent weekend for the team. Again we’ve delivered in both classes by stepping on to the podium. We came very close in the Pro class to finishing second and then to go and challenge for the lead. We raced right until the finish and this is very positive result going into Le Mans”.

Speaking of #98’s GTE Am victory, he added, “The Am result was an outstanding victory and it takes them into the lead of their championship two races in. If we can keep this momentum and deliver our team to the podium at every event, then their championship is off to a very good start”.

The team immediately returned to the track the next day at the official Le Mans test.

Thursday, May 5, 2016

Aston Martin Racing ready to Compete at 6 Hours of Spa-Francorchamps

Aston Martin Racing will contest the 6 Hours of Spa-Francorchamps this weekend (Saturday, May 7) with the continued objective of maximising points in the early stages of this year’s FIA World Endurance Championship (WEC).

Taking on one of the world’s most challenging race circuits, hidden deep in the Ardennes Forest, Aston Martin Racing will enter its three WEC challengers – two GTE Pro and one GTE Am – as the team looks to make its final preparations ahead of the season’s centerpiece event; the 24 Hours of Le Mans.

With the 6 Hours of Spa-Francorchamps bringing great success for the team in recent times, including victory in both GTE Pro and Am in 2015, the team’s drivers are relishing the opportunity to take on the historic circuit yet again in the WEC.

#95 GTE Pro driver Darren Turner said ahead of this weekend, “Silverstone was a great start to the season for us in the #95 car. We learnt a lot over the weekend, especially about our Dunlop tyres. I’m sure we’ll be in a position to fight for the podium this time out at Spa.  It’s a track I enjoy and it’s all great preparation for the 24 Hours of Le Mans”.

Jonny Adam will return to the cockpit of the #97 GTE Pro and will race alongside Richie Stanaway and Fernando Rees. This weekend will be Adam’s first opportunity to compete in the 6 Hours of Spa-Francorchamps after joining the team last year to support its practice sessions.

“This weekend will be invaluable ahead of Le Mans. We’re still continuing to learn with our new partners Dunlop and Total but I think we’ll be in a good place at the end of Saturday,” Adam commented. “It will also be my first opportunity to complete a race alongside Fernando and Richie and I’m sure we’ll put in a strong showing as a trio. The guys have been training hard as have I and I’m excited to join them”.

The #98 GTE Am trio of Paul Dalla Lana, Mathias Lauda (A) and Pedro Lamy will also hope to build on their second place finish at Silverstone, as they continue to work towards their objective of GTE Am world titles.

Paul Howarth Team Principal Aston Martin Racing said, “Spa is a demanding circuit both on the car and driver and will be the perfect test for us at this stage of the season. We continue to learn and progress each day with our new technical partners Dunlop and Total, but we aim to be in a great position to achieve success at the 24 Hours of Le Mans by the end of this weekend”.

The 6 Hours of Spa-Francorchamps begins at 24:30 CET on Saturday, May 7th.

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Aston Martin Racing wins European Le Mans Series opener

Aston Martin Racing took victory and a second podium position at the season opening round of the European Le Mans Series over the weekend. In a race that enjoyed near perfect weather, on a day which had earlier seen Silverstone struck by snowstorms, both Aston Martin V8 Vantage GTEs performed faultlessly throughout the four hours.

The Beechdean AMR entry, driven by Andrew Howard, Alex Macdowall and Aston Martin Racing works driver Darren Turner started the race from seventh but quickly progressed to the front of the GTE pack after avoiding a series of incidents at the beginning of the race. The result brought Beechdean AMR its first win in 2016 season.

Turner commented, “Alex did a great job with his starting position. He managed to avoid all of the carnage on the opening lap and did a sterling job to handover the car in the lead. After jumping in, I had a reasonably trouble free stint with just a sprinkling of rain before handing over to Andrew who did a great job towards the end of the race. Overall, it was a very pleasing result and a great way for Beechdean to start the championship”.

Meanwhile, the ROFGO AMR entry driven by Roald Goethe, Stuart Hall and Aston Martin Racing factory driver Richie Stanaway took third place. After starting the race from pole position, the team maintained a competitive pace throughout the four hours to remain at the front of the GTE field.

Speaking of the result, Managing Director of Aston Martin Racing John Gaw said, “This weekend’s outcome in the European Le Mans Series highlights the strength of our V8 Vantage GTE. Both Beechdean AMR and ROFGO AMR have high ambitions in this series and the results today are testimony both to their professionalism and the car which they are campaigning. I’d like to thoroughly congratulate both on their performances”.

Tuesday, March 1, 2016

Aston Martin Introduces the New DB11

A new chapter in Aston Martin’s history began at the 86th International Geneva Motor Show with the unveiling of the DB11. The first product launched under the company’s ‘Second Century’ plan, DB11 is the bold new figurehead of the illustrious ‘DB’ bloodline and an authentic, dynamic sporting GT in the finest Aston Martin tradition. 

