Aston Martin has announced that it will be closing down its factory GT racing programme, instead shifting focus to customer racing.
The decision brings to an end a nine-year tenure as a factory squad in various global sportscar series, including the American Le Mans Series and FIA World Endurance Championship.
It also means that the team’s two-car factory operation in the GTE Pro class of the WEC will come to an end, bowing out with a class win at Le Mans and the championship double with Nicki Thiim and Marco Sorensen.
As a factory squad, Aston Martin Racing captured 26 championship titles and four class victories in the 24 Hours of Le Mans in 2006, 2008, 2017 and 2020.
With the manufacturer moving into Formula One in 2021, Aston Martin has decided it will instead shift its focus to supporting customer teams in championships like the IMSA WeatherTech Sportscar Championship and Intercontinental GT Challenge.
Additionally, Aston Martin has reached a new and revised agreement with Prodrive, which will see the organisation continue to exclusively build in distribute the GT racing cars as part of a multi-year deal.
“This year has been one of unprecedented success for Vantage in international motorsport,” said Aston Martin Racing president David King. “At all levels, from GTE, through GT3 to the entry level GT4, we have experienced significant championship success, winning 26 titles across the spectrum of world, international and domestic series.
“But there is more to achieve, and there is more to come from Vantage, which is why we have concluded that now is the time for us to shift the weight of factory support to our partners as we go in pursuit of success in the most important events in GT racing.”
“Vantage proved it has world champion pedigree in 2020, and in its GTE variant is a 24-hour race winner,” added Aston Martin CEO Tobias Moers. “Now with the Vantage GT3 we wish to give our partners and customers the best opportunity possible to fight for victory against our closest rivals in the toughest endurance challenges GT racing has to offer.”