British racing team, Garage 59, today announced plans to return to racing after the global shutdown brought about by the Covid-19 pandemic.
The team will return to world-class GT racing in the GT World Challenge Europe Endurance Cup, which begins at Imola in Italy next week. The revised schedule will see the teams compete at four of Europe’s best racing circuits, starting at Imola before moving onto Germany’s Nürburgring in September and then the Spa 24 Hours (which will be 25 hours this year due to daylight saving) in October and finishing up in the south of France at Le Castellet in November.
Alexander West and Chris Goodwin, who scored four out of five podium finishes in the Am class last year, will be joined in the now Pro-Am #188 Aston Martin Vantage GT3 by Aston Martin works driver, Jonny Adam.
Commenting on the new line-up, Adam said: “I’m delighted to be racing with Alex and Chris in the Pro-Am class this year. We had a tough year in the Pro car in 2019, while the Am guys were on the podium nearly every race! I hope we can get on the podium every time out this year and add to the win tally for Garage 59.”
The sister entry, the Silver class #159 Aston Martin will be raced by Andrew Watson, Valentin Hasse-Clot and a third driver who will be revealed soon.
New Garage 59 driver, Hasse-Clot, said: “I am very happy to join a competitive line-up at Garage 59, especially after this difficult period. It was important for me to stay at the wheel of an Aston Martin and to race one at the top level in the GT World Challenge is great for my career. Garage 59 is already a champion in this series and I hope we can fight for the Silver Cup title this year. The weekends will be busy for me as I combine GT3 and GT4 but that's what I worked for all winter and I feel ready now!"
Additionally, the team will enter an Aston Martin Vantage GT4 in the 2020 ADAC TOTAL 24 Hours (N24). West and Goodwin will team up with Aston Martin works driver, Darren Turner, and a fourth yet-to-be-determined driver. West and Goodwin will also compete in VLN4 on August 1st.
Turner, who has previously described the Nordschleife as “a cross between a rollercoaster and a horror movie”, said: “I’m really happy to be joining Garage 59 for one of my favourite events. I was lucky enough to race the Vantage GT4 on its Nordschleife debut last year so I can attest to how much fun this is going to be.”
Commenting on the team’s return to racing, Garage 59 Team Principal Andrew Kirkaldy said: “I’m sure every race team will say the same but we are delighted to have a plan in place to get back on track. Of course it is all subject to public health matters but let’s hope we can get through what looks set to be a great few months of racing.
“We’ve shuffled the pack for our return and we’re really pleased with the driver line-ups, which we think will provide us with some great results. Our Pro-Am entry did well last year with four out of five podiums but the Pro car struggled after a strong debut at Monza. Let’s see what we can do this time around!”
The Imola round of the GT World Challenge gets underway on Sunday 26th July at 13:30 CET / 12:30 BST. The race action will be streamed LIVE via www.gt-world-challenge-europe.com/live.