Maxime Martin to start own Aston Martin GT4 squad
Aston Martin Racing factory driver Maxime Martin will be launching his own GT racing team, planning to enter a pair of Aston Martin Vantage GT4s in the 2020 European GT and ADAC GT4 Championships.
The team, which will be known as Martin Racing Team, will be based in Martin's home country of Belgium and is a collaboration between Martin and senior BMW DTM mechanic Thomas Matton. The pair have plenty of experience together, having worked together for 11 years across various championships.
"I have been thinking about starting my own team for a while," said Martin. "I am nowhere near finished with my own driving career, but I wanted to begin a venture that can grow into the future and I wanted to be a part of something that allowed me to give back to the sport I’ve been involved with my entire life.
“GT racing, and in particular GT4, has become incredibly popular with young drivers coming into the sport, as well as enthusiastic gentleman racers. Myself and my partner Thomas Matton (a senior mechanic in the BMW DTM programme), have the experience to develop this talent through this team and we have big ambitions for the future.”
Martin, who will continue his WEC duties alongside Alex Lynn in the #97 Aston Martin Vantage AMR, is not the first driver to start his own team. A recent example is Porsche works driver Earl Bamber, whose Earl Bamber Motorsport outfit took victory in this year's Bathurst Twelve Hours.
Picking the Vantage GT4 for his new operation was an obvious choice, Martin explained:
“Being part of the factory programme made it a common sense decision to race the Vantages,” he said. “I have driven and contributed to the development of the customer car, so I understand it well. But I also think that the Vantage GT4 is the among the best. It really is a proper racing car and Aston Martin is a massive brand that carries a lot of interest, so it is the perfect car to start with.”
“We commend Max for taking the brave and committed step to launch his own racing team and of course we wish him well,” said Aston Martin Racing President, David King. “As one of the fastest and most experienced GT drivers in the world, we’re also glad that he will continue to race with us in the FIA WEC!
That he has chosen to begin life as a team owner with Aston Martin is an advocation of the exceptional level of performance the Vantage has displayed across multiple categories around the world in its first year. That it is still early in its lifecycle as a customer racing car, and yet so popular with customers, bodes well for the future of Aston Martin Racing.”