Aston Martin ends factory endurance racing program

Aston Martin announced Wednesday its exit from the World Endurance Championship, where it had competed in the GTE class with a race car based on its Vantage sports car.

It means Aston Martin will no longer be competing in endurance racing directly, though it will still offer GT race cars based on the Vantage to customer teams, the automaker said.

Those customer teams will compete in series like the Weathertech Sportscar Championship, Intercontinental GT Challenge, and GT World Challenge, and Aston Martin remains hopeful it will eventually find a customer team for the GTE class of the WEC.

British motorsport and engineering company Prodrive is responsible for the production of Aston Martin’s GT race cars, all of which are based on the Vantage sports car. There are GT4, GT3 and GTE versions, as well as a new GT8R version designed for the SP8T class of the Nürburgring Langstrecken Series, whose highlight is the 24 Hours of Nürburgring.

Aston Martin exits the WEC as one of the most successful teams. In its nine years and seven seasons in the series, it clocked up nine class titles and 47 class wins, four of which were in the prestigious 24 Hours of Le Mans.

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Despite this success, the latest move is not fully surprising as Aston Martin in 2021 will start competing in Formula One with its own team via a rebranding of Racing Point, the F1 team controlled by Aston Martin Chairman Lawrence Stroll. The last time Aston Martin competed in F1 was in 1960.

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