R-Motorsport has added former DTM ace Maxime Martin and Aston Martin factory driver Nicki Thiim to its 2018 Blancpain GT Series Endurance Cup lineup.
Martin expands his new relationship with the renowned global marque brand by adding the Blancpain GT endurance events to his FIA WEC schedule while Thiim is an FIA World Endurance Championship GTE-Pro title winner for Aston Martin.
R-Motorsport, the motorsport arm of AF Racing, has reinforced its committed relationship with Aston Martin with the addition of the Belgian and the Dane.
AF Racing is also one of the three official partners of the Aston Martin Valkyrie hypercar project and has been announced official Aston Martin Valkyrie strategic partner.
The team will partner established outfit Arden International. Founded by former racer and Red Bull Racing F1’s Christian Horner and his father Garry, Arden have achieved major success across multiple single-seater series including FIA Formula 2 and it will be run in conjunction with two-time Le Mans 24 Hours LMP2 winner Jota Sport.
Martin and Thiim will join forces with the already-announced duo of Alex Brundle and Jake Dennis and two as-yet-unannounced drivers in R-Motorsport’s quest to take home the 2018 Blancpain Endurance crown for AF Racing.
“We’re very excited and proud to add Maxime and Nicki to our line-up for next year,” said R-Motorsport Team Principal, Dr. Florian Kamelger.
“Having two factory Aston Martin drivers in our squad further expands our excellent relationship with the brand and of course both drivers are at the absolute top of their game when it comes to GT racing. We think this acts as another statement of intent on our ambitions for 2018.”
“We will now fill out the two remaining seats with competitive drivers that are looking for a good opportunity to taste success in 2018.”
DTM Norisring winner Maxime Martin joins R-Motorsport and Aston Martin from the factory BMW DTM team.
“I’ve enjoyed my time in the DTM, but I’m really looking forward to getting back into GT endurance racing,” Martin said.
“It is a dream come true for me to join such a great brand like Aston Martin to not only drive for them in the FIA World Endurance Championship, but also to drive the Aston Martin V12 Vantage GT3 in the highly competitive Blancpain endurance events including the Spa 24 Hours and be part of such a great and professional team like R-Motorsport.
“As a Belgian racer, anytime you get to race at Spa is a brilliant experience, even more so at the 24 Hour where the competition in Blancpain GT is incredible.”
Danish Aston Martin factory driver Nicki Thiim completed two partial seasons in GTE-Am for Aston Martin Racing in the FIA World Endurance Championship, taking victory at the 24 Hours of Le Mans in 2014, before moving up to GTE-Pro full-time with the squad in 2016, winning the championship at his first time of asking.
Thiim also won his class at last year’s Nurburgring 24 Hour aboard Aston Martin’s Vantage GT8. He has contested selected Blancpain GT Series races in the past, but 2018 will be his first full-season campaign.
“What a fantastic opportunity, I’m really looking forward to doing the full endurance season of Blancpain with R-Motorsport,” Thiim said.
“It is a great way for me to expand my programme and still be behind the wheel of an Aston Martin. Joining forces with Maxime will be great as well. He has tremendous experience in GT racing in the past, and he proved his speed in the DTM as well.”