Aston Martin Racing will be closed down as a factory team. That has been announced by the British car manufacturer this morning.
That means that the team will no longer enter factory cars in the FIA World Endurance Championship in neither GTE Pro nor GTE Am.
AMR finished the season as World Champions in both the Manufacturer and Driver Championships, with Nicki Thiim and Marco Sørensen winning the GTE Pro title for the second time in their careers. The team also won the 24 Hours of Le Mans in both GTE Pro and GTE Am, with the works team, and their customer team TF Sport respectively.
The news today doesn’t however necessarily mean the end of AMR cars in the FIA WEC.
The car manufacturer has made a deal with Prodrive, who will still build and support GTE, GT3 and GT4 cars for customer teams.
The word customer teams is very important in that regard, since especially TF Sport still have loads of plans on all three steps of GT racing. They are entering the Daytona 24 hours in the GTD (GT3) category, just as they are entering the Asian Le Mans Series 2021, one week later in Abu Dhabi.
Beechdean Motorsport has already revealed, that they will be entering British GT again, plus various GT4 programmes at teams in the North America.
Aston Martin Racing has been a part of the FIA WEC since its very first race in 2012, being one of only three car manufacturers to do so. They have a total of 48 class victories, and 103 podium positions, 9 class championships, and four Le Mans victories.
They have had the odd guest entry in the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship or the European Le Mans Series, with the initial Gulf coloured cars, later on British Racing Green, and now Lime green cars – if we discount the GT1 time, which started back in 2005.
There should still be opportunities for their drivers to continue as works drivers, if they wish to do so. And if there is a decent amount of sponsors found, there might be a chance to see Aston Martin cars in both GTE Pro and GTE Am in 2021 – but the hole in the budget needs to be filled up with new private sponsors. Prodrive has run the team for Aston Martin Racing throughout the years, so the expertise will still be there, if somebody wants to run a programme.