“The DB11 showcases a fresh and distinctive design language, pioneering aerodynamics and is powered by a potent new in-house designed 5.2-litre twin-turbocharged V12 engine,” said Sonny Morgan, general manager of Late European. “Built upon a new lighter, stronger, and more space efficient bonded aluminum structure, DB11 is the most powerful, most efficient and most dynamically gifted DB model in Aston Martin’s history. As such, it is the most significant new Aston Martin since the introduction of the DB9 in 2003.”

Heralding a new design era for Aston Martin, DB11 is the latest landmark in a remarkable aesthetic journey; one that gave us icons such as the DB2/4, DB5 and, most recently, the DB10 developed specifically for James Bond. DB11 re-imagines the relationship between form and function with a series of fresh design signatures. Foremost amongst these are the front-hinging clamshell bonnet, distinctive LED headlights and accentuated lines of the iconic Aston Martin grille. The profile is equally dramatic, thanks to the roof strakes that flow uninterrupted from A-pillar to C-pillar. The clean lines continue at the rear, with a sloping decklid that smoothly blends into boldly sculpted tail-lights to create a new and unmistakable graphic.

According to Aston Martin Chief Executive Officer, Dr Andy Palmer, “We aspire to make the most beautiful cars in the world.  DB11 is the absolute embodiment of what an Aston Martin should be and we have worked tirelessly to ensure that DB11 combines both exceptional design with the latest technology throughout. A brand new bonded aluminum platform, clever aerodynamics, a new characterful twin-turbo V12 and class-leading infotainment systems are just a few aspects which make this the sports car that will proudly spearhead Aston Martin’s second century plan.”

Innovative aerodynamics play their part in this aesthetic revolution with clever management of airflow both over and through the bodywork aiding stability while preserving the DB11’s uncluttered surfaces. Front-end lift is reduced by the gill-like Curlicue which releases high-pressure air from inside the wheel arch via a concealed vent within the redesigned side-strake. Meanwhile, rear-end lift is reduced by the Aston Martin AeroBlade; a virtual spoiler fed by discreet air intakes located at the base of each C-pillar. Air is ducted through the bodywork, before venting as a jet of air from the aperture in the rear decklid.      

Like every Aston Martin, the heart of the DB11 is found beneath the bonnet, though unlike any Aston Martin before it, the DB11’s heart is a 5.2-litre twin-turbocharged V12. Designed in-house this new engine develops 608PS1 (600BHP1) and 700Nm1 of torque, making DB11 the most powerful production DB model ever. Naturally, it’s the most dynamic and most accelerative too, with a top speed of 200mph1 and a 0-62mph time of just 3.9sec1. Thanks to intelligent bank activation and stop-start technology that potency is matched by greatly improved efficiency.

To exploit the advantages of its new body structure and harness the immense performance of the new twin-turbo V12 engine, the DB11’s chassis, suspension, steering and electronics have been re-imagined  and key new technologies embraced. Multiple driver-selectable dynamic modes - GT, Sport and Sport Plus - progressively intensify the response of the engine, 8-speed automatic ZF transmission together with the new electric power steering and Torque Vectoring by braking while increasing the firmness of the adaptive damping for a greater sense of agility. The result is a driving experience that combines exemplary ride comfort and true sports car agility, for an extraordinary breadth of dynamic capability.

As a true 21st century Aston Martin the DB11 combines the very latest technology developed in conjunction with technical partner, Daimler AG, with the finest quality and hand craftsmanship. Using a full-color 12” TFT LCD display, the all-new instrument cluster presents primary vehicle information with absolute clarity, while a second, centrally-mounted 8” TFT screen is dedicated to infotainment. Controlled via an intuitive rotary control, with an optional touchpad offering character recognition, multi-touch and gesture support, the new satellite navigation and audio system have never been more effective, sounded better or been easier to operate. A newly implemented auto-park assist feature and 360-degree birds-eye view camera helps provide safe maneuvering at slow speeds and is also operated via the car’s infotainment system.  

With wider door apertures, significantly increased occupant space - especially head and legroom in the rear - fully integrated rear ISOFIX mounting points for a pair of child seats plus a luggage compartment large enough to accommodate two large holdalls plus carry-on baggage, the DB11 is a genuine Grand Tourer. Thanks to an inspiring palette of colors and a vast array of detailing options, its interior can be perfectly in-tune with your unique personal style. From calming, carefully coordinated tones to sharp contrasts in hue and texture, your choices are virtually limitless. Nexus quilting and Celestial perforation add layers of beautiful complexity and intrigue, while ornate leatherwork, such as intricate brogue detailing, creates areas of visual and tactile delight. 

Dr Andy Palmer said, “This is not only the most important car that Aston Martin has launched in recent history, but also in its 103-year existence. The DB11 rightfully places Aston Martin once again as a leading brand in the luxury automotive market.”

Aston Martin of Austin
Austin, TX 78750