Aston Martin is teaming up with U.S. stalwarts The Racer’s Group to campaign the Aston Martin’s V8 Vantage in a number of North American racing series in 2013.
The new partnership, TRG-Aston Martin Racing North America, LLC, is preparing ten cars to run in the American Le Mans Series, the Grand Am Rolex Sports Car Series and Continental Tire Sports Car Challenge, and Pirelli World Challenge in 2013. In addition, the new company hopes to launch an all-Aston GT4 series late in 2013.
“Aston Martin Racing, as a factory- supported entity, has truly arrived in North America,” said TRG founder and TRG-AMR CEO Kevin Buckler in a press release. “What we have crafted with Aston Martin Racing is the ability for TRG-AMR North America to compete in all the major race series with multiple teams.”
The plan calls for three different versions of the Vantage: a GTE version which will debut at the ALMS Sebring 12 Hours on March 16, and GT3 and GT4 versions which will race after the Rolex 24 and the CTSCC support race on Jan. 26, in time for the PWC season opener in St. Pete on March 22.
TRG, a force in North American racing for almost two decades, has class or overall wins in the Le Mans 24, Rolex 24, and Petit Le Mans endurance races, and has won four championships and more than fifty races in various series since Buckler’s first win—in his first professional race—in 1995.
Aston Martin has an equally rich racing heritage, dominating Le Mans in the 1950s and returning to racing with great success with class wins at Le Mans in 2007 and 2008. In addition Aston won the 2011 FAI GT1 World Championship, the GTE version finished second in the 2012 World Endurance Championship, and the GT3 version took 11 race wins in 2012.
The factory intends to integrate the racing team’s activities with its 40 North American Aston Martin dealerships as well offering business-to-business and corporate partnership packages. In addition, TRG-AMR is creating an “Arrive and Drive” program, which will be a sort of peripatetic driving school where corporate clients, team sponsors and customers can experience driving the Vantage at speed on a race track with guidance from the team’s drivers.
This sort of activation can mean as much for a race team as on-track success, by getting more attention (and more sponsorship) out of every racing victory. And with full factory support and the expertise of TRG, the new partnership can reasonably hope for racing success in each of the four major series it will contest.
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