Richard Westbrook will have a second outing with Aston Martin Racing in 2020 as he joins the #98 crew in search of a first WEC GTE Am race win of the 2019/20 season in Bahrain next month.
Westbrook will join Paul Dalla Lana and Ross Gunn in the #98 Vantage GTE taking the place of Augusto Farfus who is already committed to his BMW GT team at the 12 Hours of Sebring, with Darren Turner, who started the season in the #98, now also unable to rejoin the crew as he also has a Sebring commitment (in the Heart of Racing GTD Vantage).
Westbrook raced for the factory AMR team at the 24 Hours of Le Mans last month, helping Nicki Thiim and Marco Sorensen to a podium finish in the #95 Aston Martin, and making a strong contribution to a 1,3 finish that secured the World Manufacturers Championship for the marque.
“I’m delighted to be returning to Aston Martin for the final round of the WEC season,” said Westbrook, who will make his debut in the fiercely-contested GTE Am class. “The GTE Am class is phenomenally competitive nowadays and for me, this is a great opportunity to fight for a victory as the season draws to a close. Racing for a brand like Aston Martin is a great honour and the experience of standing on the podium at Le Mans, wearing British racing green overalls, on such a special day for the brand is something I won’t ever forget.
“This will only be my second race in the Vantage, but after Le Mans, it feels like I’ve had more than enough mileage to feel at home in the car. I’ve always enjoyed racing in Bahrain, it’s one of my favourites, and it’s actually where I won my first race in a GT car in 2005.”
The #98 crew have been contenders for victory all season long in GTE Am, but misfortune has prevented them from winning so far in the 2020/21 campaign. This is a situation Dalla Lana is determined to remedy in Bahrain. “When it became clear that neither Augusto or Darren were available, Richard was an obvious choice for us,” said Dalla Lana. “He was a star performer at Le Mans and he knows the car and the team extremely well. We’ve had the pace and the performance all season and it would be really great to wrap the year up with a win. I believe we deserve it as a team.”
Aston Martin Racing President David King added: “We’re really pleased to welcome Richard back for the season finale. His performance at Le Mans was outstanding alongside Nicki Thiim and Marco Sørensen in the #95 GTE Pro Vantage, and he fitted seamlessly into the team as you would expect from a seasoned professional. I think with the strength of these three drivers combined in the #98, the car represents a formidable threat for victory in the Vantage GTE’s final race of its debut season in the Am class.”