Garage 59, the reigning GT World Challenge Europe Endurance Pro-Am Champions have launched a triple class assault on the 2021 TotalEnergies 24 Hours of Spa. The team will run three Aston Martin Vantage GT3 race cars in the Pro, Pro-Am and Silver Cup classes of the classic Belgian endurance race.
The #95 Aston Martin Vantage, affectionately known as the “Dane Train” and running in collaboration with Aston Martin Racing, features a full factory line-up consisting of Nicki Thiim and Marco Sørensen (The Danes) and British racer Ross Gunn.
“I’m really looking forward to joining Garage 59 in a Pro line-up with Marco and Nicki,” said Gunn. “It has always been my goal to reach this level of GT3 racing and I can’t think of a better manufacturer or indeed team to do it with. Garage 59 is a very much valued customer team and we had a very good test together in June so hopefully we can carry that positive momentum forward into the race. We’re under no illusions about how hard the event is going to be, especially with so many top line-ups on the entry list, but we will of course give it our best shot.”
Garage 59 Sprint Cup regular, Tuomas Tujula, joins the Endurance Cup crew of Valentin Hasse-Clot, Nicolai Kjærgaard and Alex MacDowall in the #159 Vantage. This car will race in the ultra-competitive Silver Cup class so having a four-driver line-up will provide strength in numbers.
“Spa is a big challenge,” said Hasse-Clot. “It’s a race that must be treated with great respect. We showed at the last race that we are serious contenders for victory in the Silver category. To achieve this, the first target is to finish the race, and it's not an easy task. I think it will be beneficial for us to be running three Aston Martins at this year’s race, with extra factory support as the more information we have, the better.”
Alexander West and Chris Goodwin lead the Endurance Cup Pro-Am standings and they would like to keep it that way. Jonny Adam is also leading the championship but he has had to sit this race out after a positive Covid-19 test and will be replaced by Marvin Kirchhöfer, who has done a great job for the team in the past. With a bigger pot of points available at Spa the #188 crew are also going for strength in numbers, adding Charlie Eastwood, another Aston Martin Racing factory driver, to the already strong line-up.
“The Spa 24 has always been the biggest challenge of the season and this year will be no different,” said Goodwin. “I love the intensity of this race: the size of the super competitive grid, along with the regular weather changes and the crucial strategy calls that need to be made. We have Charlie Eastwood with us, thanks to Aston Martin Racing. Charlie is extremely quick, has great knowledge of the Vantage GT3 and has integrated into the team very quickly. Marvin Kirchhöfer has jumped into Jonny’s seat at the last minute. He is a great addition to the line-up as we all remember him steering the #188 to a brilliant win at Paul Ricard in 2020! Alex arrives at Spa straight from driving at Watkins Glen, which is a pretty good warm up for one of Europe’s most challenging race tracks. More importantly though, Alex is also on a roll having won in the last GT World Challenge sprint race at Misano. All in all, we have a strong driver line-up and good experience of the car and the race. Now it’s time to get started!”
The 2021 24 Hours of Spa will see 60 cars from nine different manufacturers compete on the world-famous, seven kilometre Spa-Francorchamps Circuit. The race gets underway on Saturday 31 July at 16:30 CEST / 15:30 BST and you can catch the entire 24-hours on the ‘GT World’ channel on YouTube.