Aston Martin has confirmed its manufacturer entry for the 2020 Intercontinental GT Challenge, the first time that the British brand has entered for overall honours.
The IGTC is comprised of five stand-alone high-profile endurance events through the year, beginning with the Liqui-Moly Bathurst 12 Hours this weekend in Australia, and then the Total 24 Hours of Spa on 23-26 July, the Suzuka 10 Hours on 21-23 August, the Indianapolis 8 Hours on 2-4 October and culminating with the Kyalami 9 Hours on 19-21 November.
Aston Martin will be represented in the first round by four Vantage GT3s, with two each entered by the brand’s valued partner teams R Motorsport and Garage 59. This weekend’s event will mark the debut of the new Vantage at Mount Panorama circuit in New South Wales.
Spearheading this weekend’s challenge for overall victory at Bathurst is R-Motorsport, which has entered two Aston Martin Vantage GT3 cars in the top Pro category with an all-star driver line-up. British driver Jake Dennis returns to the scene of an event he starred in 12 months ago when he finished a close runner-up.
This year he shares the #76 entry with six-time IndyCar Series champion and Indianapolis 500 winner Scott Dixon and 2006 Australian Supercars champion and two-time Bathurst 1000 winner Rick Kelly.
The sister #62 car’s line-up consists of 17-year-old Olli Caldwell, FIA Formula 2 winner Luca Ghiotto and Marvin Kirchhöfer.
Returning to the IGTC for its first full season is Garage 59, which impressed in its debut year as an Aston Martin Racing partner team, finishing runner-up in the Blancpain GT Series Endurance Cup Am class and winning the Paul Ricard round.
This year the team competes in the IGTC Pro-Am class with Alexander West, Chris Goodwin and Côme Ledogar.
Joining them for the Bathurst 12 Hours is works driver Maxime Martin, who currently lies third in the FIA World Endurance Championship.
Garage 59 is also fielding a second #159 car in the Silver class driven by AMR Junior driver Andrew Watson, fresh from his stint in last weekend’s Rolex 24 at Daytona, Olivier Hart and IMSA GTD driver Roman de Angelis.
David King, President of Aston Martin Racing said: “This is Aston Martin Racing’s boldest attack on the Bathurst 12 Hours, a race that showcases the very best of what international GT3 racing has to offer. We have full confidence that the combination of our two partner teams R-Motorsport and Garage 59, and the growing competitiveness of the Aston Martin Vantage GT3, will provide a fierce challenge for honours in Australia.
“This line-up, and the quality of our partners, represents the perfect time to commit to the overall Manufacturers’ Championship for the first time.”